Actually, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” Is Anti-Gay

The lyrics to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” are alternately condescending, patronizing, melodramatic, cliched, obnoxious, and grating. Delivered with all of the subtlety of a sledgehammer, they represent all of the constricting, insulting stereotypes that normal gay people have fought for three decades. I thought we’d done a good job of burying this crap. Now, with Lady Gaga as the media’s appointed spokeswoman for gay people, we’ll have to deal with this bullshit once again — for months, at least.

The lyrics are worse than I imagined they’d be, and every reader of this site knows that my expectations were rock-bottom to begin with. But Gaga’s stans have already come up with their go-to defense of these insulting lyrics: If you don’t like them, you’re clearly homophobic. Gaga Daily is all abuzz with that meme. “The gays” need songs like this, we’re told; ‘Mother Monster’ unites us all in her unbounded love.

Ah, yes: “the gays.” Her old standby. Lady Gaga dedicates awards to “the gays.” She asks at her shows where “the gays” are, and dedicates songs to “the gays out there.” And this song, too, will be for “the gays.” But in fact, “Born This Way” is, at its heart, an anti-gay song. It is restricting and narrow; it looks at gay people and sees nothing but their sexuality. The truth about homosexuality is that it’s really not that big of a deal: it’s not a lifestyle and it’s not an ideology. Speaking as someone gay, I want people to look at me and see not homosexuality — but my values, ideas, and aspirations. My sexuality is an incidental part of my life. But people like Lady Gaga look at me and sees nothing but gay, gay, gay.

The lyrics are certainly horrific for their lack of poetry, but they are even more horrific because they reinforce every stereotype of gays of identity-obsessed fashionista queens. There is nothing tongue-in-cheek about the song.

In the final analysis, Lady Gaga is nothing but the other side of the same coin that the Religious Right occupies. Pat Robertson sees gays as a flaming bunch of queens who are completely obsessed with their sexuality. Lady Gaga sees us in the same way. She should not be excused, let alone glorified, for this insulting attitude, merely because she likes the stereotype. Fag-haggery is not pro-gay. It is demeaning, condescending, and constricting. Every gay person with any respect for himself should boycott this song and this album. And I am supremely confident that this song will produce the much-needed backlash against this delusional woman.

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27 Comments

  1. Ducky
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    You.said.it.perfectly.

    I totally think Gaga is hurting the gay community. And not only that but some buy into. Like when some gay people were attacking Britney because she doesn’t single them out and pay special attention to them when Britney shows REAL equality but loving all her fans just the same. I mean I even saw some comment on Britney’s twitter where some person called her homophobic for not having two men kissing in her videos. What?

    • Scott
      Posted January 31, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I know right! It really pisses me off because Britney actually DOES have 2 guys dancing with each other for a few seconds in her video Piece of Me. Go to 2:44-2:45 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4FF6MpcsRw . The difference with Britney is that she isn’t making it a big deal. Some people are gay, and some aren’t. I just love her and I’m gay too.

  2. Adam
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    But you don’t understand. You’re gay. She’s pro-gay. Therefore, you like her. Stop trying to achieve an identity based on your own desires and efforts and just accept the identity that your homosexuality has given you. You’re gay and great and you had nothing to do with it! Baby you were born this way!

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, baby! Gotta be the queen I really am! God makes no mistakes! It’s all about my homosexuality!

    • charles
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      are you being sarcastic or serious its hard to tell just from writing, lets hope your joking but if your serious then this is directed at you. your gay shes pro-gay so like her, thats like saying your german, hilter strengthen germany and is pro-german go hitlar. Homosexuality isn’t an identity its a trait, a small part of a person. your eye color, hair color, accent, language, education isn’t your identity, everything about you combined is your identity no just one part of you. So no homosexuality is not an identity. Also your homosexuality does not in any way effect your identity and who you are besides determining your preferred sexual partner. lady gaga is just a cheap shank who wears skimpy clothes and acts weird and as a result attracts a bunch of misfits that feel misunderstood and can relate to lady gagas weirdness. Finally lady gaga just copied Madonna, the both dress revealingly, are pro-gay, have similar music, and have similar marketing strategies. lady gag is just a reductive madonna come on madonna started the whole being bi thing for girls is cool, lady gaga happens to constantly emphasizing shes bi, some of their fancy performance clothes are the exact same , lady gaga is just a cheap copy.

  3. LadyBritBrit
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My conclusive judgement of the lyrics:
    I mean…really?

    She’s harming more then she’s helping.

  4. Brad
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Seemed more racist than anything to me in parts “chola” and “oriental” are outdated terms, I get she was looking for something to rhyme but they’re pretty offensive terms. The drag queen line is just plain stupid.

    The lyrics sound cheesy, and unfortunately it looks like its going to be a slower song and she’s gonna try and be all srs with it.

  5. LadyBritBrit
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I hae how the Monsters are acting like HIAM lyrics were bad becaus BTW;s lyrics are worst. HIAM actually makes sense, is not a listing song, builds well, fits into the music, is relatable, and doesn’t isolate minority groups.
    BTW does NONE of that with the lyrics. It isolates people so…

  6. The bitch from the next block
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The only one who is clearly hating and been pressed is you. You will see that you will end up loving the song and buying it and your stupid Hold it against my pussy will flop, PS. It’s already #6 😉

    • Ducky
      Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Will flop?

      Not sure how a song that already reached number 1 will flop…

      • LadyBritBrit
        Posted January 28, 2011 at 4:04 am | Permalink | Reply

        Or even “Dropping” down to 6 is any kind of rational failure, especially considering the 400K people who brought it on the first week.
        6 is honorable and realistic.

