gay icons

So What the Hell Was Lady Gaga Doing at the March Anyhow?

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.)

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  • xcv

    Lady Tranny is ugly and sick
    Nobody wonts to ride on her disco stick.

    She is fucking publicity whore.

  • Qjersey

    She actually seems part of our community, rather than a fair weather friend slash bystander like Madonna.

  • Swimmer - Chicago

    Lady Gaga Rules!

  • oic

    She’s amazing.

    No matter what your opinion of her, you can’t deny her love for the gay community. There’s a handful of super liberal celebrities who say they support the gay community but never march in the parades or speak out about their beliefs like Gaga does.

    I don’t see how speaking out on behalf of our community and attempting to reach out to a younger generation makes her a publicity whore.

    Also, “Lady Tranny”? Really classy, making jokes at the expense of the trans community in a post about the National Equality March.

  • scott ny'er

    Don’t understand why peeps love her music.

    Think it’s great she supported the march.

  • Zazu

    This is the girl who said she could only physically appreciate women, but would never have emotional ties. Who came out as “bisexual” a la Madonna to launch herself. Who stated she “hails men and would never be a feminist”, all the while perpetuating a view of women as fembots. Lady Gaga (very telling she did not use her actual name at this all too real political march) knows her music is not powerful enough to last that is why she is looking for a steady fanbase. Madonna didn’t need to desperately try and find one. ….And if you think she wrote that script I got some swamp land in Florida to sell you. I am disgusted so many are falling for this; she will use us until she refuses us. I prefer my manufactured puppets to keep their “pantsless” backsides on talk shows, where they belong. Her act is very stale, especially to lesbians and bisexual women.

    Also, if her first prominent “gay ally” was and is Perez Hilton, who screamed homophobic comments at a fellow musician, then that just confirms my theory. She needs to go back to Daddy’s mansion.

  • donsnyc

    This is an entertainer at the prime of her career openly supporting our fight for equality and all you can do is trash her and call her names? No wonder we are still fighting for our rights.

  • Pazmateo

    Lady Gaga isn’t just another pop whore. She is an artist. Give me any other pop “star” who always sings live, writes their own music, is creative director of all of her shows, and has sold 5 MILLION FUCKING ALBUMS in 1 year.

    As gays who are constantly battling homophobia in the mass media, how dare some of you discount her support. She is one of the biggest names in the media today, and she is constantly speaking out on our behalf, yet for some reason, we don’t like her?

    How can we ask to come together as equal in a nation when we so blatantly discriminate against someone who is willing to help us so readily. It truly is a disappointment that we can’t accept a major ally simply because you don’t understand her wardrobe or music. It’s true hypocrisy.

  • Zazu

    There were no brutal ad hominem attacks, and this woman should be prepared for criticism even if this is her first appearance anywhere.

    I, and many of my other sisters, want a REAL person who will reveal their actual name representing the gay and lesbian community in a march and not a person who goes by the name “Lady Gaga” to “get the kids interested”. I don’t want a performer who states she doesn’t understand lesbian rights, and is not a feminist. What is the point of her being there then? To get attention, and faux support from her PR team’s reps that always responds with the ridiculous complaint of “stop trashing her career” (they always throw out strange comments like you just did…money talks, I guess). I just listened to her previous interviews on lesbian/feminist issues. I will reserve my comments about her music since it is not apropos.

    Wake up, sir.

    *Yes, no wonder we are fighting for our rights when we embrace people who have openly stated that they are against lesbian rights and feminism.*

    Thank you for your support, Don.

  • terrwill

    XCV: The BOQB* strikes again!!! Why in the world would one slam Gaga for coming out and supporting us????? Its bitter old queens like yourself who are content to sit back and allow the bullshit that creates the need for a march that has been going on for decades to go on an on…….Sorry but Gaga has a tremendous audience. Many of them are of the hetro persuasion. Believe it or not a lot of people are actually influenced (why I have no idea) by celebreties and by Gaga giving tremedous support and not giving a shit about those who would condemn the support is a good thing……….


    I’m glad Lady Gaga isn’t a feminist. I have yet to meet a feminist who practices actual feminism. Feminism is about gender EQUALITY. All I ever hear from feminist isn’t that they want equal rights, they want to crush the men and “teach them a lesson”. Maybe if feminists weren’t represented by angry, man-haters, we could respect their opinion.

