Before “Born This Way”
BY Advocate.com Editors
February 15 2011 3:15 AM ET
The unprecedented pre-release anticipation for Lady Gaga’s latest single “Born This Way” owed as much to its being touted as "the next great gay anthem" as it did to Gaga-mania. When the song, which the superstar claims to have composed in 10 minutes, finally arrived last Friday, some fans rejoiced while others were underwhelmed. But whether you love it or don't quite hate it, let’s give the lady her due. “Born This Way” is one of the few mainstream anthems that unapologetically embraces queerness. Just try to name another chart topper with “transgender” in its lyrics.
For decades we’ve appropriated countless songs as our own, reading gay subtext into vague lyrics, empathizing with the longing in Judy’s “Over the Rainbow,” the exuberant joy of The Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men" or relating to the painful isolation in Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own,” but few actually wave a flag to flaunt our individualism. Here are a few favorites that do.
13. “Don’t Tell Me” by Madonna, 2000
Some might opt for the icon’s “Express Yourself” or “Vogue,” but with lyrics that insist "don't ever tell me I'll learn, no" we have no choice. This is Madonna at her defiant best.
- Op-ed: Don't Worry, Tom Daley's Getting Biphobic Tweets, Too
- Holiday Guide: Shop Here, Not There
- Op-ed: Stop Judging Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black
- WATCH: Jared Leto on Avoiding Trans Character 'Cliché' for 'Dallas Buyers Club'
- WATCH: The Best From 6 Olympic Gay Divers
- Op-ed: Straight Teen Girls Can Change the World
- Entertainment News James Franco Teases 50 Shades of Batman & Robin 40 min 49 sec ago
- Entertainment News Tom Daley: 'It Really Was Love at First Sight' 46 min 49 sec ago
- Sports WATCH: The Best From 6 Olympic Gay Divers 7:04 AM
- Commentary Op-ed: Stop Judging Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black 6:00 AM
- Bisexual Op-ed: Don't Worry, Tom Daley's Getting Biphobic Tweets, Too 5:00 AM
- Women WATCH: Lesbian-Themed Web Series 'Kelsey' - Kelsey Gets All Kinds of Action December 04 2013 8:27 PM
- Travel Out Traveler Awards: Best Cruise Line? December 04 2013 7:42 PM