Lady Gaga's male drag appearance as her own boyfriend, Joe Calderone, a chain-smoking, curse-spewing greaser, at the weekend's 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, has become a hit among the LGBT community.
I thought it was great, John Polly, editor of Logo's pop culture blog NewNowNext.com, told MTV News. Gender issues are often the most challenging for people, so I liked that she dove into it and stuck with it throughout the show.
The Born This Way star has been extremely vocal in her support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and famously campaigned against the military's now-repealed don't ask, don't tell policy and for same-sex marriage.
Lady Gaga has only spread a positive and accepting message for all kinds of queer people, Murray Hill, drag-king comedian in New York City and creator of Mr. Transman said. She does this through her work, which is entertainment. There is a lot of homophobic hate spewed in the music industry and in the world. I'm grateful she is using her voice to spread the love.
For Lady Gaga, the biggest pop star in the world, to go on TV with millions of people watching in drag as a man and then to actually say 'lesbian and transgender' live is undeniably powerful and creates change. She ups the visibility big time and gets the language into the mainstream, Hill said.
Gaga attributes much of her early success as a mainstream artist to her gay fans. Early in her career she had difficulty getting radio airplay and stated, The turning point for me was the gay community. I've got so many gay fans and they're so loyal to me and they really lifted me up. They'll always stand by me and I'll always stand by them. It's not an easy thing to create a fan base.
One of her first televised performances was in May 2008 at the NewNowNext Awards, an awards show aired by the LGBT cable channel Logo, where she sang her song Just Dance. In June of the same year, she performed the song again at the San Francisco gay pride event.
After The Fame was released, she said that the song Poker Face was about her bisexuality. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she spoke about how her boyfriends tended to react to her bisexuality, saying The fact that I'm into women, they're all intimidated by it. It makes them uncomfortable. They're like, 'I don't need to have a threesome. I'm happy with just you'.
Gaga appeared at Europride, a pan-European international event dedicated to LGBT pride, held in Rome in June 2011. In a nearly 20-minute speech, she criticized homophobia in many European countries and described homosexuals as revolutionaries of love.