Lady Gaga - Born This Way... thoughts?

jeff's picture

The new gay anthem by Lady Gaga is available for a free listen at http://www.ladygaga.com/bornthisway/

Opinions? Gay anthem? Pandering? A cover of Madonna's Express Yourself?

Whaddya think?

here are the lyrics:

It doesn't matter if you love him, or capital h-i-m
Just put your paws up
'Cause you were born this way, baby

My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir

"There's nothin wrong with lovin who you are"
She said, "'cause he made you perfect, babe"
"So hold your head up girl and you'll go far,
Listen to me when I say"

I'm beautiful in my way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way

Ooo there ain't no other way
Baby I was born this way
Baby I was born this way
Ooo there ain't no other way
Baby I was born-
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don't be a drag -just be a queen
Don't be a drag -just be a queen
Don't be a drag -just be a queen
Don't be!

Give yourself prudence
And love your friends
Subway kid, rejoice your truth
In the religion of the insecure
I must be myself, respect my youth
A different lover is not a sin
Believe capital h-i-m (hey hey hey)
I love my life i love this record and
Mi amore vole fe yah (love needs faith)

Don't be a drag, just be a queen
Whether you're broke or evergreen
You're black, white, beige, chola descent
You're lebanese, you're orient
Whether life's disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
'Cause baby you were born this way

No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life
I'm on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I'm on the right track baby
I was born to be brave

I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

Riku's picture

Unpopular opinion time

This grates on me. I mean, not only because it's a bad song (which it is. Haha. I don't like pop music but that's irrelevant to what I'm about to say.) but like... Lady Gaga is pretty cissexist. She's used the word "tranny" and has described herself as a "real woman" when people bring up the "Lady Gaga has a penis/is intersex" rumor...

She needs to apologize for that before I'm okay with her mentioning trans people in one of her songs. As of right now it feels like she only mentioned trans people because she wanted to seem "avant-garde" or some shit.

Oh, and there's a bit of a racist slur in there, AND there's a picture of her chilling with some people in blackface floating around the net. So she's not really winning many points for that either.

So as of right now my impression of Lady Gaga isn't too great. I feel like she's either racist and transphobic or just really incredibly ignorant. My bets are on the latter but that doesn't really excuse anything. A lot of people idolize her and that makes her responsible.

jeff's picture

Well...

I think if you look at everything through the transgender lens like that, you wouldn't like anyone, though.

I mean, saying you're a "real woman" when people accuse you of having a penis isn't transphobic. She's just not trans. Did she say, "I'm not a tranny, I'm a real woman!" Then, sure, a case could be made. But I don't know that you're allowed to assemble that rationale for her.

If someone asked if I was a woman, and I say, "No way, I'm all man, baby" that isn't transphobic per se. I'm not a woman.

Also, context for "used the word tranny" would matter. If she is a club rat in NYC, she may know trans people there who like using tranny. A lot of gay people like using faggot. So, she uses something not offensive to her, and it gets repurposed, etc.

As for the blackface... again, there's a picture of her on the net with people in blackface. So? I've been to street fairs in SF with naked people being flogged. If my picture is taken near them and put on the net, what does that say about me? That I was there. Everything else you assume is you bringing things to the party, unless you know the context of the picture, where it ran, why she did it, was it her idea, etc., etc.

The racist thing is more clunky than anything. i think she added made there to try and get a pass, heh.

You basically having her saying a word, confirming she's female, and appearing in a picture that could be offensive. I think you're working backwards from a conclusion.

Similarly, Ke$ha's Grow A Pear was accused of being transphobic, when it clearly is about her wanting to date a guy that's more masculine.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

Riku's picture

Not quite.

Look, if someone asks a woman if she's trans or intersex or whatever, and she responds "I'm really a lady" to mean "I'm not trans" that's transphobic. That's implying that trans and intersex women are not real women. That's not okay.

And she was talking about how she feels about her looks and the way she looks, and she said this: "I just don't feel that it's all that sexy. It's weird. And uncomfortable. I look at photos of myself, and I look like such a tranny!"

Which I think speaks for itself.

I don't hate her. I just think that she should do some research before she puts on the "trans ally" hat. She could be a little more respectful, and maybe make a few apologies.

