The Lady in The Slaughter
BY Advocate Contributors
February 11 2011 4:00 PM ET
If you're remotely aligned with the mainstream queer community, if you're a pop music aficionado or contrarian hipster or simply a member of the human race that has the misfortune to live anywhere beside a YouTube-less desert island, you've probably heard Lady Gaga's new single "Born This Way."
Here's what you should do next. Turn off your stereo. Open your windows. Take a deep breath and just listen. That noise you hear? It isn't nearby construction or birds cawwing. Its not the rumbling of a train or even the low roar of the ocean. It's not an American Eagle-clad youth screaming "Whoo!" in your ear at a megadisco.
That noise is one million gay men simultaneously vomiting up the kool-aid of arbitrarily prescribed cultural icons. And I don't know why it took so long.
This morning, Facebook was abuzz with disappointment about the latest lump of sequined coal to fall from Stephanie Germanotta's meat diaper into our open ears. And by some blessed miracle, some divine intervention of truth and common sense, that buzz was not good.
Activist types were dismayed about Gaga's exclusive marketing deal with Target. Club fags found the song to have crossed the line between "Madonna homage" and "'Express Yourself'-related intellectual property lawsuit." And everyone else imploring the world to shut up about Lady Gaga, already, was finally in some good company.
Lady Gaga is a brilliant self-marketer who writes stellar hooks and looks good wearing items that appear to have been fished out of Karen O's dumpster. I find her songs to be as emotionally evocative as lichen but they make me dance. And that's pretty awesome. I do not, however, understand how she transitioned into the shortcut for all things gay. She doesn't represent my life, no matter how many times she might be played at a gay bar or how many men take pride in knowing the entire "Bad Romance" dance by heart. Contemporary gay culture has become so entwined with this one woman that I can barely breath.
I am forced to keep abreast of her every single move by the endless, breathless accounts of gay blogs, gay clubs, and overly enthusiastic gay friends. So I might crank "Paparazzi" when I'm at home alone, but the rest of the time I just want her to be de-canonized as a homosexual omnipresence so I can go on with my life. I do believe in culture as politics. But Lady Gaga is not culture.