  • Zazu

    She is an artist.

    She is a con artist of mass proportion.

    “Give me any other pop “star” who always sings live”
    David Bowie, Little Boots, La Roux, Grace Jones, Adam Lambert, Ofra Haza(RIP), David Sylvian, Bobby Darin, Diana Krall…what decade are we talking about? If you say you are a singer, that’s what you do. and countless others who don’t have money behind them sing without Britney backtracks too. Huzzah!

    “writes their own music”
    You can only say you write if the words are powerful and don’t appeal to lower chakras. You can write the lyrics and put together the composition of any of her songs together in Fruity Loops and Pro Tools in 20 minutes, and you know this PR person.

    “creative director of all of her shows”
    She has something called a legally binding record contract. Thus, she is the creative director of nothing. Do you know anything about the music business?

    “Has sold 5 MILLION FUCKING ALBUMS in 1 year.”
    Vanilla Ice is worth 20 million dollars for one single. So you are equating talent with marketing? Sad. Guess Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday were horrible singers to you.

    “She is one of the biggest names in the media today, and she is constantly speaking out on our behalf, yet for some reason, we don’t like her?”
    She has stated she hails straight men, and cannot have emotional commitments with women. She has also stated she could never be a feminist. She has stated “I like to be traditional, fuck a man and cook”. Campy, yes, fun on a talk show, yes, not appropriate for a march…….especially when we have so much to fight for………

    “How can we ask to come together as equal in a nation when we so blatantly discriminate against someone who is willing to help us so readily.”
    I have actually read what she has said. Try it. She is not the ally you want so badly. Sorry. But you can buy her albums next month. Nice how the marketing came together.

    “It truly is a disappointment that we can’t accept a major ally simply because you don’t understand her wardrobe or music. It’s true hypocrisy.”

    Exactly, when that major ally comes along, I will embrace him or her regardless of what they wear or what their music is about.


  • Jeffrey

    OK, Zazu. You need to get over yourself and get a life. If someone wants to stand up for our rights, then who the hell are you to disparage that? Are you upset that you weren’t invited to stand up and speak on our behalf? Thank God, you weren’t invited. We don’t need people like you.

  • Alonso

    I don’t like her music a lot, I mean, her music is good, but when an artists gets too famous I see people listening and liking the artist ONLY because she or he is popular and it “makes them popular” to listen to his or her songs, so, maybe her music is cool, and she is artistic, but I don’t find too much art in her lyrics, well, maybe it is, since I haven’t payed too much attention to them yet, but the thing is that people listen to the song only because it “sounds cool”, and I’m a person who likes songs because of the lyrics, the music and the art in the song, that’s why I LOVE Cyndi Lauper, which is not so famous anymore because her music is REAL MUSIC with REAL ART and REAL LYRICS, and Cyndi should have more recognition and fame to spread her art, her music and her awesome messages that she sends through her music and lyrics and not to be popular, so I don’t like Gaga’s music because since it became too famous it looks very commercial and it’s dumb how people like it only because it’s popular, but now I’m starting to at least like her, maybe because now I know that she is a nice person, cares about her fans, goes out there to scream at the president of USA for the gay people and for her gay fans and a lot more, something that I don’t see Madonna doing, which I don’t think she will do, so, at least now I like how she is, and I’m glad she is there doing all of that, now it would be great to see Gaga in the next Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Tour, really! :D lol

  • Zazu

    Thank you for coming to join us, Lady Gaga!

  • Zazu

    @Jeffree…, what? Where did I say I wanted to speak at the march? I will use my freedom of speech to say I do not want a hateful girl with a history of lying in the media representing my rights. Live with it, darling. Your words are such a stretch, and a sad attempt to get me upset. Sorry you are so angry. Your attack against me shows all anyone needs to know.

    @Alonso…Cyndi would have been a wonderful choice. THAT is a woman who has advocated for GLBT rights and gotten little press for her. She doesn’t do it for that reason. She has an aura of deep sincerity. Her wisdom would have been wonderful. She has a long track record, along with a humanistic demeanor. I can hardly wait for her tour!

