Lady Gaga is kind of a big deal.
The queen of "little monsters" is known for her iconic bops, era-defining costumes and, of course, saying "100 people in a room" over (and over) again.
Gaga is releasing her new album 'Chromatica' today and to say that her LGBTQ+ fans are excited about it would be an understatement. It's a return to the timeless pop, life-changing collabs and high-budget music videos that made her a queer icon in the first place.
It's her first offering since the soundtrack for her Oscar-nominated lead role in A Star is Born. And it's her first solo album since 'Joanne', which, well... divided her fans a lot.
But Gaga is about so much more than music, costumes and memes.
In fact, she's pretty much the LGBTQ+ hero that we all need.
She’s a longtime, fierce and vocal supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and an all-round gay icon. She loves the queers more than she loves telling people she's Italian and wearing shoulder pads.
As a bisexual woman, she told Barbara Walters – who asked about her sexuality – in 2009:
Well I do like women. I’ve only been in love with men, I’ve never been in love with women… I’ve certainly had sexual relationships with women.
Then in 2013, she said:
You know what? It's not a lie that I am bisexual and I like women, and anyone that wants to twist this into 'she says she's bisexual for marketing,' this is a fucking lie. This is who I am and who I have always been.
She often speaks about the gay community with a huge affinity, like in her 2009 interview with Out:
When I started in the mainstream, it was the gays that lifted me up. I committed myself to them and they committed themselves to me, and [it’s] because of the gay community [that] I'm where I am today.
So with the release of 'Chromatica', as well as singles 'Stupid Love', 'Rain On Me' and 'Sour Candy', we want to celebrate everything that makes her special (in no particular order).
1. P-p-p-p-p-p-p-poker Face
As the second single to her debut album, 'The Fame', 'Poker Face' made waves across the world when it was first released for its eye-catching music video and even catchier tune.
But one line in particular sent the world into meltdown:
'Cause I'm bluffin' with my muffin.
Gaga set the record straight (no pun intended) when she explained the line is about being with her boyfriend but fantasising about women.
A bisexual icon!
2. When she demanded Barack Obama's attention
In 2009, Lady Gaga got up in front of thousands of people at the National Equality March and said her presence at the march was the “single most important moment” of her career to date.
We must continue to push this movement forward and close the gap. We must demand full equality for all. They say that this country is free and they say that this country is equal but it’s not equal if it’s some times.
Then came the most iconic line in her speech. Addressing president Obama directly, she screamed:
Are you listening?!
She vowed to continue to push the administration and demanded change. She also said she “refused to accept any misogynistic or homophobic behaviour in music, lyrics or actions in the music industry”.
3. When she went international
Not only did Gaga fiercely campaign for marriage equality in the US, she advocated for it in places like Australia when she toured the land down under in 2011.
She said at the time:
It's 2011, get on with it. I am so against the way certain laws and restrictions send messages that one person is better than another. I urge all of you to mobilise your voices so the prime minister can hear you scream that you want to be equal.
Australia legalised same-sex marriage six years later. Coincidence? We think not.
4. When she highlighted LGBTQ+ homelessness
Since 2002, the Ali Forney Center has been helping LGBTQ+ homeless youth in the United States and Lady Gaga’s been in constant awe of the charity.
She’s visited the shelter several times and even received an honorary award in 2018, telling the audience via her mother, Cynthia:
I feel a passionate responsibility to provide a venue for those who feel unheard.
5. Born This Way, baby!
In 2011, Lady Gaga released the lead single, Born This Way, from her second studio album of the same name.
In it, she sings:
No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life. I'm on the right track baby, I was born to survive.
It’s an empowering song about being born LGBTQ+ and has been used as an anthem for sexual and gender minorities across the world ever since.
6. When she took down misogynistic questions
During an interview in 2009, Gaga shut down a sexist interview in the most succinct way.
Gaga was asked if she was scared "her provocative lyrics would overshadow her talent". She responded:
7. When she threw the first brick at Stonewall
Holding back tears throughout a triumphant speech, Lady Gaga spoke about how proud she was of the LGBTQ+ community at World Pride in New York City. The event coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, so it was very historic and special.
Standing in knee high sparkly rainbow boots, Gaga spoke with passion and in awe of the thousands watching on in the audience.
A truly beautiful moment:
8. When she dressed up as a drag queen version of herself
In 2017, Gaga appeared as the very first guest judge of season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Making a dramatic entrance as the last “contestant” to enter the workroom of the competition, Gaga gave each queen the shock of their lives.
9. When she performed at Prides across the world
In 2011, Lady Gaga attended EuroPride in Rome and performed in front of a massive audience of adoring fans.
She criticised the poor state of LGBTQ+ rights in many European countries and described gay people as "revolutionaries of love":
This is not just about a party. It is not just a peaceful demonstration. It is a spirit of a basic human right. We are here today to defend love.
10. When she mourned the LGBTQ+ community's darkest day
After the 2016 Pulse nightclub attack – in which 49 people died – Lady Gaga honoured the victims by reading out the name of the victims at a Los Angeles vigil.
She said during her speech:
This is an attack on humanity itself. This is an attack on everyone.
11. That dress
In 2010, Gaga wore a dress made entirely out of meat and shocked the whole world in the process.
She explained she was wearing the meat dress to raise awareness about the US Military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, which restricted LGBTQ+ people from being open about their sexuality.
She also said at the time:
Well, it is certainly no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian. As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth. However, it has many interpretations. But for me this evening, if we don't stand up for what we believe in, and if we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat.
12. When she turned music into activism by starting her own charitable foundation
In 2011, Gaga established her anti-bullying charity, The Born This Way Foundation.
It aims to inspire youth and build better communities and has launched initiatives like like #HackHarrassment, Channel Kindness and #KindMonsters.
One special collaboration through the foundation was a chat with the Dalai Lama in 2016:
13. A show-stopping and unifying Super Bowl performance
In 2017, Lady Gaga stunned the world when she did a 13-minute show-stopping performance during the Super Bowl Half-Time show.
From the very start when she jumped off a platform onto the stage below, it was high energy, theatrics and non-stop sex appeal. Performing to a divided America months after Trump was elected, Gaga put on a unifying performance that promoted her ethos of LGBTQ+ acceptance and equality.
But it was her performance of Born This Way – to 111.7 million people – that made LGBTQ+ audiences cheer. This was the first time the word "transgender" had ever been said on the Super Bowl stage, which is pretty cool.
So there you have it – Gaga's been giving the gays everything they want since 2009, and it doesn't look like she's stopping any time soon.