Happy Birthday Lady Gaga!
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TWENTY SIX. It makes us feel a bit sick with jealousy, but in light of the birthday girl's celebrations, we've dusted off our lovely GT400 letter (you know that one where she was on the cover) and wiped a nostalgic tear from our eye.
There's only one soundtrack to put on while you read this:
We’ve written a letter to Mother. The address says Haus of Gaga
Dear Lady Gaga,
We’d like to officially sanction your position as the Greatest Female Gay Icon of our generation. We’re finally over that rainbow, and Judy just doesn’t cut it any more. So here are the keys to our kingdom, we hope you like the furnishings. Of course you can wear them, as long as they come back in one piece.
Some people may gripe that you’re, well, self-appointed for this position. That’s why we’re writing this letter. You got the job. We’ve listened to the nay-sayers, but from where we’re standing, you don’t steal from the gays, you learn from them. And give back. That’s because none of us got enough love in our childhood, and that’s showbiz. Your fame is Warholian. Your thoughts are Wildean. And your looks are crafted from the hardest working gays in the Haus. We’re jealous of your outfits and your harem of tight-lipped fashionistas have helped you create every artistic impulse you could ever have. Meat. Eggs. Male alter egos. Marilyn Manson cast offs. All yours for the taking, and you took them and twisted them into something shiny and new. Not just gratuitous sexual titillation – we can get that any day of the week (Saturdays). No, you’re not “sexy” sexy. You’re androgyny sexy, deviant sexy, we want your ugly, we want your desire sexy. Anyone can be sexy when you put it like that.
As practising homosexuals, we’ve got a lot to thank you for, Ga (can we just call you Stef?). Your unwavering championing of gay rights has genuinely moved us at times. When you dedicated the song Hair to Jamey Rodemeyer, a boy who was bullied to death, we wondered how many little monsters hear your songs and think “Fuck you, bullies. I‘m on the right track”. When you ended a cute anecdote about being a fairygrandmother to Elton John’s baby on Jonathan Ross’ show, and explicitly linked it to gay rights and acceptance, we did an internal salute. No one else is regularly making these public links from celebrity to everyday lives. It’s an astoundingly simple concept, that we should be treated the same as heterosexuals. But we still need global superstars to give out little reminders. So that all of us, drags, queens, Lebanese, one and all, have the same basic rights to get on with our lives and not end them prematurely.
You regularly get up and shout about gay marriage and your Washington speech about gays serving in the army really paid off. Granted, they’re not top of our personal wish list, but still. Equality has to start somewhere. And if the most followed person on twitter wants to preach a message of love to her 14 million and counting followers, we have nothing but love to return. Thank you, Gaga. Seriously.
In your brief and meteoric rise to fame, you’ve won over a significant percentage of feminist cultural critics (maybe not Camille Paglia, but then she was always more of a Madonna girl). For us, you call the shots, do what you want, how you want to and don’t feel bad about it. We checked our Idiots Guide To Feminism, and that’s some good shit. As gay boys, we need our sisters onside. A fear of femininity is a fertile breeding ground for homophobia, especially the latent repressed kind found in practising homosexuals. If you can’t let rip and enjoy Bad Romance, if you’ve never thrown your head back on a dance floor and screeched “I DON’T WANNA BE FRIEEEEEENDS”, then you have never loved yourself.
Do you remember your first ever UK performance at G-A-Y? We do. Our love was consummated upon your show over here since hitting the big-time, at Heaven, London, January 2009. Just Dance was just making its impact and Bad Romance was but a faint twinkle in your creative eye. We got there hours early and sweated it out amongst a couple-thousand other obsessives, each with a lightening bolt drawn beneath their left eye. We dragged our disbelieving then-boyfriend along for company and he almost had his eyes scratched out by a poker-faced bystander desperate to seize our third row viewing spot; he never forgave us, no wonder it didn’t work out. However, he’s since conceded he’s thankful he was there, a witness to a little piece of pop culture history. Gloriously prosthetics-free, your disco stick screamed Blue Peter double-sided sticky tape and your white blonde wig looked as brittle as Jeremy Joseph’s wrists. There were no gimmicks that night – just you, a leotard, and a handful of masterfully written pop gems performed with such power and gusto the audience was whipped into a near frenzy. Hand on heart, we saw someone pass out from excitement.
And now you’re the soundtrack to a million nights out in gayland. We’ve been to bars on every continent, and wherever a tiny laminated rainbow sticker is, you’re there waiting to lure us in dancing to your loud, obnoxious, ubiquitous, unavoidable and amazing pounding beats. We even got a bit emotional the other day in the gym, hearing the line, “no matter gay straight or bi, lesbian transgender life”. No one else sings so directly to us.
So thank you for being one of our 400th cover stars. And thanks for working with Terry Richardson, the only photographer we know who makes man and woman tits look equally hot. He was the natural choice.
Before we go, one last thing. Don’t ever change. And by that we mean keep on changing, and changing people’s perceptions. That’s why you’re our greatest female gay icon. Baby, you were born that way.
Paws and love,