Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” Is Here, It’s Queer & We Have An OPEN THREAD

You all freaked out (not in a good way) two weeks ago when we posted the lyrics to Gaga‘s new single “Born This Way,” claiming the song was an offensive, hyper religious PSA. Well, now you can discuss the song’s offering musically, and debate whether it’s a blatant rip-off of Madonna‘s “Express Yourself” or not!

Listen to “Born This Way”

Listen to “Express Yourself”

My personal feeling is this: You know how Gaga rarely mentions Madonna as an influence, instead namedropping David Bowie, John Lennon and Queen every chance she gets? Well, I think the Lady doth protest too much and has a serious hard on for the woman who has directly influenced nearly every pop star’s music video, costume and concert tour of the past 20 years.  These girls have a particular obsession with “Express Yourself” –and rightly so!– whose music video was copied TWICE last summer in Christina Aguilera‘s “Not Myself Tonight” and Gaga’s own “Alejandro.”

Anyhow, I still love/adore/wannamakebabieswith Gaga and cannot wait to hear the full album in May.


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Jess is a pop culture junkie living in New York City. She enjoys endless debates about The L Word, Howard Stern, new techy gadgets, DVR, exploring the labyrinth of the Lesbian Internet, memoirs, working out, sushi, making lists, artsy things, anything Lady Gaga touches, traveling, puppies, and nyc in the fall. Find her on Twitter @jessxnyc or via email.

Jess has written 240 articles for us.


  1. I have a lot of feelings mainly concerning my vag area when it comes to Jo Calderone a.k.a Lady Gaga.

    Loved the song, I do get a Madonna vibe but I don’t see anything wrong with that, you can get inspiration from whatever, is better to have Madonna as your inspiration than lets say.. Jessica Simpson for example (was that too much?)

    I’m having a really hard time to understand Jo Calderone is just an alter ego. I want to marry him. Srsly.

  2. every time i hear this, i legit think “copyright infringement?” This is haunting like Under Pressure vs Ice Ice Baby!

  3. I quite like the song. That said, though…I went to her concert last yr and I enjoyed it. But I really think that – while Gaga DOES have power – she also has an overinflated sense of power and influence. And, this is just me, but…I feel like she uses her alliance with the LGBT community to sell records. And the bs ‘my little monsters’ crap. You can care about your fans and talk to them without blatantly using a song lyric of yours to make them feel ‘special’ and keep them in your fanbase. So much of it is marketing that it just – as a whole – everything just feels so over-processed and overdone and overhyped. I used to like her but I guess I just find that she has an overinflated sense of power. /End Rant

    • ohmygod. MTE!

      it’s great that she’s all for equality and stuff, but I think it’s more of a business decision than anything else, which makes her a great businesswoman, but definitely not someone I look up to.

      • How could it be just a “business decision” for a bisexual person to support her own equality?

        That’s what people keep forgetting here. Lady Gaga isn’t just an ally, she’s a member of the LGBTQ community herself. I’m pretty sure it’s more than just pandering.

    • THIS. this is exactly how I feel, and no one ever seems to get it, until now. I <3 Autostraddle girls so, so much.

    • The little monsters stuff does seem a little paternal(maternal?)istic.
      I keep wondering how Lady Gaga sells anything, since I rarely meet anyone that actually buys her stuff instead of just walking around humming stuff off of the radio.

    • I like the overall message of the song, but I don’t particularly like the song itself. The song’s beat/rythym/etc is catchy but gets obnoxious after a while. I feel like she’s once again trying to milk her support of all things GLBT, and also trying to prove that she can sell anything to her fans as long as it’s related to GLBT things. (And I feel like GLBT issues have become what she does.) When I think Lady Gaga I first think “Born This Way” and “Poker Face” and then I think all things gay.
      I liked the version that was done on Glee slightly more than the original.

