Today At Harvard: Lady Gaga Launches Born This Way Foundation, Protesters And Oprah In Tow

Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta will be launching their much-talked-about nonprofit group, the Born This Way Foundation, this afternoon at Harvard University. Also in attendance will be Oprah, Deepak Chopra, and… students protesting the University‘s decision not to confer posthumous degrees to nine gay students who were expelled in 1920!

If the storied Ivy League university seems an odd choice, it makes more sense when you learn that the Foundation is pairing up with a Harvard academic center. In a profile of Cynthia on the Daily Beast, Abigail Pesta writes:

Germanotta is quick to note that the focus of her new foundation is on “kindness, not meanness,” saying that “bullying is almost overused in the media.” The group plans to partner with three other groups—Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the MacArthur Foundation, and the California Endowment to Empower Youth—to help educate kids, Germanotta says, by connecting Gaga’s fan base with the programs the groups have started.

Making an appeal to Our Lady of the Gaga will be student protestors that want the university to confer honorary degrees to nine gay students who were witch-hunted and expelled in 1920 by Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell. Harvard’s response, according to MSNBC:

Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences does not award posthumous degrees except in the rare case of a student who completes all academic requirements for the degree but dies before the degree has been conferred.

In 2002 the University expressed its deep regret for the way the situation was handled as well as for the anguish experienced by the students and their families almost a century ago.

While we feel the pain of those nine excommunicated gay students, rules are rules—and Harvard treats its gays just fine now.

And, if you were wondering if Lady Gaga’s ever felt the pain of those excluded students—her mother tells the Daily Beast that she was once “purposefully not invited” by her high school classmates to a weekend party.

“On Monday, they asked her what she did over the weekend, knowing full well that she knew about the party. It comes down to meanness and cruelty,” said Mama Gaga. “Exclusion is a form of that.”

The injustice!

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #abbottlawrencelowell #cynthiagermanotta #deepakchopra stories and more


  • Oh, ok.

    It’s not really about how Harvard treats it’s students now. Having a legacy at Harvard gives your family members four times the chance of a non-legacy student to get in.

    Those people were robbed of that legacy because of this.

    Personally I don’t care for Ivy League or “legacy” traditions but if I had one I would most certainly use it.

  • Curtis

    Real nice Stefani. Ride the coat tails of our martyrs.
    Im so tired of her.. I feel like the gay community befriended her all like it was nothing, and now she just uses OUR cause for her own publicity.. :-/
    Am I alone here??

  • calvin

    gaga fans are amongst the biggest bullies online. charity begins at home, gaga.

  • Red Meat

    @calvin: “Gaga is using the gay community,” “Gaga is an untalented bitch,”Can’t wait for this tranny to go away,” “Someone please make this he/she go away”

    Some 14 year old Gaga fan: “STFU stupid bitch!” “LOL go die!” “No one likes you kill yourself!”

    Focus on the problem and don’t point fingers. All you did was contribute to the problem, thanks for nothing.

  • steve sydney

    I do love Gaga but… I really wish she, being a musician, could perhaps create a foundation regarding music and giving kids an outlet through the arts.

    This whole ‘bully’ thing and loving yourself is starting to verge on the silly factor now.

  • isis

    some gay people are really dumb u know……who are u to comment against lady gaga u are nothing…..lady gaga is the huge voice….she is famous she helped stop dont ask dont tell….she outed people who are against gays….she boycott stores to sell her albums just when she founds out that they donate to homophobic charities….she makes songs for gays…she thanks gays for all her achievements….now u people with no life who says lady gaga uses her gay fans to be famous…shes already famous she dont need gay fans….ur nothing u just sit there and watch gay porn thats all ur good at….shes the HUGE VOICE everyone needs to hear….not ur unthankfull comments….all she needs are the words THANK YOU—-shes not asking u to do much more than that so shut up……and also…no u dont have albums that keeps donating to gay organizations….OK!!

  • isis

    gaga keeps fighting for bullies because like me maybe shes one of those people who cant get enough of news of every teenager that keeps dying…..really u should all get over urselves….being gay is not just about being on grindr 24 7 and hating on affeminate gays….segregating bisexuals and transsexuals in rainbow community and being a QUEEN on such topics instead of understanding it….your not famous your not popular whatever u say no one cares no one hears…whatever GAGA SAYS people cares people gets focused on and it takes theyre attention and thinks of it….since gaga speaks new states have allowed marriage….dont ask dont tell was repealed and gay marines can kiss on welcoming stuff……more bullied kids are being saved….and even politicians starts showing support…..when gaga wasnt there all u do is keep urselves in closet…..and enjoy cousins getting married in ur state….and also now ur knowing who ur homophobic politicians who are not to vote again are….coz people actually care who they are…..REALLY SERIOUSLY QUEENS!!!…lgbt needs to keep fighting not act like a diva who belongs nowhere in the rainbow community…..GIRRRLLL

  • Choir nerd

    No, Isis, the repeal of DADT was the culmination of years of effort from activists across the nation, several lawsuits, a change in the national dialogue… Ms. Germanotta did not single-handedly end the policy, and in fact had very little to do with its repeal. She IS using us for publicity. Stop letting yourself get bamboozled.

  • isis

    she VOICED IT OUT it kepts being turned down before SHE HELPED…..if ur against gaga then fine…..but dont savor the victory that she helped gave…….if ur good enough DO SOMETHING BETTER AND RUN FOR CONGRESS….

  • Choir nerd

    Isis, I’ve marched and lobbied and done real work for equality for years. Don’t point fingers until you know who you are talking to. This woman has done nothing but show up late and give us lip service when she gets there–and has enjoyed an enormous career boost as a result. Don’t be fooled by her deception, little monster.

