performance in peril

The Stupid Attempt to Get Lady Gaga to Cancel Her Arizona Concert

Oh great. Lady Gaga won’t just face the Westboro Baptist Church on her little concert tour, but a legion of Facebook boycotters who want to keep her out of the minority-hating Arizona.

“Lady GaGa, your little monsters ask you to join the Arizona boycott and cancel your concert in Phoenix on July 31,” reads the plea on Facebook, “liked” by users who have the middle name “Equality,” which, ugh. “There has been a boycott called for all Arizona business until hateful laws such as SB1070 are repealed. Governor Brewer recently passed a law making it legal for police enforcement to racially profile individuals based on the assumption that he/she/they are “illegal.” She has also dropped all ethnic studies programs, and teachers with accents can no longer teach english classes. Several musicians have pulled their events out of Arizona; and we, the LGBT community, and far extended beyond, have called on Lady Gaga to follow suit and respect this boycott.”

So the gay boys and girls in Arizona should be deprived of a night of Gaga because their lawmakers are tools? No. The Gaga putting on a concert there is instead an opportunity to raise more awareness about prejudicial laws of the land, from SB1070 to the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.

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  • orinthe

    SB1070 goes into effect two days before the concert—should we not care about the Latino “gay boys” who can’t enjoy the concert because they’re worried about racially-motivated police harassment? Or really any of her fans who might look or sound foreign, or whatever else passes for “reasonable suspicion”? I guess they’re not important so long as the other gays can get their dance on. Even if you don’t support the boycott, your arguments (if they can even by called such) are downright facile and amount to no more than unfounded ad-hominem attacks and grade-schooler-worthy rhetorical use of the “ugh”.

    Also, Lady Gaga canceling her concert would generate a lot more publicity than going through with it. Perhaps she’s planning on making a flashy, controversially-presented statement against SB1070 which would potentially generate publicity, in which case, who’s to say which would be more effective? Either way I haven’t heard anything about it, so your claim that the concert as scheduled will raise awareness is questionable.

    In any case, comparing well-intentioned boycott proponents to the gay-hating Westboro Baptist Church is absolutely ridiculous. They’re not even calling for a boycott of Lady Gaga, they’re (rather politely, I may point out) asking Lady Gaga to join their boycott.

  • Mr. Neo

    Orinthe is absolutely correct, there’s bigger picture you need to work in, and I’ve noticed there does seem to be an underlying rhetoric on this site that only California and New York matter, everyone else is apparently expendable nobodies.

    Apparently we shouldn’t give a damn about others, you’re a slightly different colour, and you’re not from round here probably. Racial profiling is fine, as long as it isn’t you though, that is exactly what you are saying with this article. I don’t believe it is, and I feel you’ve dismissed a worthy cause as bigoted because you want to see a concert, as Orinthe said, they didn’t boycott Gaga, they’ve asked her to boycott a racist, hateful state. You should be applauding these people, not belittling them because they’re not in LA.

    As a Brit, I always wondered why the majority of people in Gay America are treat like they don’t matter because they don’t live in one of two places.

  • Mr. Neo

    Orinthe is absolutely correct, there is a bigger picture you need to work in, and I’ve noticed there does seem to be an underlying rhetoric on this site that only California and New York matter, everyone else is apparently expendable nobodies.

    Apparently we shouldn’t give a damn about others, you’re a slightly different colour, and you’re not from round here probably. Racial profiling is fine, as long as it isn’t you though, that is exactly what you are saying with this article. I don’t believe it is, and I feel you’ve dismissed a worthy cause as bigoted because you want to see a concert, as Orinthe said, they didn’t boycott Gaga, they’ve asked her to boycott a racist, hateful state. You should be applauding these people, not belittling them because they’re not in LA.

    As a Brit, I always wondered why the majority of people in Gay America are treat like they don’t matter because they don’t live in one of two places.

  • gguy

    Way to go Queerty. You have just fed into the stereotype that all gay guys in the U.S. are upper-middle class white men who are superficial and self-interested. As an upper-middle class white, Hispanic man, I found this post extremely offensive. I guess it’s more important to you to go to a concert by some marginally talented singer and dance the night away than to concern yourself with the injustices heaped on another minority. As far as your argument that Gaga having a concert in Arizona will bring to light the injustices there, it is to laugh. If the gay boys and girls in Arizona want a concert and to enjoy themselves, maybe they should band together and have a fundraiser to help finance the legal fights against SB1070 and the states homophobic laws. Or if Gaga insists on having the concert in Arizona, maybe she could donate all profits from her concert there to the fight for equality. That’ll show her commitment to the gays. I wonder if that’ll happen.

  • Michael

    We should refuse to leave our homes or buy anything until we get everything we want in life. That will teach somebody, something.