  4. This song is not only a grotestque example of biological essentialism and racially ignorant language, but the unwillingness of the lgbtq community (even in this post) to ignore this speaks to a larger inclusion problem. The national discourse on queer rights continues to ignore its people of color and its shameful. The question shouldn’t be whether this is a madonna rip off, but how putting a catchy beat and some pro lgbt lyrics somehow makes this a queer anthem despite racially ignorant Terms?

    • YES. This exactly.

      I understand that looking at cultural products and consistently finding serious issues is wearying, but that doesn’t mean it’s better to turn away. There are some serious problems with this song and, even people who love GaGa — and maybe ESPECIALLY people who love her — need to make it clear that the perpetual subjugation of minority groups within both the LGBTQ community is not okay, even if it’s wrapped up in a pretty and pandering bow.

      As Yamiloo, a rather prominent GaGa fan, said earlier today, “I challenge my fellow Little Monsters to do the same. If you are genuinely as concerned about this stuff as I am, then don’t just blindly kiss her ass and push those feelings aside. She clearly wants to unite her fans and represent a celebration of diversity, but she’s shooting herself in the foot. She has some answering to do, and we need to make that clear.”

    • On top of all the other problems I have with the song as I have already posted, I just don’t really care for the music. I listened to it a couple of times and I don’t really like it because of the music isn’t good.

  5. I like the beat. When I first listened it made me smile. I will drink & dance to it & be happy. I’m more excited to hear the rest of the album!

  6. This is the first time I couldn’t finish a Gaga single. Even if I did like it, there’s no denying that it sounds remarkably like Madonna.

    Speaking of, I think I was way too young when I first saw Express Yourself the first time. It’s one of those things that improves after you’ve passed puberty (and seen Fritz Lang’s Metropolis).

    • I lost much respect for Madonna after I saw that bastardized version of Metropolis. Fritz Lang rolled in his grave, I’m sure.

  7. At risk of being struck down and turned to ash… I don’t think it’s her best song. I like the message – but really this didn’t do much for me?

    I’m waiting for some re-mixes…

    P.S. Madonna… LOTS of feelings.

    • Agreed. I don’t have a problem with the song, I’m not offended by it and I genuinely think she’s trying to do some good with her message. But… I still like Poker Face a lot, lot better.

  8. uhhh i really dislike this song.

    1. it doesn’t just sound like madonna, it is madonna. let us not lie. and what that means is, well, we don’t live in the 80’s anymore and she should get it. and also, she should maybe actually create new content when she makes us wait for so long and hypes her shit. recycling is recycling. be more honest.

    2. i like that lady gaga likes gay people. too bad she only like 5 specific boxes for gay people.

    3. don’t be a drag, just be a queen makes me want to vomit

    4. i don’t identify as a chola. i would like if skinny white rich famous women didn’t assume i did. also, orient? ok, fuck yourself.


    6. awkward god references and gay gene discussion are awkward.

    / rant

  9. All I want to say is that everyone is comparing this to a song that was written in 1989. Do you really think artists are not influenced by what comes before them? Lady Gaga was born in 1986.

    It’s a fun song and has a great message, especially for youngsters. If you’ve already crossed that gateway, then sure, Gaga is nothing to you. But she’s for the people – the young people – who haven’t had that opportunity yet.

    • This is a great message for youngsters as long as your are not a person of color, don’t feel its about genes, etc.

        • I am quite sure how to take that, because that comment seems quite rude…. Its not being sensitive its about being racially aware. Though if we are all racially and culturally aware, then we will be sensitive to these types of issues.

          • Not trying to be rude…

            I guess I just try to see where it’s coming from, and where it’s coming from (to me) is not a place of racial hate or discrimination. I just think it’s in jest, for amusement. To me, it’s harmless but I (or Gaga, for that matter) can not control how people are going to interpret it.

          • I guess that is my whole frustration with this, is I am sure this wasn’t coming from a place of racial hate or discrimination, but ignorance. However, as fans and a community we should stand together to challenge this rhetoric so we can be above this ignorance.

