Sermon From the Electric Chapel: Why I love Lady Gaga
As I lay in bed one January night, thoughts about my parents flooded my mind. I had numerous hypothetical arguments with them. I felt anxiety, stress, and pain over the way our relationship had deteriorated over the last few years. I felt anger at their refusal to listen and their ease at disengaging from my life. I felt the pain of neglect. And I felt an overwhelming desire to fall asleep, although it avoided me for several hours.
The next morning, as I was showering and getting ready, that internal angst and conflict returned, and I found myself defending myself in my head again. As I caught myself, however, I was instantly transported back to the Born This Way Ball two days previous, where I had listened to my favorite musician sing her heart out.
Lady Gaga had a killer entrance, like usual, and her show was incredible. She went on for about an hour, then she took a minute, walked to the front of the stage, and talked to us. She preached her own little sermon, which I would probably entitle the “Don’t Give a Fuck” sermon. She said that when she was outcast in her youth, or when she is attacked in the media today, she refuses to give a fuck. She asked her dancers how they felt when others belittled them in their youth. They responded that they don’t give a fuck.
Then she turned to us, and this is the moment I was thrown into this morning. She said “It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, black, white, asian, or muslim. If others try to tear you down, do not give a fuck. So let me ask you this: when others try to hurt you, are you going to give a fuck?” To which thousands of Little Monsters screamed “No!”
And in that moment I looked around at those thousands of people, who were as different as possible from one person to the next. But in that moment, we were one people. We were united. Our Mother Monster formed us into a community, where love and compassion are law.
Being brought back to that memory that morning threw out all the voices of disapproval, rejection, and hate. I felt nothing but love and acceptance, and I heard the words of the song “Bad Kids” ring in my ears: “Don’t be insecure if your heart is pure. You’re still good to me. You’re a bad kid, baby.” And I knew that at least to Lady Gaga, I was still worth it.
I know how ridiculous that may sound. She is an international pop star who doesn’t know me from the millions of other Little Monsters out there. Yet, at the same time she does know me. As she told us at her concert, she is me. “Years from now, when they ask you who Lady Gaga was, you tell them, she was us.”
Despite being projected into the international starlight she never forgets her roots, that we feel as she did, as she does. I love Lady Gaga, because in her music, in her words, at her concerts I know that she truly and sincerely loves me, even if she may never meet me. I feel that.
And so I wonder, who speaks the words of God more: the “christians” protesting her concert, telling her fans that they are damned, or the woman who spends her money and her life singing and telling others that they are beautiful, that they are wonderful, and that they will always have a home with her, as one of her Little Monsters? I hear the mercy and love of God in her words, as unconventional as that may seem.
Though I may never be able to express it to her, I am so grateful for Lady Gaga, for her courage and her bold voice of compassion. And I hope that she feels my love, along with the love of all the Little Monsters around the world. She can be sure that we won’t “forget her when she comes crying to heaven’s door,” because she gave us the courage and hope to get there ourselves.