  • Cholla

    Please boycott AZ. The state runs on tourism dollars. And please don’t compare this to gay marriage. The border has become a frightening police state in the last several years. Checkpoints are everywhere and detention centers fill the deserts. This month alone, over 40 people have died on the border because of increased patrols. Humanitarians who used to leave water in the desert to prevent these deaths are being fined with littering. There is a helicopter that flies nightly around Tucson shining spotlights into people’s backyards. This law is the one of the final steps towards concentration camps. Brown-skinned people will now have to live in fear. If you don’t have dark skin, but are gay, remember that you are next in line. Put aside your love of pop for one night and ask Lady Gaga not to go.

  • AV

    Any attention and pressure placed on Arizona’s hateful lawmakers, and other xenophobes, yes, even from boycotts, is probably more important than a Gaga concert. (God bless her.)

    If we were talking about a protest tactic with no history of success, I would agree with Queerty’s and Michael’s pretty shallow observations (excuse my directness). But boycotts, from lettuce in California to buses in Alabama and concerts in Sun City, are effective.

    Besides, Gaga isn’t standing alone, many other performers, athletes and businesses are boycotting AZ. She wouldn’t be leading a revolution; she’d be doing the honorable thing.

    Think of all of the wonderous celebratory events and concerts that will take place once the bill is repealed. Our gay brethren (and their allies in pop music) can surely wait until then.

    Sometimes it’s not enough to just throw our disposable income at a problem. We have to be, dare i say it, *uncomfortable*.

  • Clint

    “we, the lgbt community”? when did i give my stamp of approval for that?

  • Rikard

    a boycott needs to target the people making decisions. the call to boycott utah tourism after prop8 in california only served to punish the most liberal, gay inclusive industry in the state. welcoming high profile people and asking them to publicly support our causes is more effective than a poorly targeted boycott.

  • Anthony

    Stop hating on Latinos Queerty. & YES it would make a statement if Lady Gaga refused to do a show in Arizona and put out a statement saying why she disagrees with Arizona’s recent legislation. For heaven’s sake the media went all Gaga and shit when she got the most fans on facebook. People pay attention to what Lady Gaga does.

  • Anthagio

    So people are basically asking Gaga to punish her fans in Arizona for what their state legislature has done? That’s rather selfish if you ask me. It’s not the little Monsters in Arizona’s fault that their state gov’t is full of racist bigots. It wouldn’t be fair to ask her to cancel a show because you don’t agree with that states issues. Gaga performing in Arizona would, in no way, mean that she supports the current issues in hand. In fact, I wouldn’t doubt that she’d say something while performing there. Gaga wants to make her fans happy… this is a pretty crappy position to put Gaga in because either way, she loses.

  • Dollie

    Lady Gaga may claim that she will be using the gig as an opportunity to promote equality for all in Arizona, but such efforts will read as ineffective and counterproductive.

    The last paragraph of Queerty’s blog post brought to mind a quote from a letter Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes fame) wrote to a music promoter in Arizona.
    “But just as you may feel the boycott is an empty gesture, I fear that if we return to business as usual (under the guise of some civic movement) that this will all devolve into the typical grandstanding that is political activism in music. It might make us feel better but won’t do a damn thing to change the minds of the radical, racist minority that seem to have controlled Arizona politics for decades. In short, it will lose its teeth.”

    Take note, Gaga.

  • Sol.Rebel.Unity

    Below is a letters from an organizer of the LGBTQ community who is on the frontlines of the struggle against SB1070. We are asking that Lady Gaga meet with us so that she can speak out against hate and be a champion of our cause. I am not asking her to cancel, but to spread awareness at her concert, by meeting with the community and sharing her knowledge. We hope that she can spread awareness to her fan base allowing us to create a LGBTQ movement with momentum against hate here in Phoenix.

    Hello Ms. Stefani Germanotta,

    My name is Victor Medina and I am an organizer/activist with a local human/civil/indigenous rights movement called Puente. Ive been working with The Puente Movement for two years and know firsthand the assault that has been happening to people of color in our state.

    The situation in Arizona has come to a boiling point. Our people are being attacked, targeted by the color of our skin, and how we speak by certain recent laws passed. One of the laws; SB1070 has been a huge slap in the face to people of color here in Arizona, targeting the Chicano/Mexicano/migrant community, and adding more power to the racial cleansing that is happening to a Latino rich state. Families are being ripped apart, people are living in fear, and local law enforcements are abusive and are a threat to our peace as people. The list of atrocities goes on, the pain goes deeper, and the negative forces that are trying to divide and conquer us is showing no signs of relent.

    I come from a unique perspective in all this chaos. I’m a second generation Chicano who identifies as being gay male. I’m very active in my community and know firsthand what it consists of. A marginalized population of LGBTQ migrants lives without recognition or a space of our own. At this time when many are risking everything to stop SB 1070, many people within the broader LGBTQ community are still inactive with this human rights issue. There are moments when we feel like there’s no support due to the lack of space and awareness dedicated to this sensitive subject. My role as a person who cares for the people and goes out every day in triple degree weather to fight the power, is to turn the switch from off to on.