  10. I found this song very uninspired. No matter what people may think of her, Lady Gaga is a talented performer/artist. When I heard her riff of the song at the meat dress acceptance I was excited. I was hoping for an anthem similar to ‘Speechless.’ Obviously that is not what we got. The lyrics… well other people addressed them better than I could and I am glad it’s not like ‘Speechless’ so I don’t understand what she’s saying.

    Whether the song sounds like Madonna or TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’ (am I right?) doesn’t matter to me. What makes me sad is that it sounds contrived, like she was put through a pop machine and lost her soul. That’s what I love about her music, the power she brings through. Sadly, it was lost for me. I hope the rest of the album shows me something different. Until the end, though, Gaga is a force in her own right and I will follow her.

    • Yes “Waterfalls” was my very first thought too!!!

      I mean, I can also see the Madonna thing. But unlike everyone else in the world I have never enjoyed Madonna as a musician, person or image-producer so this, along with the egregious, potentially-offensive awkwardness of so many of the lyrics, makes me very displeased with this song. (When I read the lyrics I hoped that maybe they’d be more or less indistinguishable on the record, but nope, they come across loud and clear.)

  11. I clicked on the video expecting to hear Lady Gaga, and I spent 4mn20 listening Madonna with an added touch of ugly electro sounds reminding me of pop radios circa 90’s and cheap nightclub-like deafening beat.
    You’re a little early girls, April 1st is still one month and a half away.

    Seriously, that’s not the official version, right? I’m not a huge Gaga fan but this was just… bad.

  12. I really don’t like it, it just seems like she’s trying too hard.
    A “gay anthem” it is not, and I agree that it seems racially insensitive/offensive – but saying that – you just know it’s going to get played at every LGBTQI bar :/

  13. yes, it gives a nod and wink to madonna in several ways… and i love madonna, but madonna can not belt like that; she’s not that kind of singer.

    and i have several asian-american friends, and they always say oriental about themselves and their culture.

    and this song is fun! for a major mainstream song to just say LGBT is a big deal. not to us cuz we live in it and hear it constantly, but to the world, it’s kinda a big deal.

    • Agreed. It’s not very ground breaking to people who know who, let’s say, Le Tigre or The Gossip are – but, as I said before, Gaga can be a great gateway for young people to maybe start listening to that sort of stuff.

      And the last thing I wanted to do was provide a “Well, my black friend…” type of line, but I say ‘chola’ to my friend Luis all the time and he calls me a ‘guido’. We’re not racist, we’re having fun… we’re taking the word back. And – doesn’t the orient refer to the east?

      I get it though – some people just don’t like to hear those words.

      • absolutely. and how i love the gossip and le tigre. honestly, it is powerful to have a name that everyone knows and so many pay attention to calling positive attention to LGBT issues. i think it’s positive.

        sure, she can’t include every segment of queerdom in a mainstream pop song, but this is a start. and people are taking back those words, like you said.

        and it’s playful and dancey. is it the greatest dance song ever? no way. but hey, why not let this be a message out there. it could help contradict that barrage of way more insulting, misogynist popular music.

        i say, let’s just dance and be happy that someone is putting queers out there. that’s what will help those who are afraid of homosexuality chill. i think so anyway.

      • On the other hand, I *have* been told by Asian friends that they find the term “Oriental” outdated and offensive. So there’s that.

