Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why We Need the Politics of Lady Gaga More than Ever

“I just want to be clear before we decide to do this together: I’m gay. My music is gay. My show is gay. And I love that it’s gay. And I love my gay fans and they’re all going to be coming to our show. And it’s going to remain gay.” -Lady Gaga

"I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to be extinct, and none of us wants to be. So we don't want genocide." -Alveda King (Dr. MLK Jr's niece) discussing why she's against marriage equality

It's been a strange day. In my film class I called my teacher out on what I felt to be proselytizing a religion that discriminates against homosexuals/bisexuals. My teacher along with 90% of my fellow students disagreed. One lady in the class even said she was sick of gays hijacking things and making it all about them. My teacher tried to say his religion wasn't homophobic and gave an example of how a lesbian decided to not go to the bars anymore because her new found dedication to the religion in question. Thank goodness there was one other student who heard what I heard and not only agrees but will take action if need be. I'm grateful that student spoke up or I may have thought I was losing it.

Later on the phone my wife updates me on the Glenn Beck Fest Restoring Honor rally. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's niece spoke at this affair and though she didn't discuss gay rights there, as you saw from above she believes marriage equality is akin to genocide. I don't even have words to follow that shit up.

Needless to say I needed a good walk so I grabbed my dog Angel & we headed to Laurelhurst Park. I like to listen to music on longer walks with the dog and as usual Lady Gaga was in rotation. So Happy I Could Die was swirling in my brain and I felt all my tension leave my shoulders and just enjoyed the moment. I love that song because it reminds me to be happy for the moment. Anyway the music reminded me how Ms. Gaga is very dedicated to the LGBTQ community and at the same time her music/messages reach millions. In the face of inequality, disingenuous rallies and the perceived random gay hijackings I'm so very grateful a super star like Gaga because she not only loves gays but believes God and the gays "made one another."

"I very much want to inject gay culture into the mainstream. It's not an underground tool for me. It's my whole life. So I always sort of joke the real motivation is to just turn the world gay." Even I don't want to turn the world gay (whatever that means) as I believe we need a variety of cultures, beliefs and lifestyles so humans can learn from one another. I think what Gaga may be getting at here is that much of gay culture is about accepting oneself. We still live in an era of Jim Crow, just this time it's for same-sex couples. Therefore the path to self acceptance is even more difficult when we have emotional/sexual attraction for our own sex. Gaga sings a lot about women being strong within themselves and she talks often about wanting her young fans to love themselves. This is not merely a pop pep talk. This is political. This is revolutionary.

Dr. King's niece said in a speech earlier this month that we all need love (and the lord) then said the one word that negates her previous words: However. However, but, and yet are used so staggeringly often when trying to justify prejudice that sometimes I feel those words should come with a warning label that says: message is more full is crap than it initially appears. Whatever love Ms. King believes she has for queer people only exists in the realm of theory and not action. I can't imagine that if her uncle were alive today he would agree with her. Love builds unity, fosters personal acceptance and makes friends with that which can be difficult. Love doesn't say "however" it says "let's talk" and then love listens with only the heart.

My hope is that Lady Gaga keeps on keeping on for a long time. We need her powerful message that we are fabulous no matter what anyone says. Now that's love!

1 comment:

Zee said...

I love this:

"Love doesn't say "however" it says "let's talk" and then love listens with only the heart."

Spot on and beautiful. Thank you. :)