Just North of Something Important

Rachel: "People on the Internet can get angry about anything." About me (contact info and bio)
Academic / Professional site (including CV)

Feb 25

Gaga and queerness

michaela a/k/a cindy hotpoint left a comment on my Ke$ha post:

I tried to reblog your post, but got all angsty. That bit about Kiki and Herb and McQueen really rubs me wrong way big time (much in the same way the “Odd Future is Lady Gaga for straight dudes” comment did), so much so that I can’t really talk about it coherently.

I guess this just has to do with the continued focus on the perceived queerness of Gaga’s work. Just because she’s prancing around claiming her work is about equality, or that Elton John touted “Born This Way” as the next big gay anthem, I think that focusing on the, well, faux (yes, faux) queerness of her work is a disservice to your thoughts surrounding her artistic agenda. Let’s just get right to it, this is a straight woman who has made a career out of pandering to broad stereotypes of male homosexuality. She doesn’t get to be a faaaaaaaaabulous gay icon because she deems it so.

Ugh, my thoughts are falling apart. I’ve deleted everything I’ve written in the past five minutes because it’s either too bitchy or too whiny or just didn’t make sense. Mike, this really upsets me, and I just don’t know how to talk about it constructively. At all.

Gaga being straight and claiming the gay mantle (her "gay pander" cf Rich’s article) bugs me (and Rachel) too, but it seems like one of those “who am I to say?” kind of things, so I try not to focus on it too much.  I was trying to talk more about her intentions than her results, and I think we are in agreement here - she is trying to make herself into a Kiki & Herb but trying to make yourself into Kiki & Herb when you’re a straight woman makes you into something very different.  But!  The gays seem to like her so what do I know, etc.  I have THINGS TO SAY about this and also Outsourced but I don’t really know how to go about it without it seeming like one big straightwhitemansplain, so I am basically sitting here hoping someone else with more authority to speak on these matters does so instead, and I am glad Rich did.  I would like Gaga much more without all the accouterments - I really enjoyed “Telephone” the other day, for instance, especially when I realized it was produced by Darkchild, one of my favorite R&B producers ever.  Why not locate her in that tradition rather than only within queer/gay culture?  But again, people seem to be getting something really positive out of her, so it seems kinda mean to disrupt that, and maybe there’s something important I’m missing which is just inaccessible to me.


  1. rogueish reblogged this from barthel and added:
    Gaga isn’t straight, though, and it leaves a rather bad taste in my mouth to see an actual queer woman accused of “faux...
  2. teenageart reblogged this from barthel and added:
    She’s a gay icon because lots of gay men like her, and they think she represents an aspect of gay culture. There’s...
  3. girlboymusic said: Relevant: gaysagainstgaga.tumblr…. (Go back a page or two to see the better stuff.).
  4. dyfl said: Lots to say about Gaga-as-gay-icon, but if I had to sum it up quickly I’d say we love her because she’s teaching/forcing the mass culture to enjoy pop events on the terms that gay culture enjoys them: Camp, dance/fuck-worthiness, and fabulousness.
  5. therichgirlsareweeping said: Thank you for giving more details on your thoughts here, it helps assuage my angst. I have lots to say to this, but I need to a) get back to work and b) eat some lunch, because I think that’s part of why I’m crabby.
  6. barthel posted this