        • I am not going to go so far as to condemn language that doesn’t apply to me unless it’s quite clearly offensive and meant maliciously. Frankly, when it comes to some of the groups I belong to (say, being disabled) it bothers me when people use softball terms to refer to me. I am goddamn blind, I am not low vision. It’s not that the term isn’t accurate–it is, I can in fact see under certain circumstances/certain things/what have you–it’s that it’s often used by able people to make /themselves/ feel better about /my/ condition. So I don’t know. I don’t want to see people flinging about whatever terms they like in a thoughtless manner, but I also don’t think we can type a whole group as to what is and isn’t offensive. It’s a sticky issue, for sure, but even in the blind community that whole blind versus sight impaired/low vision/etc thing is a HUGE issue that routinely causes big fights. Also given the point of the song (hey if you’re a misfit and/or disadvantaged, yay! you’re all empowered and stuff!) the use of the language seems sort of tongue in cheek, in the sense that people do tend to use those kinds of terms in an attempt at reclaiming them/making fun of the limited language often applied to them.

          Now if you want to complain about the goddamn biological determinism, oh boy. Sigh. Though I have to say I was just so happy someone mentioned transgender and disabled people in a song I couldn’t even get that mad, as sad as that is.

  14. there’s a lot of problems with this song that have been already mentioned.

    this song, to me? feels like a song for kids. i know lady gaga isn’t appropriate for children but bear with me — it’s not a song for people who criticize media and analyze it because clearly to us, there’s like 99 problems with it, and a bitch may or may not be one. these problems are worth discussing, obviously, and this is a part of that discussion.

    the myriad of problems with the execution of this song and its lyrics nonwithstanding — she probably gets a lot of fan mail and fan reception from kids who say hearing lady gaga do these pro-lgbtq things and activism and hearing her on the radio singing that they were born this way means a lot to them. there are people who never hear this kind of message in popular culture, not this loudly. it’s cheesy. it’s like that song about graduating high school and being friends forever that came out like 10 years ago and is now played at every graduation ceremony ever — she’s creating a cheesy anthem that hasn’t been done, and getting in there with “we are family” and “i’m coming out” as default-gay-songs.

    does it seem to us like she’s getting a little too over the top with the LGBTQ activist thing, or that some of us feel she is “using” the cause? Yeah duh. But probably to about two million other people, it means everything to them. And that feedback is probably the loudest feedback she hears, and so she’s going to respond to that feeling by wanting to give more of what these fans have responded to.

    like if someone says to me that they like how we are personal on this website and talk about ourselves and our friendships makes them really like the website more, or feel like we are all friends — then we are going to respond by continuing to do that and talk like that. But meanwhile, probs 50% of the people find that incredibly irritating, personality cultish, cliquey and juvenile and distracts from whatever serious causes we attempt to promote. but we won’t change our ways until one of those people complains to us about it, too, you know?

    i mean, that’s how it works as an artist. you give your fans what you think they want and you thrive on their gratitude and appreciation. does that mean her motives for directly appealing to this kind of self-affirming homo activism are entirely selfless? not at all. there’s something to be said for humility, or for the way an artist can get addicted to positive affirmation, or for having your intentions be totally pure, among other problems. but her motives are not necessarily manipulative, either.

    • You just articulated everything I feel about it in a way that’s much smarter than I could pull off.

      I would also like to point out that your comment was posted at 4:20 pm. Destiny.

    • This is exactly the reason that I spend a lot of time tuning out a lot of mainstream music/movies/television/etc. I don’t really have anything to say about how you guys handle your writing on this site because obviously I’m here and I appreciate what you do, but your guesses about Gaga’s reasons for writing this song are problematic for me. I understand wanting positive feedback and for people to like you as an artist and thriving off of that, but the artists that I really respect are truthful. They share their own truths, stories, experiences as honestly as possible and that to me makes the best art. Anything that comes from a need to be liked, whether it’s by fans or record executives or advertisers or your own mother, is going to be fakey and watered down and people are going to see through it and ultimately not find much that really moves them. Most people can tell when something’s honest and you’re more than likely going to find an audience for whatever message/artwork you’re trying to get out if you share something people can relate to. And people can’t relate to a white woman using the word “chola” because she has absolutely no idea what she’s saying or who she’s speaking to.