  • isis

    career boost???? really……yah im a proud lil monster but her saving gay people is just another thing….she have a great voice and great song….u marched and lobbied…but does people listen…but does people care….wer u on tabloids or tv….NO…..yes we are all doing the same thing….i fight for rights i did gay prides i voiced out my opinions ive been one of those dispersed by police ive been pepper sprayed by police ive been teargased by police…..just to fight for the rights that we should be having….gaga is a huge help her voice is powerfull…and all u do is be negative…WHY NOT JUST SAY THANK U…..when she speaks she speaks from the heart….and u speak with hatred and judgement

  • Curtis

    literacy is a good thing, just so you know for next time.
    And seriously..? If your just going to make random presumptions and sweeping generalizations. The fact is, most of us were already out when she became popular. Furthermore, if you know ANYTHING about her, you would know she became famous because we liked her pop music; she was almost entirely unknown before the gay community took her in.. And now she has a really comfy thing going.

    This is a person who has admitted to “having flings with women” and by default is bisexual.
    And did you read the second to last paragraph where is says: she was once “purposefully not invited” by her high school classmates to a weekend party…?

    Why is she my poster-girl?
    What connection does she have to the community, other than that we brought her in and accepted her when nobody else would?

  • isis

    most of us wer out….and one of them is me…..whattabout the other percent who warent…and cause of her voice outed coz they really are BORN THIS WAY…..why is she ur poster girl….maybe u secretly hate her and dart her poster…..geez…..i cant believe GAY PEOPLE THEMSELVES ARE BEING SO NEGATIVE about gagas help….GEEZ PLEASE

  • isis

    and FYI….SHES ALREADY FAMOUS BEFORE SHE SHOWED HER SUPPORT ON GAY PEOPLE….remmeber she gave her support AFTER WINNING AWARDS IN HER SPEECH!!!…………….so PLEASE…QUEENS….stop being negative….coz all u haters…..she just dont give a F$** About

  • charles

    OMG lady gaga went through all that, she was once “purposefully not invited” by her high school classmates to a weekend party. ONE PARTY BIG DEAL, MOVE ON and exclusion isn’t a form of bulling well, do you want to hang out with someone who is weird and you dont like.. NO. Lady gaga from the sounds of it was a freak in high school, yah feel free to be who ever you want to be, but dont complain about the consequences, very few people are going to like you if your a freak, im not saying dont be yourself. But sometimes you have to make a little bit of an effort to fit in, to connect with people and don’t do things against social norms.

  • acc999

    wow Isis – you sound like one of those bully’s she’s fighting against. Follow gaga’s example and stop attacking people. Gaga can fight for herself.

  • CBRad

    Cynthia Germanotta sounds like the name of someone who should be shouting out of a window in old Hoboken, NJ, not hanging around snooty Harvard.

  • isis

    check all ur comments u are the bullies on actually how u ACT AGAINST HER and talk SMACK behind her back…….

  • Belize

    @isis: “your not famous your not popular whatever u say no one cares no one hears”

    And yet you are responding which means you, care and “hear.” Does that mean you are “no one?”

    Also, how can you say that the people criticizing her in this post are not “famous?” Do you know every single one of the people behind those usernames? I doubt it considering your rabid vitriol.

    Well. That was easy.

  • isis

    why sweetie…..DO U KNOW ME??? :-)….please dont point out the topic somwhere else with ur HATEFULL and INSECURE comments toward gaga….gaga is bisexual and she fights for the GAY RIGHTS which usually segregates bisexuals and transgender individual….but how can some GAY PEOPLE repay her good deeds with more accusations.-…thats all i can say…i wont waste more time commenting to u jealous people and insecure……so ill continue fighting for equality and u all continue being stupid and bullies :-) go enjoy grindr thats what ur good at

  • Kevin

    The Trevor Project is better, plus the spokesmen doesn’t go on TV trying to act like they are the gay’s savior…..unlike someone up there.

  • Vevar

    Do you queens hear yourselves???? you’re bitching about gaga and how she’s using us …. are you thick in the head???? time after time this woman has been contributing and advocating for this community more than any artist or other famous person today…. and fyi .. .she doesn’t need the publicity stunt anymore… she’s already one of the world’s biggest superstars…. this is a huge step and a huge effort that to characterize it as a way to promote her self interest is absurd….. and even if she was using us … so what the fuck what???? she’s making an entire foundation and bringing awareness to the topic of bullying… she’s bringing it into the light… that’s the best thing you can do… .when issues are left in the dark, they grow and breed ignorance…… wake up gays and others we need all the support we can get… and even though you might not like gaga … what she is doing is a lot more than most gays have done… and that’s the truth . now stop being vicious and just at least appreciate the effort no matter how misguided you think it is…. it’s some gesture in our direction -.-

  • Lyn

    You know what I hear? “Madonna is better than Gaga and I’m angry because now we actually have a icon who is an active gay ally”.

  • Curtis


    Call me crazy, but why cant our “active gay ally” be gay??
    And please tell me where it says anything about Madonna in this article or in the comments. :-/

    For the love of god people. Will we ever be able to talk about lady gaga, without some uninformed person bringing up M?

  • Michael

    “Call me crazy, but why cant our “active gay ally” be gay??”

    We do have famous, active gay allies. They however do not have one of the largest, loudest voices in pop culture in 2012. Liker her, don’t like her, it really doesn’t matter. To deny the the fact that it’s a great thing (and a big step forward) that one of the most known/talked about/outspoken people on the planet is unapologetically promoting LGBT rights is silly.

Comments are closed.