Lady Gaga, Beyonce Politics
While one lady is very vocal about her support and love of the gay community, (that “got her to where she is now”) the other is not so vocal. I will not go as far as to say Beyoncé totally ignores her loyal gay fan base. While at Sizzle Miami 2011, an event that brings together thousands of gay men of color to celebrate our diversity and love of one another, Beyoncé sent her “well wishes” via Kelly Rowland in a video. But what the hell is a “how you doin?” video compared to the real activism Lady Gaga has done over the last two years for the LGBT community? A nice acknowledgment, yes. I realize we must exist in a space outside of politics to not further marginalize ourselves because “what is dance without revolution?” However, she has had ample opportunity to open her mouth in support. As someone I admire (twitter.com/anti_intellect) pointed out on Twitter, Michele Obama is a woman with a voice who could speak up about marriage equality and other issues pertaining to the LGBT community, but she has not. Obama and Knowles both occupy the same space of socio-economic privileged Christians.
There are adolescent and grown ass Black men that worship at the altar of Lady Creole, but she hasn’t done much to improve their lives. Granted she has given gays plenty of break-up songs to help them get over the man that has done them wrong, but no matter what anyone says, love is not all there is. The LGBT community needs full citizenship and citizen protection in America and only one of these divas is about the business of getting that done.
And herein lies the racism that plagues the LGBT community. It is not often racism is discussed outside of the hetero-normative, but it thrives in the LGBT community as well and the Beyoncé-Lady Gaga dichotomy is a perfect illustration of the divide.
I’ve learned over the years that my white gay peers aren’t too fond of me. Why? Because they don’t believe we as Black gay men are carrying our load in the Gay Civil Rights movement. It’s as if they are going to do all the work and we come in the back and bear the fruits of their labor. Beyoncé represents the ideology of the Black gay man as ass-shaking, sexual, and at times driven by love, whereas Lady Gaga is the vessel that will do the political work that will allow Beyoncé, once settled on a mate, to actually marry.
Lady Gaga’s one million plus records sold in one week can be unmistakably attributed to her white gay fan base. They didn’t just go out and purchase “Born This Way” by the truck loads because they wanted to hear the catchy hooks, but because there is an LGBT affirming message on the album. However, perhaps more importantly, they realize the more they support Gaga in attendance and cash, the more she can further her assault on heterosexual privilege and they can achieve equality together. On the other hand, Beyoncé believes only girls run the world, yet no matter how female/woman-identified you may be, you will never be seen as a woman socially or civically (in some states) if the work isn’t done politically.