Born This Way has some spiritual roots.
Lady Gaga marked the 10-year anniversary of the gay anthem and its album by revealing that Carl Bean was its inspiration.
"Born This Way, my song and album, were inspired by Carl Bean, a gay black religious activist who preached, sung and wrote about being 'Born This Way,'" Gaga wrote Sunday on Instagram.
"Notably his early work was in 1975, 11 years before I was born," she added. "Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy, because we deserve joy. Because we deserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all."
Bean was the founder of the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, a denomination that sought to be inclusive of LGBTQ+ people of color. He was also a Motown singer. Bean covered "I Was Born This Way," a gay disco hit first recorded by Valentino and written by Chris Spierer and Bunny Jones, in 1977. It is a clear predecessor to Gaga's "Born This Way," which upon its 2011 release became Gaga's first number-one album. To date, it has been streamed 5.8 billion times worldwide.
On Sunday, Gaga made a surprise appearance at the Abbey in West Hollywood to honor the gay bar's 30th anniversary. In turn, the city honored Lady Gaga with a rainbow street mural on Robertson Boulevard, outside of the Abbey, and a declaration that May 23 will be Born This Way Day.
While at the Abbey, Gaga joined in the festivities. RuPaul's Drag Race star Shangela, who appeared with the bisexual singer and actress in A Star Is Born, posted several videos from the celebration, in which Gaga can be seen singing along to the movie's Oscar-winning song "Shallow," taking photos with fans, and giving remarks alongside the Abbey's founder, David Cooley.
See some of the posts below.