As I chatted to a friend about what was happening for Pride last month, he was quick to fill me in on the goings-on in Gaga land. For those of you who don’t have a Lady Gaga superfan on speed dial to fill you in on such knowledge, next week is a big one for 'Born This Way'.
Gaga announced the re-release of her legendary album just last month, giving fans less than four weeks to gear up for.
The new collection of records will feature all the old hits, including 'Marry The Night', 'Judas,' 'You And I', and 'Edge Of Glory', as well as reimagined covers performed by LGBTQIA+ artists and allies.
Think Big Freedia grooving to 'Judas', country-star Orville Peck belting out the album’s title track, and 'Marry the Night' - Kylie Minogue style. The album was meant to be released today, but fans will have to wait another week before getting those noise exposure notifications.
“Bless God and bless the gays,” my friend squealed over the phone in excitement, quoting the singer’s famous 2011 line, now a proud source for memes everywhere.
debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 following its release and stayed in the top spot for six weeks. And though it was eventually knocked off the charts - and faced some backlash from critics - its legacy lasted much longer.
“I want to be remembered for the message behind 'Born This Way',” Gaga toldmagazine in 2018. “I would like to be remembered for believing that people are equal.”
With the album's tenth anniversary comes the marking of another moment: the start of Lady Gaga’s journey to becoming an LGBTQIA+ icon.
While she was already a rising star after dropping 2008’s, many cite the following lyrics as the moment the 'Poker Face' singer really stepped onto the advocacy stage.
“No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I'm on the right track, baby, I was born to survive.”
Since 2011, that bridge has been blasted in clubs across the world, performed at the Super Bowl, used as a way for internet sensation JoJo Siwa to come out to her followers, and, of course, lip-synced beautifully on 'Ru Paul’s Drag Race'.
As for her own work, Gaga opened a non-profit mental-health charity called the Born This Way Foundation following the song’s release, rallied against threats from the Russian government to promote LGBTQIA+ rights on stage in 2013, challenged Barak Obama while he was in office over his administration’s treatment of the community, and made a surprise appearance at the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
“The universe brought us together in the spirit of kindness, and together we’re a powerhouse. I hope you celebrate every inch of who you are today. You were born this way and you are superstars,” she said on the day.
While Gaga was performing in gay clubs and smashing stereotypes by talking about her own bi-sexuality long before 'Born This Way' really took hold, ten years on, it’s clear that she’s still far from being a drag - more akin to a queen, some might say.