      I also understand how difficult it is to be truthful as an artist so I don’t begrudge her for not spilling her soul in order to make a buck. Or a bazillion bucks, whatever. My main issue with all of this is that this is what we get as an audience and a society. This is who is making all the money and getting all of the attention when genuine artists are starving and rarely given a chance. And now this isn’t even about Gaga or this song anymore so I’m going to stop going off on a tangent.

    • “i mean, that’s how it works as an artist. you give your fans what you think they want and you thrive on their gratitude and appreciation.”

      Respectfully, I disagree. Artists create from vision and may or may not care if you are grateful or appreciative. Brands give you what they think you want and thrive on your patronage. Any fan of music can list at least a handful of groups they consider sellouts because the music evolved from being made by artists to the same old shit churned out by a bRand.

      From the beginning, Lady Gaga has been a brand first and foremost. Her process of cultivating lgbtq fans is no different than how McDonald’s goes about making 4 y.o.’s brand loyal.

  15. Completely ignoring any issues with the language or the theme this is just not a great song. Like honestly, Lady Gaga could do A LOT better. I have no problem with her feeding off of Madonnas influence or using this style, but the fact that she hyped up this boring 80’s electro-pop rip off for months is just stupid. As soon as it started playing I felt like I’d already heard it a million times before and I was completely unimpressed. Did we really wait this long for something so mediocre?

  16. I’m kind of disappointed.
    When I heard her belt out those lyrics at the VMA’s or whatever they were, I was expecting a beautiful tingly ballad, not a sparkly pop song that seems more like it’s using the LGBT community to sell records, not actually support them. IDK, I was just expecting more depth.

  17. All my gayboy friends are way too excited about this song and laugh me when I try to explain my issues with it

  18. I hate this song and I can not stand the defense of this songs terrible lyrics. From the somewhat trans exclusive “born this way” tone, the ignorant racial comments, and the fact she has bamboozled in believing she is not using “the community” for her own purposes, its all bad. Bleh.So let me say this as a young midwest queer this song only make the closet seem like a better place to go when you don’t fit the queer stereotype. I think I am a young enough latina for this song to try to appeal to me, as everyone is suggesting, and I will feel very isolated and upset when they place this at the club.

  19. Her conservative sponsors are probably thrilled with how fucking dumb this ‘anthem’ is going to make the queer community look.

    By the way, have y’all seen the pictures of her in blackface yet?

  20. I think people are taking this song and twisting it into whatever they can. Not to be a big B-word but these responses are making me feel like I’m in some kind of over sensitive lesbian club or something.
    Who gives two flying pigs if the song sounds like Madonna! Usher and Ne-Yo remind me of Michael Jackson. All Time Low and We The Kings and all of those other shitty bands sound and LOOK alike. A bunch of men with long hair and legging jeans. (grody)
    CMON people. Lady Gaga is so incredibly influential to the world. A song saying gay, lesbian, transgender, etc etc on the radio is astonishing. It’s not a few lyrical hints towards gay people, the words are actually being spoken. Can some one PLEASE tell me a song that has gay, lesbian, transgender, and bi in the lyrics and is mainstream and was written by one of the biggest popstars at this moment in time? PROBABLY NOT.
    Lady Gaga can be annoying and I don’t care that much about what she’s using this and that for. The point is who we are is in a song and is going to be heard all over the world. We want tolerance for love, so have tolerance for the way she’s promoting it.

    • It’s not that this song isn’t monumental, because it is. But that tolerance shouldn’t come at the expense of other marginalized groups. That’s my issue with it, anyway.

    • You’ve given it merit just on the fact that those words appear in the lyrics. That doesn’t excuse the ridiculousness of the song.

    • “Not to be a big B-word but these responses are making me feel like I’m in some kind of over sensitive lesbian club or something.”

      Honey, I think you’re the one being over-sensitive.

  21. I was reading reviews of the song all over the Web, and so many people are finding this song a pulsating ballad of positivity. It makes me sad that on this website more than any other I’ve read through, there are so many negative comments. Just saying.

