Lady Gaga lands the August cover of The Advocate. In the long article (which you can read in full here) she talks about the LGBT community, and how she’s fighting for gay rights.
Through skepticism and criticism, pop superstar Lady Gaga remains one of the most outspoken advocates for LGBT equality today. She’s been accused of not being gay enough to claim one of the letters the aforementioned acronym, and critics say her activism is superficial, but through it all her devotion to supporting marriage equality, fighting the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and increasing AIDS awareness remains strong. The Advocate’s Jeremy Kinser spoke with Lady Gaga about her activism, her critics, and her music. Lady Gaga immediately sounded off against some of the skeptics.
On using the gay community to sell records:
“To say that I would use the gay community to sell records is probably one of the most ridiculous statements anyone can make about me,” Gaga states with a hint of frustration in her voice. “I would say the top thing I think about every single day of my life, other than my fans, loving the music, and my family being healthy, is social justice and equality.”
On her critics:
“Rumors, shots at me as a human being, that’s what comes with the territory of being a musician and being someone who is a public figure,” Gaga confesses. “I care only about what I can change. What can I push forward? How can I be a part of the fight for modern social issues?”
On going up against mega-retailer, Target:
Lady Gaga put her money where her mouth was, however, in a recent controversy with mega-retailer Target. The company was set to sell a special edition of Gaga’s album Born This Way, but many LGBTs expressed indignation at the deal after Target came under fire when the company’s corporate PAC made campaign contributions to support antigay candidate Tom Emmer in his failed 2010 run for governor of Minnesota. After the outcry, Gaga met with the company’s “entire executive staff” and soon thereafter canceled the deal.
“You’re either going to try and change or you’re not,” Gaga recalls of the meeting, in which she insisted Target ally itself with LGBT charities and organizations. And, while terms of the deal were not made public, they did not satisfy the singer.
“Taking an ambiguous stance is not what I’m about, obviously. I like to go right for the ass-kicker. You’re either in or you’re out. I’m from New York. I know bullsh-t. I can smell it from a mile away.”
On why her fans are obsessed with her:
“I don’t know exactly,” she says simply. For a woman so frequently called upon to explain her looks, her videos, her sensibilities, her response is surprisingly unselfconscious. But a flair for the dramatic takes over. Rather than answer, she tells a story about a 20-something gay serviceman she met at Best Buy last night. “He was afraid that he would be discharged and that he would be judged or found out. [He said] that the fight in America against ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and the fight for equality made him feel stronger and made him feel safe, and he gave me his service jacket.” Gaga is silent for a moment. “And we just held each other and cried. Anyone who says that I’m not genuine is not interested in overcoming this fight. That was such a pure and wonderful moment that we shared, and I remember thinking, There’s no album sale, no number 1, that could compete with this moment. That is what the fuck it’s all about. What the fuck it’s all about is if I can write one song that could change one person’s life.”
On “copying” Madonna:
“There’s no drama, there’s no jealousy, there’s no competition,” she says. “They’re just happy to see other women winning. I just feel so connected to Madonna in a lot of ways, and I feel connected to Barbra, and I feel connected to Cher and Blondie and all of the women who came before me.”
Born This Way: “I would say that’s precisely what Born This Way is all about. It’s not about just being born in one moment; it’s about being reborn over and over again until you find and become that unique and special person inside of you that is the most brave and the most sure and the most ready to take on the world,” she says. “And I was born this way. And that’s who I am. Some people weren’t born to wear masks, but I was. I was born to wear masks and wigs and fashion. To express myself through my clothing and my performance art, and that’s who I am. And the song is meant to be liberating not only from an individual perspective but from a creative perspective.”
On starting an acting career:
“I don’t know,” she tells me. “Maybe someday. Right now I’m just really focused on this record. I really love making music. I know that sounds crazy, but I’m obsessed…obsessed with music. I’m just really enjoying making albums right now.”
On the pressure of being famous:
“I believe I was destined to be an artist,” she says. “At the end of the day I could be rolling around in Rolls-Royces, buying mansions for myself, making records, and dancing around in my underwear. But to be honest, I’m not interested in doing that at all. I’d rather be at rallies with the fans, being a part of their voice, helping to mobilize and enforce change. If people don’t believe me, they don’t have to be a part of it.”
Posted Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 9:09am
Filed under Lady GaGa