Lady Gaga is not your next civil rights hero. She is a performance artist who sings about riding dick. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a welcome addition to yesterday’s National Equality March roster, because she does something Cleve Jones, David Mixner, and Robin McGehee struggle with: Reaching young people.
If one thing was clear at yesterday’s D.C. march and rally, all walks of life were represented: The able-bodied and the wheelchair-bound; faux-hawk sporting 40-year-old lesbians and faux-hawk sporting 20-year-old twinks; beautiful young black girls holding hands and at least one pair of round American Indian men with arms around each other; at least a dozen Latina waving signs high above their heads and solo skinny white boys with sport caps tilted to the side. Oh, and everyone from newborns (ok, the youngest we saw was about six months) to septuagenarians (and possibly above).
In just a short time, Lady Gaga’s reach has spread global. That is significant. But back here in the States, she’s a more accessible pop figure than Madonna. Less of a train wreck than Britney Spears. She is that coveted figure young gays: a culture icon the gay girls want to bed and the gay boys want to be friends with.
Her enthusiasm for gay rights and open inclusion of homos in her fan base, since she blew up on the spot so recently, is remarkable, but not unexpected. It was pleasant to see her tone down her standard dress code for the rally on the Capitol lawn. But it was endearing to have her call yesterday afternoon “the single most important moment of my career.”
Lady and gentleman, Ms. Gaga, and not Levi Johnston, is what it means to be a gay icon.
(NB: We find it curious that Lady Gaga, who calls Perez Hilton a close personal friend, just committed to “refuse to accept any misogynistic and homophobic behavior in music, lyrics, and action in the music industry.” ‘Cause, like, isn’t that Hilton’s shtick? In an interview with the blog Towleroad, she doesn’t clarify.)