In the photo she had her arms around a couple of guys with blackface on. She wasn't wearing it herself but she clearly wasn't condoning it either. I'm not saying that makes her racist, but that's not helping my impression of her. And I think the use of racial slurs isn't helping either.

I don't hate Lady Gaga or anything, and I'm definitely not working backwards from the conclusion. I want to think of Lady Gaga as some kind of amazing perfect LGBTQUIA ally as much as the next person... But this stuff bothers me. I think I have a right to be bothered by it.

jeff's picture

That...

just seems like a really low bar for being transphobic.

And you can be an ally AND still not be perfect. That would be most allies. People who are cool with gay stuff also say things where you're like WTF?! but it is rarely intentional.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

Riku's picture

Well, she's more cissexist

Well, she's more cissexist than transphobic if we're gonna nitpick word choice... But either way, as far as I know she hasn't done a single thing for the trans community, she's said multiple things that hurt trans people, and now she's making herself out to be an ally. If she apologized that'd be one thing but she hasn't.

And as I said, there's the whole racist language thing, which is not scoring her any points. But now I'm repeating myself.

She's a role model for a lot of people, so I think it's fair to hold her responsible for the things she says.

I have a few other issues with the song too but I'm sick of talking about it. :P

jeff's picture

Well...

As you might imagine, I'm not planning to use the cis- prefix. It's either invisible and implied or I say trans. Just like people imply heterosexual and call out homo, majorities don't need to be tagged.

Sort of like the gender-neutral pronoun crusade (Spivak, etc.) that will never catch on.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

625539's picture

~*~gay target

~*~gay target market~*~

What power does Hell have over its minions if they cannot dream of Heaven?

swimmerguy's picture

Yes!

How long ago was this released? I heard it today during swim at the Y, which seemed weird, I thought they were supposed to be neutral on these issues, rather than playing a very obviously pro-gay song.
I agree with Magic for one, Lady Gaga is just a beautiful person that makes a lot of money for ugly small men who write music for her, while doing nothing herself, and this is just them getting into a market.

As for Riku, yes, I think you have valid points, she shouldn't have said "tranny" for instance, but for one, she's stupid, I give her credit for doing anything, but I can't expect a stupid person to get it right.

And I think you're being a bit harsh. If I was too pick through a long speech and find what was offensive, I think I'd fly right over that "real woman" comment, because most people don't know that trans people take offense to that, and neither did I before this frankly.
So I give her a little credit for using her fame to maybe do something, of course I symathize with the pro-gay woman. People say stupid things all the time, and yes, that was fully offensive, but I think it's a little idealistic to expect everyone to always be apologizing for small comments that offend frankly very small minorities.

No one escapes from life alive

jeff's picture

She...

writes all her own music, and is classically trained. In fact, she was a songwriter for others before she went solo. She wrote something for the Pussycat Dolls, and Britney almost recorded Telephone for her album, but then didn't.

Having gone to her concert, the pro-gay stuff is way over the top there, so nothing new for her. She is the one doing most of this, not the record company, etc. Big corporate entities rarely come up with interesting things. They just know how to capitalize on them when they occur.

Plus, what could be gayer than The Y? I mean, it has its own Village People song.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

625539's picture

CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW

CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW CAPITAL HIM IS ACTUALLY AN ACRONYM FOR HIS INFERNAL MAJESTY
AKA SATAN
LOL
?

kiko's picture

cool ------------------------

cool
------------------------------------------
\m/>.<\m/

lonewolf678's picture

well,

i love the positive message.

also i like this part,
"'Cause God makes no mistakes".

take it however you will! :)

oldfoxbob's picture

Humm

Although you all make valid points the song in general is positive towards GLBT ! I did not see the word "Tranny" in the lyrics at all so can not comment on where it was since it was NOT there. If Lady Gaga is a TV or a Hermaphrodite or what ever she/he is makes no Difference for once again, I think to have a celebrity of any kind espousing off pro GLBT songs ( and this one is pro ) is a plus for us all in the Community, don't you?

Genius is not a sign of intelligence, but rather
that of common sense. Humor is the best pain pill.

