Lady Gaga, a pop artist who became popular in the 2000s, is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ community and shows this in many of her songs. One of her most prominent songs that is in support of people who identify as an LGBTQ is Born This Way, which was published in 2011. Despite belief that much more notable and significant progress was made in more recent years, 2011 was in fact a huge year for the Gay Rights Movement. Gays, lesbians and bisexuals were permitted to serve openly in the military and states such as New York decided to allow same-sex marriage. While these are smaller stepping stones in comparison to the Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, it was the smaller victories and continued advocacy by cultural icons such as Lady Gaga that kept the issue at the forefront of the political agenda.
“Born This Way” depicts the feelings that many people who identify as a member of the LGBTQ community experience on a daily basis. Gaga starts the song off by saying “It doesn’t matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M”. Throughout the rest of the song, she refers to God, saying that He “makes no mistakes”. As there has been a huge shift in political views, religious views too have experienced a slight transition toward more liberal ideologies. In recent years, especially since the 2015 decision, far more members of the church have expressed their same-gendered sexualities, citing ideas in line with those in “Born This Way”. They point to the belief that were made by God and He does not make mistakes. Therefore, they were born loving people of the same sex and that is simply the plans that were laid out for them.
Shame is a frequent feeling experienced by people who are a part of the LGBTQ community. For years these people were told to box off their feelings and ignore them simply because they weren’t “right”. In her song, Gaga encourages people who struggle with their sexuality to “not hide in regret, but rather love themselves and they’ll be set”. In 2011 when she produced this song, most people who identified as LGBTQ were not comfortable with the idea of not hiding. Lady Gaga, however, felt that people should be free to be themselves, and she advocated for that in whatever way she could.
Further, one line of the song says “no matter black, white, or beige, Chola or orient made, I’m on the right track”. Gaga used this song as an opportunity to address challenges that are faced by a wide variety of people. Not only do people in the LGBTQ community frequently struggle with feeling like they were a mistake, but also people of different ethnicities have long had difficulties with prejudice. Born This Way acts a reminder that, no matter where you came from or who you love or what you believe in, you were made that way and it is a part of each person’s character that makes them unique and worthy of loving them self.