The Lady in The Slaughter
BY Advocate Contributors
February 11 2011 4:00 PM ET
She can scream at Barack Obama on our behalf all day and I'll appreciate her as a political voice. She came out as bisexual before she was blew up, so she has my love and support as a member of the greater queer "family." And hey, I wouldn't wanna wear the meat dress. So good on her. But otherwise? Her songs are too disposable to be highbrow, and her public persona too self-important to be lowbrow or camp. Instead, that shadowy kabal in the backroom of the Stonewall Inn decided she would be our new god and, remarkably, no one asked why.
So I'm not amazed that this one particular piece of derivative, image-heavy pop might be declared the ultimate gay anthem to a chorus of angry ears. I'm just astounded that it didn't happen earlier. What is the difference between "Born This Way" and everything else Lady Gaga put out? Is it the fact that, for the first time, the content of her music matches the gay-rights messages that spill from her mouth? You'd think that people would embrace that, revel in her outright musical acknowledgment of our struggles. (And no, the video for "Alejandro" does not count.)
Maybe, then, the months of anticipation she engendered towards this song could not match the what it delivered. I always thought that gay male sheepism was a universal certaintly on par with death and taxes but even that, it seems, has its limits. Declaring yourself an icon can only take you so far. Eventually the worshippers catch on and will drop you faster than an unclean bottom at an OCD sex party.
It's scary in a different way, though, that the backlash at this point seems so unified. All that does is create a power vacuum for the next intellectual vacuum with blonde hair and unconventional brassieres to come along. To hijack my life with a song about clubbing and keep me struggling in her clutches until that mythical "they" decides she's done. I don't know if "Born That Way" spells the end of Gaga or just the last step of her current iteration. I could pray for a time that Antony Hegarty is revered the way she is, but I know that will never come.
I know I can "be a queen" if I want to. I didn't need a limp, pink-wigged strand of fettucini to give me her permission. If "Born This Way's" leads to a widescale act of rebellion, if it causes Lady Gaga to fall by the gay wayside, if it allows us to stop being defined from the outside, even for a minute, then I'll count it as the single best song of the year and wash my hands of the whole thing.