Quietwarrior's picture

I really like the message

I really like the message she is insinuating with the song. But like you said (and also my dad) that it is very much like Madonna's expressive yourself, it even has a similar rhythm to it and at the very end of the music video it looks a lot like it to. But still even thought i didn't like at first i cant get out of my head

whateversexual_llama's picture

can we go back to the cover

can we go back to the cover of madonna's express yourself point?

I like gaga's music when it's showcasing her unique voice, not when she's sounding exactly like 80s pop. this doesn't feel like the gaga i like. the song itself isn't her best work and while the message is cute, i think she could've created a more effective musical vessel.

Shelbyygirl's picture

I actually like this one

I actually like this one more then some of her other songs, but I tend to like 80's music alot. I like Lady Gaga, but she's not one of my favorites. I like that the song gives a confident message. I don't pay attention to the artists outside of their music so it doesn't really affect my opinion on a song. Its a good song overall in my opinion and the message is awesome too.

"Love doesn't have eyes, it doesn't go by race or gender. Love goes by how the person makes you feel inside and sees the person for who they are on the inside." <3

625539's picture

can we please talk about the

can we please talk about the video and how one year ago she was saying that the last thing girls today need is a skinny ass pop star in a bikini writhing in sand and that is pretty much what she is in the choreography part?

or we could talk about how she sounds like a follower of rael in the manifesto of mother monster

or we could talk about how she's ditched mcqueen for mugler
idk

Quietwarrior's picture

-

i have to agree on that, i don't know why she decided to spend most of her time in a skimpy bikini, seemed pretty unoriginal.

And maybe she does not like sarah burton?

LadyAvenger's picture

Jeff..

Jeff....Jeff Jeff Jeff.....please,

1) You are not trans. So you can not say whether something is transphobic, or not. You don't know what you're talking about. When you tell trans people why something is or is not transphobic, when you literally just invented the idea of transphobia two minutes ago and have no idea what transphobia even LOOKS like, and the trans community deals with it every second of every day of their entire lives...you come off as a bit of a douche.

2) "I mean, saying you're a "real woman" when people accuse you of having a penis isn't transphobic." What the hell. That is the very definition of transphobic. I almost can't think of a more transphobic statement. Yes, that is transphobia. It is the maintenance of social inequality (real or "fake"?) between groups (cis or trans?).

Allow me to further dissect what happened. A pop reporter said "Lady Gaga is transgender! What a freak!". ....Then, Gaga says "Ew, No I am not! My vagina is offended you would say such a thing!".

See....if Gaga really was an ally to the LGBT community, she would have realized that the first statement uttered by the pop reporter wasn't really attacking gaga. The pop reporter's statement was actually attacking trans people by using our entire community as an insult, as the butt of a joke, as "LOL wouldn't want to be one of those!". And if Gaga REALLY was an ally, and REALLY was down with the LGBT people, she wouldn't have interpreted the question as insulting her, but insulting her trans fans.

Instead of handling it cooly and saying "I'm not transgender, I'm cissexual" or "I'm not transgender, I have always agreed with the doctor's assessment at my birthing ceremony" or something that doesn't use my entire community as an insult.....gaga says "EW MY VAG IS OFFENDED." perpetuating the stereotype that trans people are horrible and no one would want to be one of those.

3) you wrote "Did she say, "I'm not a tranny, I'm a real woman!"?" . Although she didn't explicitly say that, a four year old learning ESL could tell that statement was said implicitly.

4) you wrote "If someone asked if I was a woman, and I say, "No way, I'm all man, baby" that isn't transphobic per se. I'm not a woman.". Think about what you're writing here. The ability to define yourself, to give yourself labels, that is the heart of the trans community. You are being a trans ally by allowing self-definition. If that someone who asked if you were a woman replied to "No way I'm all man, baby" with "bullshit, you'll always be my little girl" then THEY'D be transphobic, for denying you self-identity.