  • Zazu

    @Deedee…..whoops, sorry, you aren’t Lady Gaga….she doesn’t even say feminism is about gender equality. She has your latter
    opinion that “All I ever hear from feminist isn’t that they want equal rights, they want to crush the men and “teach them a lesson”.”

    By the way, who is your favorite feminist? Voltairine De Cleyre? She is one of mine.

  • Jeffrey

    Actually, “darlng”, your attack words against L.G. shows all of us what we need to know about you. And I’m not angry at all. You appear to be the one with anger problems.


  • Zazu

    @Jeffrey…….you had to come back, after initially insulting me in order to try and provoke more; you also directed it at me exclusively, not the topic. Game, set, match. Logic can be a good friend, darling.

  • Eric Olson

    Chill back folks. Is it so bad that a rising star with a huge following of young people is promoting lgbt rights? Maybe we should be criticizing our own community for not being able to produce a vocal leader instead of disparaging someone who’s trying to help…

  • Cam

    Thank you Lady Gaga, nice to have a few speakers there that the news will actually pick up and talk about. Thanks for the support, I’ll be buying your next CD to support you right back.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    The LEGALIZE GAY Generation have annointed a well-deserved Pop Icon and Gay Civil Rights Supporter, THE OFFICIAL GAY ICON status! Ask yourself, What has YOUR Gay Icon done for US? When did they turn their backs?

    Madonna? When Married belittled Gay Marriage
    Janet Jackson? To her young black fans, exhorted their behaviour
    Beyonce? Hell – We Exist!
    Prince: Anti-gay religious zealot
    Bette Midler: Chided Gay Marriage before taking it seriously
    Donna Summer: Will never make a Comeback!
    Patti Labelle: Performs with homophobic Mary Mary
    Grace Jones’ homophobic brother (though I love her)

    ALLIES (to name a few):
    Adam Lambert (one of us!)
    Annie Lennox
    Kylie Minogue
    Diana Ross
    Barbra Streisand
    Mariah Carey
    Mary J Blige
    Britney Spears

    Your downloads SPEAK volumes with your GAY DOLLARS!

  • Cane


  • Michelle

    List all the “Allies” and other pop stars out there. She made it a point to be there for the whole weekend. She is at least deserving of some accolade for her willingness to openly support our cause. The fact that she is also one of the hottest stars in the music industry capable of garnering tons of press for this event doesn’t hurt either. All of you old people that don’t fully realize the power of the internet need to realize that her speaking will be put on countless blogs primarily frequented by the younger generation. Even if it does not elicit direct actions, these users are at least being exposed to both the cause we are fighting for and the event held this weekend. She has certainly done more than any of those leaving rude and judgmental comments.

  • Bri

    Zazu – can you point me out to some of the “anti-feminist, lesbian bashing” Lady Gaga interviews you have been referring to? Thanks in advance.

  • Alexa

    DeeDee, if you weren’t such a fucking moron maybe I could respect your opinion.

    Good for Lady Gaga for being there and being so visible. If only she would dump that scum Perez as a friend.

  • bozemanmontana

    As a 40-something gay man, I’m delighted with Lady Gaga and her support of my community.
    As for you naysayers – who else in the pop industry is raising such a ruckus on so many fronts?
    She’s shaking things up and getting noticed…and sharing her spotlight with us.
    My disco stick salutes you, Lady Gaga!

  • Bri

    @Zazu: Certainly a frustrating stance she has on feminism. I didn’t see any lesbian bashing, though, or anything regarding lesbians or lesbian rights at all.

  • Bri

    (specifically, I mean. I know feminism and and lesbians(women) go hand in hand)

  • Carl Sagan

    Lady Gaga is on our side. I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

  • BobP

    Haters: She was there, wasn’t she? I didn’t see Madonna or any other “Gay icons” there. Why don’t you shower some hate on them.

  • Marie

    If Lady GaGa brings more attention to the plight, and that furthers the agenda, why does anyone care if she is a feminist or a lebsbian? What is the end game here? Focus!

  • Swimmer - Chicago

    It’s a shame all the negative energy on this cannot be used for something good. Lady Gaga is on the right side of this issue – you don’t have to like her (but I love her) but respect her for helping out the LGBT community.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    @ Zazu

    So NO ONE is allowed to speak out against feminism if they a women?? I call BS on your rant(s).

