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“Born This Way, my song and album, were inspired by Carl Bean, a gay black religious activist who preached, sung and wrote about being ‘Born This Way.’ Notably his early work was in 1975, 11 years before I was born. Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy because we deserve joy. Because we deserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all.”–Singer/Actress Lady Gaga, revealing on Instagram that her iconic single “Born this Way” was inspired by queer activist Carl Bean. Bean used his position as a Unity Fellowship minister to argue for inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQ people within Christianity. He also recorded the disco anthem “I Was Born This Way” as a call for queer liberation. He currently lives in Los Angeles.