Lady Gaga says it's fair to read Jo Calderone, her male alter ego, as a trans man, according to an interview with The Huffington Post.
Gaga, who appeared in her "You And I" music video as Calderone and recently opened the Video Music Awards with a blistering monologue, tells HuffPo's Noah Michelson, "Reading Jo in any kind of way is a fair reading."
Gaga says the character is "meant to manipulate the visualization of gender in as many ways as I possibly could. And in a completely different way, sort of do that by creating what seems to be a straight man -- a straight and quite relatable American man. I wanted to see how I could take someone who is so approachable and so relatable and press a much more unrelatable issue that is so hidden or so chained up. [I wanted to see] how I could put someone who is challenging all of those things in a very pop culture moment and force people to deal with it no matter how uncomfortable or exciting it may be."
Gaga also discusses why she is inspired by transgender people. "I see the trans community as a very inspiring group that on a daily basis deals with obstacles and struggles that most of us can't perceive of," she says. "I think they should be revered and honored and protected and I think it's important for me, as an artist, to push those particular boundaries because of how many of them I know and how important it is to the young community and in order to stop bullying and to inspire teachers in schools and the heads of giant organizations to be kind and tolerant to one another so that we all may discover who we are in a free and loving space."