    I’ll give you a feminist who doesn’t pander to the crap you like to swallow-Wangari Matthai-a women who has dealt with physical abuse as well as demonisation for trying to improve women’s rights in Africa..

    Something Greer, Stienam et al, could NEVER even try to accomplish unless they could go on about how great and angry they are..

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    @ Marie

    Thank You.


  • Alex Sarmiento

    I’m glad that Lady Gaga took time out to come to the march and voice her opinions. She went up in my respect book, that’s for sure. She was the only contemporary figure of considerable renown to attend. I don’t recall Justin Timberlake or Rihanna or Beyonce/Sasha Fierce ever doing anything close to this, and they have sizable gay followings.

  • rhydderch

    @Zazu: damn dude you’re my new hero. You won’t happen to be single and living in the greater san francisco bay area?

  • rhydderch

    I thought that was Kim from the Real Housewives

  • alan brickman

    Lady Gaga proves that gays have no taste….

  • Sebs

    she is really talking to her demographics, nothing more…and WOW! she’s weird.

  • DeAnimator

    That is very, extremely true Alan.

  • Distingué Traces

    I was not familiar with her anti-feminist remarks.

    Too bad.

  • san

    wow, what’s with all the bashing of lady Gaga, she puts her career on the line by supporting the gays, there are more gay hating audience than there are gay, she did not get famous because she has gay fan base, if it was that easy you would see more gay friendly artist. You people wonder why the hell gay people do not have equality, we can’t even keep our mouth shut about each other and our supporter, soon enough we wont have any celebrity supporter because you drove them all away. Be thankful she is on our side and not against us.

  • pazmateo


    1. Which of those stars that you named are relevant today, oh wait, none of them. None of them, besides Bowie, have any slice of the fame Gaga has. Ask anyone who “Little Boots” or anyone under 50 who Grace Jones is, and chances are ALMOST no one.

    2. Unless you are a profesh. singer, I highly doubt you know anything about the ins and outs of the music industry. Tell me what mainstream record company would create the persona of Gaga. She is so controversial that it’s too risky. It’s obvious she is creative director. She talks about it constantly. Maybe you should read up on Gaga before you act like you’re her manager.

    3. How dare you call her hateful, you are the hateful one. This sweet young girl who is ALWAYS POLITE, she doesn’t show her vag while getting out of a car, she doesn’t push Kabbalah or Scientology. She is a performance artist. I would think to COMPARE her to Bowie or Grace Jones, not use them to belittle her.

    4. And just a comment on the “Britney back track” comment, she actually wrote and produced a few Britney songs. Britney is the talentless shell from a record label that has no control of her life or art. Gaga is a true artist and revolutionary. She is supporting us.

    5.Who gives a shit she can’t emotionally connect with women, me neither, does that make me a bad person. I’m not a feminist, does that make me less valid. HELL NO. I’m not saying she is completely perfect (almost), but how can we turn down such a powerful ally? It’s ignorant.

  • DeeDee


    Not only do you not know me to know if I’m a moron or not; but I think you just proved yourself the moron. You don’t actually give a counter-opinion, you just insult. Good Move Bill O’Reily.

  • DeeDee

    ALSO, we aren’t talking about feminism here. We are talking about gay rights. Feminism is completely different subject. If she hated pasta and you loved it, are you going to bash her for being at the Equality March, NO. Let’s stay relevant here.

  • EveryoneKnewHimAsNancy

    “Thanks for supporting us, Lady G, you fucking phony whore sexist racist homophobic misogynist bed-wetting bitch! And don’t forget to let the door hit you fat ass on the way to the rally!”
    Jesus, no wonder nobody wants to be our friends!

  • Distingué Traces

    Sexism and homophobia are so closely entwined in this culture that a vocally anti-feminist celebrity is as harmful to gay rights as a vocally homophobic celebrity.

    Also, its repugnant to reduce a question of basic justice to a matter of taste like liking or disliking a particular food.

  • DeAnimator

    You can’t be pro-women and anti-feminism. She’s fucking retarded. I mean actually retarded. The true meaning of the word.

    I hope someone runs her arrogant ass over with a fucking truck. Wish SHE was in a paparazzi accident and not Princess Di. Since out of the two, only one has done a single thing.