    • BritBrit lover
      Posted February 7, 2011 at 1:19 am | Permalink | Reply

      FLOP!?!?!? Hold It Against Me was…wait for it…#1 when it debuted…what was lady gaga?
      Britney was number ONE when she debuted 13 years ago and where is she now? Oh yeah STILL NUMBER 1!!!!

  7. Janet
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What about calling latinas “chola descent”?

    • Oscar
      Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sorry if I don’t write this correctly, but I’m mexican. You’re only trying too hard to find bad things about this song.
      In which moment she sings “latinos don’t feel bad ’cause you’re a chola descent”?
      Besides I wouldn’t feel angry if someone tell me chola, it’s only the point of view that you want to assume.
      By the way, I don’t like the lyrics of BTW, but I don’t feel them anti-gay or anti-latino.

  8. LadyBritBrit
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    6 = still top 10 after blowing away all possible records in one week.

    I pity Monsters I really do.
    Really really reaching, begging, praying, crossing religious boundaries, praying to every single religion and myth past present and future this song breaks the top ten.

  9. Jayden James
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 6:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    “Yeah, baby! Gotta be the queen I really am! God makes no mistakes! It’s all about my homosexuality!”

    MWAHAHAHAHAHA !!! ^^

    They need a reality check and some therapy !

  10. Posted February 8, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    First of all Britney contributes NOTHING to the music industry. She makes cheesy lyrics like “If i said i want your Body now….” <<last time I heard songs were supposed to have a MESSAGE in it? Gaga is not demeaning gays, she's telling gays to be their selves and not to hide because of biggot antigay's! And if you idiots read these beautiful lyrics then you'd see that BTW is not only for the gays….its for everyone who has ever been teased bullied, ect for who they are– homophobia just happens to be the biggest problem of them all. PAWS UP LITTLE MONSTERS CUZ WE WERE BORN THIS FUCKIN' WAY!!!

    • Posted February 8, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, if only Britney’s songs had brilliant messages in them, like the intellectual manifesto “Just Dance”: “Wish I could shut my playboy mouth/How’d I turn my shirt inside out?…I love this record, baby, but I can’t see straight anymore!” Genius!

      • yo mama
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink | Reply

        look at her songs now, may I remind you of The Fame Monster…read them lyrics and see for yourself.

        Britney fans are soo horrible.
        Where were they when she went crazy? NOWHERE….we monsters will always be there for Gaga, no matter what

      • Tyrion Frost
        Posted April 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Lol, that’s ONE SONG..and it’s a song about having fun. Her lyrics vary. I suggest what alex said..look at her lyrics on Fame Monster. They’re far different.

    • charles
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      these lyrics were demeaning, what makes this bad is she didnt mean to make it demeaning she just thinks everyone only wants to be looked at by their sexual orientation. She doesn’t see gays are individuals she sees them as all the same, they all like the same gender thats all there is to them. Actaully no there is a lot more to a person then their sexual orientation. Lady gaga im my opinion makes some pretty catchy songs, the lyrics in most case dont mean anything or as cheesy, but the beat is catchy even if it is stolen from madonna and other musicians. lady gaga is just a cheap nock off of madonna, have your parents listen to born this way, they will say it sounds just like madonna.

  11. HausOfReo
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 6:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    1:We are Lady Gaga’s fans and we didn’t say anything about Britney.
    2:Lady Gaga supports gay and lesbian community.
    3:Did you actually read the Born This Way lyrics?.. If you had read it then you wouldn’t say that.
    4:Why do you hate us britney fans?..Britney loves Lady Gaga!.. She even went to a concert of her!
    5:If Gaga do hate gays,she wouldn’t
    dedicate her award to them!!!
    6:Did little monsters ever wrote something like that about Britney?.. I mean even when you tried to trend Gagaisugly we didn’t trend britneyisugly !!!!!
    7:WE WERE BORN THIS WAY BITCHES!!!

    • charles
      Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      lady gaga dedicates all her awards to “the gays” because thats who buys her music, grow up lady gaga is a sales woman she wants to sell her music. she wrights a song her target audience can relate to so they listen to and buy her song. Lady gaga doesn’t care about the gay community shes just pretends to so “the gays” will be able to identify with her and will buy her music. If she really cared she wouldn’t be reinforcing bad gay stereotypes and she would see “the gays” as actually people, individuals, not just see them by their sexual orientation gay. Also this we were born this way quote is getting old, really, no you were not born this way, dressing like a freak, rebelling against society, acting like a skank, you just want attention.

  12. SHAWN
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I LOVE GAGA and I LOVE BRITNEY! Britney’s been around for 13 years remember! This TARGET deal that Gaga has with then for a DELUXE edition is pissing me off! WHY would she work with them when in 2010 Target funded a shit load of money to anti-gay politicians and causes!!!!!???????

  13. charles
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree, lady gaga is just seeing me as gay. I have thoughts, feelings, ideas, ect. that have nothing to do with my orientation. being gay is just a small part of who i am. lady gaga is once again boxed the gay community into a box. Im not a doctor, a janitor, a volunteer, a brother, sister, mother, father, family, friend, politician, musician, star, performer… Im gay (thats what lady gaga is doing), what else i am, means nothing, im just gay and thanks to lady gaga thats what a lot of people think now, gay people are just gay thats all they are as people. Great going lady gaga trapping the gay community once again in a box after they have been for years working to not be see as the gay community but as people what are like everyone else, they just like the same gender.

  14. Posted May 22, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be
    ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  15. Shannon
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    DONT BE A DRAG JUST BE A QUEEN.
    LADY GAGA IS AN INSPIRATION!

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