5) You wrote "Also, context for "used the word tranny" would matter. If she is a club rat in NYC, she may know trans people there who like using tranny. A lot of gay people like using faggot. So, she uses something not offensive to her, and it gets repurposed, etc.". Ah yes, but you must remember when people reclaim terms that have been historically used against them, they pick a word that IS offensive to them, and ONLY THAT GROUP can reclaim them. Only black people can say "whats up my nigga". Only gay people can be like "sup fag!". And Gaga, by her own admission, is not trans. (Stop reading unless you want complicated feminist analysis about wordplay)

See from the trans point of view "transgender" is just another adjective that's equal in weight and value to cissexual. It's not good, or evil...It's almost a "mirror word" to cissexual, like heterosexual and homosexual, or "able-bodied" and "with disabilities". But from the cis point of view, the word "trans" means "disgusting, wrong, psychotic, ugly, brutish, sexually broken", and the word "cis" doesn't even exist. So the word "trans" is an insult, a unique category with no "mirror word". So when trans people try to "take back tranny" they are coming from a completely different place, with completely different definition of the word tranny, a completely different reaction to hearing it, and a completely different concept of societal language. So when trans people try to "take back tranny" it's going to look VERY different from when cis people try to "take back tranny". When trans people try to "take back tranny" they try to popularize the word cissexual to create a mirror pair. Cissexuals actively resist the word cissexual, and use tranny as a synonym for poor fashion. See? That's not taking it back. We work in totally different ways.

6) "And you can be an ally AND still not be perfect.". I disagree. I think eventually EVERYONE will say something offensive/stupid because of their ignorance or privilege....whether its race, sex, age, gender, whatever... And the second you mess up, you are no longer an ally UNTIL you apologize and make everything right, AND the community you are trying to be an ally to welcomes you back. The important thing to remember is that even though its not your fault, you did fck up, and its your responsibility to fix it.

That's the most important part though: You are only an ally to that community, IF AND ONLY IF that community gives you the label of ally! A label that can be taken back at any time! That's the problem with Gaga, is she's called herself a trans ally over and over, and I've yet to meet a single trans person who actually gave her that label.

8) You don't have to use the word cissexual in day-to-day conversation. . But there are situations where the word cissexual is appropriate, eliminates confusion, and helps ease discourse about a subject. Like "Lady Gaga acts so dismissive towards trans people because of cissexual privilege". Rewording that sentence to not contain "cissexual privelege" would make the sentence huge and dilute its meaning. The word cissexual is SO descriptive about the oppression and phobias trans people face...it is spreading like wildfire through the internet and popular discourse, much more so than Spivak's words ever did. Trans people are going to be using these words til the end of time, so resisting learning and using cis will just leave you out of the loop when we talk about you.

God I posted a lot. I registered on your site JUST BECAUSE of your stupid post attacking my community. You owe me my one hour back.

Dracofangxxx's picture

I think...

Someone needs to lighten up :P

I'm pretty sure Gaga was just being silly with the "my vagina is offended by that". I mean if we censored everything we said JUST to make sure it didn't offend anyone, that would be rediculous. I say stupid shit all the time just to be funny, and personally... I like Gaga's style :P She seems weird and hypersexualized in a way that I think is utterly hilarious.

And you know what? You're not black so you can't say that saying "nigga" is offensive to black people, etc. Of course we can say what is transphobic! It doesn't take an idiot to figure it out when something they're going to say is going to be blatantly insulting.

I mean... I've never met anyone who's been like "Transpeople? GROSS!" or anything like that. So the so-called oppression and disgust you keep preaching... Doesn't really seem to be true to me. You really sound like you're dramatasizing it a lot.

I mean you're getting way worked up over a song. Is that REALLY your biggest thing to fight, as a trans individual? Especially because Gaga is such an LGBTQ icon nowadays... I think you're kind of attacking the wrong people.

Plus, geez. I don't think Trans/queer people are gross or bad or wrong or anything, but you guys get offended over the littlest things, it seems. I'm not trying to generalize, but it just seems like anything questioning gender or sex is like, taboo. I'm always having to carefully think out my words in order to not offend anyone. Can't we all just get along? :( I don't think Jeff is attacking anyone... Neither was this post. There's supposed to be no hate here, so please calm down a little bit, aye?
-
Amazingly offensive <3

Riku's picture

Okay first of all, you just

Okay first of all, you just assumed that, that person isn't black. They never said.

Second of all, maybe cis people can say what is transphobic, but they can't say what isn't. If I, a trans person, say "This is transphobic and offends me" you can't say "no it's not and you aren't offended." That's stupid. If another trans person is offended by something that I don't personally find offensive, I can't tell them that it's not. If they feel that it is, that's what it is to them. I am not them and I can't decide for them what hurts them.

