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Tag Archive | "Born this Way"

Why Lady Gaga is Loved and Hated

On the Lady Gaga issue, a friend of mine said: “If you’re going to a country where people are predominantly Christians and Catholics, don’t sing songs about ‘bringing down a King with no crown because you’re in love with Judas.’ Most of her songs are great and it empowers so many people, but I do hope she also respects the sanctity of other people’s religions, even if she doesn’t believe in them.”

I agree. I don’t blame people for being offended by her song Judas. But sometimes it’s hard when the party calling for respect to go both ways is the dominant body that, for the longest time, has failed at showing this respect for others, mostly due to dogma.

I will admit that these days the terms “Christian” and “Catholic” strike me as very negative whenever I hear them.  Whenever I hear those words, it’s automatic for me to picture an intrusive group of people around whom you can’t really be yourself. I picture a group of people whose capability of truly understanding you for who you really are is very limited. These are the people who discriminate my homosexual friends and shout NO to things that aren’t necessarily for them, like free condoms and reproductive rights.  They don’t believe in it, so no one can have it!

I’m reminded of my friend who, when I told her about the first time I made out with a guy, went all, “EEEEEEWWWW!!!” on me because, Holy Mother of God, it was a “dirty” thing to do.  It appears like “Christians” and “Catholics” are people you can’t be real to lest you be judged; they’re the be-on-your-best-behavior crowd. Not all of them, of course, but when you’re a human being who’s had a number of unpleasant encounters, it’s hard not to come up with generalizations even when you know they aren’t necessarily right or true, and even when you continue to meet Christians and Catholics with whom you actually like being around.

Lady Gaga is loved and hated for the very same thing, and perhaps with equal measure.  She is hated because, in my opinion, she is grossly misunderstood. She is disturbing and unsettling and that rattles people. They take her music videos, her costumes, her performances, and her lyrics and blow them all out of proportion. They take things far too personally, even if there is no such law that requires anybody to listen to her music, watch her videos, or pay thousands of pesos to see her in concert. Suddenly, she’s the demon lady, the Anti-Christ—seducing us with her music and her skin to bring us all down to Hell.

They gather all that without meeting her or even reading one of her interviews. I even read another theory from a certain priest that her mission is to advocate homosexuality so that no more babies will be produced, thus eradicating the entire human race. Said priest therefore concluded that Lady Gaga = culture of death.  (You are the culture of death, Father. Some of my brain cells just died.)

And just the same, Lady Gaga is loved fiercely by her so called “Little Monsters” because she is the epitome of being misunderstood, and she stands for all the people who, just like her, get blown out of proportion by their peers. In her concerts, she provides a space wherein they feel safe and can celebrate who they are without the risk of judgment. She reminds them that there is someone out there who truly empathizes with them—someone who neither wants to judge them nor believes that they are in need of saving.

She stands for that gay couple that lives next door that is, instead of being recognized for the love, light and commitment they share with one another, often seen as the “lie of the Devil.” She stands for that cross-dresser many like to make fun of, and that girl people call a slut just because she’s had more than the usual share of sexual encounters, as if her vagina was anybody else’s business. She stands for that transvestite, who some insist is a disgusting creature out to fool the rest of manhood. She stands for the agnostic/atheist daughter who wants to share with her family who she truly is, but won’t because they’ll just think she’s living an empty life headed for Hell.

Lady Gaga stands for this part of the world that so many Christians and Catholics refuse to acknowledge, or believe should be fixed. She stands for all the people who are condemned before they are understood. She stands for those who are never truly seen or appreciated because of how they are perceived in the Bible.

There are people who are rooting for Lady Gaga not even because they are fans, but simply because they are tired of the Church claiming to see demons and witches everywhere. But I think an even bigger chunk of those who run to her defense do so because, whether or not they realize it, they’re actually defending themselves. They’re aching for the world to realize that they’re not trying to wreak havoc, be disrespectful or even be non-conformist. This is just who they are. And they wish you could just acknowledge that and give them the freedom to fully express themselves without making it mean so many other things. Different as they are, they want the same things everyone else does, respect being one of them.

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