    I would like you to see through the eyes of a transgender, drag queen, gay man, a lesbian woman or a dedicated fan that lives in this air of hate. How would it feel to live as a member of the LGBTQ community facing the prejudices of their society and on top of that, directly being assaulted with these laws?

    You are someone who has exemplified rejection of our insecurities and to celebrate shame through your music and style. At the same time letting those few special fans who look up to you know you recognize who they are, and show that you care. These few that are dedicated to your music, embrace your style, and performance. Those few who are in the club and when one of your songs come on, they release that fear, and forget what fear is.

    When you are in Phoenix, I ask that you take the time to meet with the community, speak out against sb1070, and to share your knowledge with your fan base to create a wider range of awareness and solidarity.


    Vikter Medina

    Please sign this petition and spread the word. We must unite as a LGBTQ.munity to fight the raciscm that is attacking our community, tearing families apart, and put a stop to this culture genocide.

    >>> <<<

  • casual visitor

    I think the boycott is a good idea, and that it would send a really strong message. This is crazy Nazi stuff going on in Arizona. First they come for the “illegals,” then who’s next, right?

  • sarah

    thing we all agree on: SB 1070 is unequivocally evil.

    thing we don’t agree on: whether a boycott will stop this evil.

    thing some people don’t get: just because you don’t support boycotts doesn’t mean you’re apathetic, elitist or racist.

    thing people should really know: this war is going to be fought in the civil courts – the US department of Justice filed an injunction against the enforcement of this law.

    So, what exactly is the boycott accomplishing again, other than demonizing one of our biggest queer allies?

  • SGB

    Read closer — like Vikter says, the letter actually asks her to meet with her LGBT migrant little monsters in Arizona, not to necessarily cancel the concert but to use it as a way to speak out against hate. There’s even a sign-on letter to LGBT organizations:
    It’s already signed by groups like Immigration Equality and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

    Also, I think some folks are confused — this is NOT a boycott of Lady GaGa! This is asking her to stand with the people of Arizona who are facing racist discrimination!

  • SGB

    oops, I meant there is a sign-on letter FROM various LGBT organizations TO Lady GaGa.

    Sign on here:

    Here’s the text of the letter:
    Dear Lady Gaga,

    We’re writing to ask you to join us in our support for the people of Arizona and take a bold step to help end the human rights crisis in the state. The same Governor that stripped away the health benefits for same-sex partners recently passed SB 1070, a bill that takes the state down a path that will lead to racial profiling, discrimination and anti-immigrant extremism.

    Our organizations are inspired by the boycott of the state called for by communities in Arizona as a powerful tactic to stop the growing hate and we ask that you meet with those communities and speak out against the hate that brews in Arizona.

    We’ve been encouraged to see that artists and musicians around the country have organized themselves, as we have, to do what they can to demonstrate their opposition to the dehumanization and criminalization of the people of Arizona.

    The efforts against SB 1070 and the broader immigration enforcement is a struggle to be recognized as fully human. Migrant and LGBTQ communities know all too well the experience of having our dignity denied us. We believe we have the right to be who we are regardless of who we love or what country we’re from.

    As an icon who is emulated by your little monsters everywhere, we believe you have a special opportunity and responsibility to speak out against all intolerance. We were proud to march with you for equality in Washington and we hope you will participate in the movement for equality in Arizona as well.

    Arizona is excited that they have the opportunity to see you perform. But there is also widespread disappointment to see you break a boycott, especially two days after a law that empowers police to investigate anyone they deem to be “reasonably suspicious” is scheduled to go into effect.

    Please, while you’re in Phoenix, meet with those living under Sheriff Arpaio’s intimidation, those children who’s parents have been taken away, those little monsters who face the potential of being taken away under sb 1070 if they were to attend your concert. Collect their stories and be a champion for their cause.



  • Lucas

    @Cholla: I don’t support the law either, but this is probably the most ignorant comment I’ve ever read. First, of course there are checkpoints near the border, because its a border state. There are checkpoints in every border state. Detention centers do not “fill the desert.” There isn’t any more detention centers or jails in AZ than there is anywhere else. Increased patrol isn’t the reason ppl are dying on the border. If anything, they save them. People die crossing the border because its 110+ degrees out and they run out of water. And finally, choppers don’t shine spotlights in random yards.. WTF? Why would choppers be shining spotlights around anywhere? And “nazi concentration camps?” Please.. There is a big difference between deporting someone who is here illegally and killing off millions of people. The entire argument comparing AZ to Nazi Germany would be laughable were it not for the fact that people actually believe it.

    With all that said, I agree that Gaga should cancel her show. It would send a gigantic message and would be headline news everywhere. I don’t support SB1070, because I believe it will lead to racial profiling which is never okay under any circumstance. However, you people need to quit labeling all of us here in AZ as racist, nazis, rednecks, or whatever other extreme word you can come up with. It is our ass backward politicians that are passing these laws, not us people! FYI, polls show the majority of Americans support the law, so what do we do now? Boycott the USA by moving to Canada?

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