And what's worse is that Lady Gaga hasn't even apologized or attempted to make up for the things she's said. Everyone just puts her up on a pedestal and says that she can do no wrong because some people get something good out of her music. She has said a lot of things that hurt the trans community, which, a lot of people do, but she then turned around and made herself out to be an ally, which is problematic because people will see that and think that they can be transphobic, like her, and consider themselves allies to the trans community. Non-trans people can't decide who represents trans people well or who makes a good ally. That's not how it works.

Not to mention, the transgender community isn't a fucking accessory.

And I'm not saying that she had malicious intent behind the things she's said. And I'm not saying that she's an awful person or that her music hasn't done anyone any good. But that doesn't make what she's said and done less harmful.

Also, I don't know about where you are, but I live in a pretty freaking liberal area, and I have to put up with people saying shit about trans people all of the time. Even waiting for a bus I've put up with hearing people make crude jokes about "transvestites". And even when people aren't being downright offensive, they're just ignorant. I don't mind ignorance too much as long as they accept it when I call them out on it. If you say "I think she was a transvestite" and I say "that's an insensitive thing to say" and you say "oh, okay, I'm sorry." or even ask why and accept my answer. Then that's cool. It's a problem when people defend their ignorance because apparently they have a right to be jerks without it being brought into question.

We live in a world where people can lose their homes, their jobs, their families, their saftey, just for transitioning. Where people can have gotten away with violence against trans people because they were trans. If gay people are considered second class citizens, trans people aren't even considered human. We're denied health care, we're misunderstood, it's considered normal to treat trans people like freaks. It's funny when trans people get beaten up. We are told what we can do with our bodies, what we can't do with our bodies, what we can call ourselves, what bathrooms we can use (which is, apparently, none of them). We're told to deny ourselves all sorts of things that most people take for granted. We have to fight battles that other people don't realize exist. We are constantly misrepresented, dehumanized, objectified, erased, and beaten down.

So yeah. We're "sensitive" if that's what you call it when someone objects to having salt rubbed into open wounds. Besides, as a cis person you don't get to decide what things are or aren't harmful to trans people or how big of issues they are to us. Just because something is little to you doesn't make it little to us as a community. You don't know what it's like to be trans and you're not going to. Maybe you think you can imagine it but the fact is when you're done playing out your fantasy you're still inside your cis body living your cisgender life. You don't have to wake up every day trans and you'll never know what that's like so you don't get to decide what our problems are. I can't speak for all trans people as I am only one. But you can't even speak for yourself as a trans person.

And this is about more than just the song. It's about how she makes herself out to be an ally to trans people while she says transphobic things and the message that sends to people who know nothing or close to nothing about actual trans issues. Trans people are brought up very little in the media, and most people aren't really aware of our existence. So every time it is brought up, it's a big deal.

It's a big deal when the newspaper or a magazine misgenders a trans person. It's a big deal when a popular TV show known for it's GLB-positiveness uses the word "tranny", it's a big deal when SNL does an incredibly transphobic and insensitive skit about E, and it's a big deal when a young musician superstar makes herself out to be an ally to the trans community without even acknowledging that she's said some pretty transphobic things in the past.

But I'm done with this argument. I'm sick of people telling me that I'm being too sensitive because I called someone out. I don't even have to be angry about it. All I have to say is "that thing this person did bothers me and here's why" and I can be reasonable and calm but it still makes me an overly sensitive whiny crybaby. So there's no real point for me being reasonable is there? I'm sick of people telling me how I should feel about things when it's taken me years to get where I am today and they haven't lived my life for a second. I'm sick of the validity of my opinions being put into question because I'm just a "sensitive trans person". Who is going to speak up for me if I don't? Trans people don't want or need a singular mouthpiece. We don't even want other trans folk (See: Thomas Beatie and Chaz Bono) speaking for all of us so why should a cis person feel at liberty to?

