Lady Gaga vows to fight homophobic bullying, pays tribute to Jamey Rodemeyer
Lady Gaga is known for her crazy outfits, her bold, unique personality and her message-filled music. Many fans know by now that if Lady Gaga is at an awards show, whether or not she is performing, she pulls out all the stops to look as unique as possible – heck, she once wore a dress made primarily of meat. Most recently, at MTV’s Video Music Awards, Lady Gaga showed up, performed and even accepted an award for Best Female Video as male alter-ego Jo Calderone.
Lady Gaga became an international celebrity after her first album, Fame, which included songs like “Just Dance” and “Poker Face.” She followed Fame with The Fame Monster and began filling her music with important messages and metaphors.
Continuing her outreach against bullying in youth, particularly against gays, Lady Gaga released her second studio album, I was Born this Way and became one of the biggest public figures advocating against discrimination of homosexuals.
Last week, Buffalo teenager Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide after posting an online tribute to Lady Gage and thanking her for “all you have done” for gay rights. Saturday, Lady Gaga honored Rodemeyer the best way she could – with music.
At the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas, Lady Gaga dedicated an emotional version of her song “Hair” to Rodemeyer. Rodemeyer, a gay teen, had endured years of bullying by his school peers.
Lady Gaga is easily one of the most vocal lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocates in the pop world. She actively campaigned against the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, has spoken openly and often about the importance of marriage equality and gave a rousing speech in Washington, D.C., last year as part of the National Equality March.
During her performance Saturday night, Lady Gaga preceded her performance of Hair with this message:
“We lost a Little Monster this week,” Gaga said of the 14-year-old Rodemeyer during the show, as a picture of the teen was shown on a screen onstage. “I wrote this record about how your identity is really all you’ve got when you’re in school … so tonight, Jamey, I know you’re up there looking at us, and you’re not a victim … you’re a lesson to all of us. I know it’s a bit of a downer, but sometimes the right thing is more important than the music. Let’s do this for him – for Jamey.”
Rodemeyer was a freshman at Williamsville North High School and had suffered taunts and harassment about his sexual orientation. Messages were left on his personal blogs urging him to commit suicide and calling him fat, gay and ugly.
Now, the Amherst Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into Rodemeyer’s death and is considering harassment, cyberharassment and hate crimes charges against a number of teens who may have been involved in bullying Jamey. The support from Lady Gaga could go a long way toward curbing this form of teenage harrassment.
Prior to the two-day festival, which included performances by Jay-Z, the Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez and Usher, Gaga tweeted that she planned to meet with President Obama to encourage him to pass legislation outlawing bullying.
“The past days I’ve spent reflecting, crying, and yelling. I have so much anger…It is hard to feel love when cruelty takes someones life….Bullying must become illegal. It is a hate crime. I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it. Trend it #MakeALawForJamey.”
Following her performance Saturday, Lady Gaga travelled to the Los Angeles-area for a Sunday night gathering at the home of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. President Obama was also a guest at the event and Lady Gaga hoped to follow through with her promise to start the process to outlaw bullying.
While it was unclear whether Lady Gaga got her chance to speak with the president about homophobic bullying, it seems likely the two crossed paths during greetings inside the house before the dinner. Lady Gaga reportedly sat front and center during an 8-minute speech from President Obama. Watch the video below to see Lady Gaga’s tribute.
Photo courtesy TJ Stengel via Flickr and the video courtesy monstermemoirs via YouTube