We all remember the days of 2008 through to at least 2010 when her music dominated the world. Back then, it was only hardcore fans that saw through the costumes and elaborate artistry to find a real talent and force in pop music. Since then, with the release of ‘A Star Is Born’ and many other career highlights, I thought it was about time we looked back on the last 10 years of Gaga’s career to appreciate the good she has done for the world. Remember: no performer, celebrity, politician or person will ever be perfect, but I think Gaga comes pretty close.
Section 1: LGBT+ Rights
Probably the most obvious yet important section of this article will be Gaga’s consistent fight for LGBT+ equality. You already know she had a song and album called Born This Way, but did you know why it was so important that she sang it at the SuperBowl? It stars with Mike Pence was in the audience and ends with audiences worldwide heard her sing it too. Let’s have a quick timeline of Gaga’s LGBT+ activism.
Back in 2008, when Katy Perry was also starting to make big career moves, Gaga made a comment implying that ‘I Kissed A Girl’ was completely performative, and that Katy was only fetishising her bi-curiosity. ‘I don’t think she kissed a girl…I don’t really write my records to channel the gay community, I just am who I am’. That year, Gaga had released her #1 single ‘Poker Face’, and revealed that it was actually about her bisexuality.
But less about comments and more about real actions, let’s talk about her relentless campaigning to repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ – a military policy that banned openly gay soldiers. From giving speeches, gathering stories from affected soldiers and even the meat dress (yes, that was all related!), the homophobic policy was finally repealed in 2011.
2011 also brought the release of Born This Way, and followed with a world tour in 2012. You may not have seen that there was a threat of her arrest in Russia due to how vocal she was about LBGT+ rights, but Gaga not only performed there anyway, she gave this incredible speech in front of the crowd. ‘I said arrest me – I don’t give a f*ck what people say’.
Lady Gaga has been to pride events, even guest judged an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and has always been vocal about equality at her shows.
More recently, Gaga has fought for drag stars Willam Belli & Shangela to be included in her film ‘A Star Is Born’ and not left on the cutting room floor. She also tweeted that she was against Donald Trump’s recent policy on trans peoples’ gender identity.
Section 2: Feminism
The topic of gender equality was treated very differently 10 years ago, but even then Gaga had pointed out double standards in the industry. ‘Perhaps we can make women’s rights trendy’. A few years later, she would boldly and proudly claim the title of ‘feminist’ in her song ‘Scheiße’ (warning, it’s a serious bop).
Her latest album, Joanne, might be her most openly feminist album yet. With songs like ‘Hey Girl’, Gaga sings about using our voices and abilities to lift up and support other women – not compete with each other.
An important sub-section to include here would be her support for sexual assault survivors in recent years. It started with her support of Kesha in her case against music producer Dr Luke, who allegedly abused and raped her. Then came the release of ‘Til It Happens To You‘ for sexual assault documentary, ‘The Hunting Ground’. Since then, in interviews, Gaga has spoken widely about the way we treat victims.
Section 3: Charity Work
Arguably, any celebrity or just any person with money can throw some money at a good cause and receive the benefits of good PR for doing so. It’s up to you to decide whether you think said person is genuinely invested in the cause or not.
Gaga has her own charity, the Born This Way Foundation, which campaigns and raises awareness about mental health in young people, among many other things. You can find more information about her individual donations to various causes here, which include the Haiti relief fund where she donated the entire revenue of one of her shows (yes, that’s all tickets and merchandise).
She has also been spotted in public giving money to the homeless numerous times and helping fans in need. Most notably, she paid for a fan to have surgery and meet with the best doctors about her condition.
Most recently, following the fires in Malibu and coming close to losing her home, Gaga has spent lots of time visiting both victims and rescue teams of the Woolsey fires. Again, she uses the opportunity to publicly confront President Donald Trump on his lack of ‘compassion’.
In summary, we salute you Gaga, for caring since day one about real world issues, and continuing to do so throughout your career.
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