YES. I'm pissed off okay? There's an awful lot to be pissed off about. You guys act like I only call people out on things because I want trouble. But maybe I just want to feel comfortable somewhere for once? I spend an awful lot of time being invisible and listening to people say things that do a good job of erasing or invalidating my experiences. I don't often speak up because I'm afraid to, but when I speak up here it's the same deal anyway. I'm not even asking you to care, just to see the flaws. But you all jump to the defense of a woman that none of us even know personally, because she's talented and wears funny clothes and says pretty things sometimes. Even though I never once said that she was a bad person or intentionally transphobic. You asked how I felt about something and I responded. Yes, being trans colors how I view things. Being in a marginalized group does that to you. Especially when transphobia directly effects my life and the lives of my friends on a regular basis.

But arguing about this with you people is more energy than it's worth so I'm done.

everynothing's picture

Hugs

I agree entirely with this. Even though I'm not transgendered, but still.

~The Sweet Escape is Always Laced with the Familiar Taste of Poison~

Dracofangxxx's picture

I said, etc... It was meant to be out-of-context.

Not "you aren't black" but "that's like saying this if you aren't black".

But I mean, really. There's all sorts of humour out there. I don't personally hear alot of transgendered jokes. I hear alot of gay jokes, woman jokes, straight people jokes. But I laugh at them. I don't take anything too seriously, because in reality, I can accept that being gay can be funny. Or being a cranky woman on her period, that's funny too.

I really don't take anything seriously unless someone said it with the intention to harm anyone. For example, a popular sterotype is that all bisexual women are whores. If someone straight up said that to me, well, yeah I'd get mad. I can understand the "I'm a real woman" upsetting you. But the vagina thing? I see it more as like, saying something like "Oh, well, you get to bang EVERYONE now!" to a bi girl/guy.

To me, intention is everything. Can you get in her head and know if she intended harm? No. So what will arguing with people on the internet about it even DO? We don't NEED angry Transpeople yelling at everyone for simple mistakes. We need more helpful awareness.
To be honest, it scares me to talk to you guys anymore. Just because I figure anything I say will set you off.

And that's not hating on you, or being ignorant- I'm too afraid to demoralize you somehow or make you think you're "Not human". I don't think that. I never have. I may not understand, but that doesn't require venom.

I think you're fighting the battle the wrong way. You get more bees with honey than vinegar. And how would you not want to make fun of something, or be disgusted of something, that in my opinion, I've only ever seen complaining and complaining? Or arguing?

I'm just saying- Breathe. I UNDERSTAND you're frustrated. I UNDERSTAND it's hard for you. But snapping at everyone you see for saying something wrong isn't the image you want.

Thing is- Yeah, we're ignorant. Of course we are. How are we supposed to know what WILL be transphobic? I see nothing wrong with the word "Faggot" if someone uses it jokingly and isn't trying to be mean. Like a joke. I don't care. Tranny? It's just like saying Lesbo, in my mind. Like omg that's so lesbo, or omg that's so gay.

And maybe that's just me. Because I just take things with a grain of salt in this world. More humour and lightenening up is much better than acid for every unintended joke that falls flat on your ears.

What I'm trying to say is- Everyone that disagrees with you doesn't necesarrily want to ATTACK you. I certainly don't. I stand up for your rights, too. If someone was hassling my trans friend, damn straight know I'd make sure that person wish they'd never done it.
But thing is, if I flipped out everytime someone made a gay joke or a remark that wasn't too nice about women, I wouldn't have any friends. Nobody likes someone who's always a lit fuse.

I'm not trying to attack you or harm you... Just a suggestion? A happy image is better than an angry one. Too much passion is like laying in warm sun compared to being in a fire- Too much heat.
-
Amazingly offensive <3

everynothing's picture

A song that's listened to by

A song that's listened to by millions of people and played on the radio every hour.
A false, misleading icon is worse than no icon.

~The Sweet Escape is Always Laced with the Familiar Taste of Poison~

jeff's picture

Typically...

Whenever anyone writes or does anything about a community in which you identify, you're likely to not agree with the representation.

When Oprah has a gay guest on, or a movie explores a gay relationship, or a major newspaper writes a story about a gay issue, you're likely to notice that something is off and not quite hitting the mark. And that is entirely valid.

But to the audience outside of that community, it is new information that advances the debate and informs. Even a silly pop song changes people's minds on things.

So, it's easy to criticize, but what's the alternative? You're going to write a competing Top 40 song that is played every hour? Criticism is fine, but what is the solution?