  • Marie

    I would agree on the pro-women/anti-feminism. Sadly, the word Feminist, now seems to stand for an angry woman who wants men to suffer. Lady GaGa’s comments seem more to reflect that current popular sentiment among our youth. They forget they stand on the shoulders of giants. I don’t think that makes her retarded. Uneducated, maybe. However, seeing as she is willing to stump for the rights of others, she is at the very least, worth teaching.

  • Distingué Traces

    Yeah, I tracked down the “don’t call me a feminist but…” quote, and while it’s unfortunate, it comes in the context of her calling out the music industry’s double standards, so I’ll give her a pass.

    Plus I kind of love “Paparazzi.”

  • Aa

    Speak for yourself, Zazu. As a bisexual woman, I’m the exact opposite of Lady Gaga: I love men physically but only want relationships with women. Still, that makes me bisexual. And I love that she’s an out bi star. More than that, I like her crazy performance art and most of her music.

    She’s not an ally, she’s part of our community… why exactly are you trying to tear down this pop star who is using her considerable fame and reach to support gay equality as an individual? The problem is on your end. Deal with your issues.

  • anonymouse

    I can honestly say that most of my hetero friends wouldn’t know a thing about the equality march if Lady GaGa wasn’t there.

    Zazu keeps saying this is her fishing for publicity.

    Simply said, GaGa is the one giving the march publicity.

  • Charles Merrill

    She strongly established herself as a wacky Rosa Parks of our movement making congress scratch their heads, WTF?. The President put her name in the forefront at the HRC dinner and she has been on the news 24/7. GaGa in the dictionary means this:

    Main Entry: gaga [email protected](+)[email protected]
    Pronunciation: \ ?gä-(?)gä \
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: French, from gaga fool, of imitative origin
    Date: 1917

    1. 1crazy foolish

    2. 2marked by wild enthusiasm : infatuated doting

  • Charles Merrill

    Should have read “Rosa Parks wannabe”.

  • jason

    While I have strong reservations about Lady Ga Ga’s image, you must at least concede that she’s one of a very, very small number of pop music artists who has stated a position on gay rights that is very favorable towards our community.

    The question that needs to be asked is this: where are the other music artists? Yes, that’s you, Madonna. Where are the male music artists? Male music artists who are openly gay or bi are as rare as hen’s teeth, especially in America.

    Perhaps we need to face the fact that the music industry is extremely, extremely homophobic, especially towards men.

  • Charles Merrill

    Jason, good call. Where are the men in music?

  • Dav


  • jason

    While Lady Ga Ga is better than most pop stars at standing up for gay rights, she still isn’t ideal. It’s my view that she’s using the gay community to prop up her career. If you look at the images she uses to market herself, they’re self-parodic to the point of promoting the parody.

    She’s parodying female nudity but essentially promoting it.

  • Quake

    If gaga was against gay rights gay people would have negative remarks, If gaga was for gay rights you still have something to say.

    I guess we should just keep gays in the closet and accept Jesus as our lord and savior again and just repent. No one wants to stand as one voice anymore.

  • Hello

    Here’s my analysis of Gaga:

    Internally conflicted self-hating woman who simultaneously wants to destroy herself and promote herself. Results in strange images in her music that boil and convect like stellar objects.

    Has appropriated a masculine sort of sexuality where she objectifies women and connects mentally with men. She thinks this makes her connect to gay men in some fashion. It seems that a lot of gays pick up on this–that she thinks she is a gay icon be default–and I can see why the gay community has mixed feelings about her.

    Her sense of visual art (harmony, aesthetics) is weak but stylized enough to work for a pop artist.

    She has a very high opinion of her intelligence and verbal abilities, which is belied by the actual quality of her work.

    Still, compared to what is on most of the pop stations (nasty woman-hating rappers, ditzy pop tartlets who care nothing for the LGBT rights…) she’s not bad. And I even like some of her music. The music world would be better off with more Lady Gagas–and that’s not saying much.

  • Tyler

    I appreciate her commitment to the cause. However, this is part of the reason gay people will never get anywhere. You cannot choose someone like this to be your spokesperson and be taken seriously. The same reason these ridiculous “pride parade” are just absolutely offense. I look at them and think “No wonder people hate us.” It’s time for homosexuals to put away the glitter and start getting serious. The time for celebration is still quite distant.

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