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

everynothing's picture

Why not have someone who

Why not have someone who knows what they're talking about, talk about? Get a magazine to support it?
Why doesn't Gaga have an interview with a major contributor (A /real/ one) and have it posted on all her stuff? Link a well-backed and supported (by the transgendered/etc community) speech about issues to her Twitter feed?

~The Sweet Escape is Always Laced with the Familiar Taste of Poison~

jeff's picture

Yikes...

Hmm, I dare say I haven't changed my tune on any of this.

If I know what the words trans and phobia mean separately, I can decide for myself whether I believe something is transphobic without being trans. And you can disagree, since we're allowed to have conflicting opinions on the same issue. Straight people can also determine if someone is homophobic without being gay. I don't have to experience something to be able to have an opinion on it. Just like you're welcome to not share, value, or agree with that opinion.

I'm sad to say that the points you raise aren't really new to me. I just don't share them. I think there is a Kate Bornstein trap where if you view the entire world through the lens of gender oppression, you wake up every day ready to be offended and the world will pitch in and help you in that pursuit.

I only use the word cissexual when I'm writing that I have no intention of adopting it as part of my everyday vocabulary. It never comes up otherwise. And it never comes up that I've witnessed outside of trans/feminist/queer studies circles, where it is likely to remain indefinitely. If you stay inside that circle, then sure, it's spreading like wildfire.

And I consider myself a trans ally entirely without permission, the way people who say they are allies of the gay community do as well. Since the trans community is a conceptual thing, it can't actually give permission to things.

I'm not certain the trans community has enough allies to start casting people off just yet, but if that is the case and this is the level of "attack" that merits such a measured response, it's almost a sign of progress!

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"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

everynothing's picture

Ehh

I think Lady Gaga is... a tad fake.

She's being different to be different, and honestly, I was mildly offended by "chola descent", as I'm half-Mexican and find that that implies that all Latinos/as are gangsters. She couldn't have simply said "Latino descent"?

As for the "MY VAG IS INSULTED" thing, that was just rude and innappropriate to the transgendered community, whether she was joking or not.

I feel like she's this huge hypocrite that is only considered a "Gay/Trans/Whatever Ally" because she's the only popstar who has made a song expressly for that community.

I dunno. Maybe it's my hatred of all things mass adored, but I just think she's a huge fake.

~The Sweet Escape is Always Laced with the Familiar Taste of Poison~

jeff's picture

Err...

For a song, it's not really a valid suggestion if your fix contains more syllables.

You have a two syllable hole. Latino is three. Don't fit.

---
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

Just Dave's picture

I freaking love it...

Although I haven't heard the whole album yet.

I don't really know if it's pandering or not, as I am not Lady Gaga, and I do not know if she is sincere or is just trying to make money. Either way, it has a positive message, so I'm not about to complain.

jeff's picture

here we go again...

She just can't stop being transphobic, I guess... ;-)

On Huffpo:

Is that what you see the trans community as representing?
I see the trans community as a very inspiring group that on a daily basis deals with obstacles and struggles that most of us can't perceive of. I think they should be revered and honored and protected and I think it's important for me, as an artist, to push those particular boundaries because of how many of them I know and how important it is to the young community and in order to stop bullying and to inspire teachers in schools and the heads of giant organizations to be kind and tolerant to one another so that we all may discover who we are in a free and loving space.

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"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

socialist's picture

I don't think she actually supports LGBT

The main reason she's famous is because so many gays listen to her songs. It seems like this is the only reason she's such an LGBT activist. It seems like all her songs are about queers and I think she just does this to increase her popularity with them and, of course, for money. I don't disagree with the lyrics, but the fact that she's bringing racial minorities into this makes it look like she's trying to expand her fame (and money) and doesn't really care about what she's singing.

lonewolf678's picture

"...she's bringing racial minorities into this..."

So where does LGBT become skin color?

Dracofangxxx's picture

Hmm... Last I checked...

People considered Jewish to be a "Race" too. Race isn't all about just skin colour. Anyways, I'm assuming you KNEW what they were trying to say. So. Not gonna explain it past that.
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That's redick!

socialist's picture

Racial Minorities

"You're black, white, beige, chola descent
You're lebanese, you're orient"

"No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made"

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lJqnnIpP0o