    • Waitasec… so you’re saying because other people on the Internet like this song, everyone should like this song and no one who has problems with it should state their opinion? Ooookay…

  22. Every time anything even remotely critical is said about some artist saying something offensive comes up, the comments start coming about how, well, it wasn’t their intent, they didn’t mean to offend anybody. I think it’s about time that we as a society started saying FUCK THAT NOISE in response, because no one is saying “Oh my god, you unknowingly hurt somebody, you are the worst person ever and you should immediately be drawn and quartered!” And no one is saying that every other person in the world has to be offended by the same thing. What they’re saying is that these words are hurtful to many people and that they shouldn’t be thrown around thoughtlessly.

    The thing is, you’ve now got these two racially charged terms being thrown around like they’re nothing, and there are going to be people mindlessly singing along who don’t realize the significance of those words. And there should be a discussion about it, because people need to be aware of how the things they say can be damaging. When we say things like “Oh, well, Lady Gaga is progressive and an ally to all and loves equality and freedom and America and kittens, and she would never mean to hurt anyone, so this is okay!” we’re just sweeping those issues under the rug. It’s hypocritical (can you imagine what we’d be saying right now if Glenn Beck used those words?) and it’s really, really not okay.

    tl;dr, I know, but I have ALL OF THE FEELINGS on this. Seriously – intentions don’t matter. Well, okay, no, they matter. Obviously there’s a big difference between setting out to hurt someone and doing it unintentionally. But the outcome’s still the same, and there needs to be some accountability. If we own our actions, we also need to own their consequences, regardless of whether or not those consequences are good or bad.

    • Also, reading my comment back, obviously we’d be angrier about Glenn Beck using those words because he’s a hateful douchebag. But not calling out supportive people/allies/celebrities on their own racist/sexist/homophobic/ableist/classist/whateverist shit creates a double standard, and that’s dangerous.

      • OKAY I WISH I HADN’T COMMENTED AT ALL SINCE APPARENTLY I’M JUST GOING TO SIT HERE ALL NIGHT AND AMEND EVERY SINGLE WORD I SAID. Probably “dangerous” is the wrong word, but you guys know what I mean, right? If people are hurting us (or others), we need to let them know, or else they’re going to keep doing it. And if influential people are hurting us (or others), we need to let them know, or else they’re going to keep doing it and others are going to think it’s okay to do the same. And, worst of all, we’re going to think it’s okay for people to hurt us. Right? does that make sense? Oh my god why do I comment after naps. Worst life choice. :( I promise to only crack jokes and/or talk about kittens for the next month or so.

        • I love this. And I agree with a lot of what you said in your first post. I think kids who hear this song are going to be singing the lyrics without knowing what those offensive words mean. And subconsciously they will think, well, Gaga uses terms like “chola” and “orient” so I can too. It is dangerous.

  23. I personally don’t think it sounds too much like “Express Yourself”. Maybe I’m just deaf, but I don’t get the comparison. I think she was trying to do a good thing by making this song, and I love the tune and words. And not everyone is offended by the racial terms in this song. I have Asian friends who have listened to it, and they are not bothered by the term “orient”. What I don’t get is that people get all upset about this but don’t make a fuss about the women-bashing and use of the n-word in rap. Not saying that all of you guys aren’t against that, but there are plenty of people who are against this song and for sexism and other racial slurs in lyrics. That’s a double standard as well.

    That being said, as an atheist, I would’ve preferred that she kept God out of the song. But then, when I sing it, I just substitute other letters for H-I-M. And in my opinion, just because it is sung in a song doesn’t necessarily mean that the person singing it feels that way. For example, I may be singing “I wanna take a ride on your disco stick” when, in fact, I find “disco sticks” somewhat disgusting. Some people just like songs for the sound, and when you overanalyze it, that takes the fun away.

  24. I have nothing profound to say like those above me. The beat is okay and I can see it being blasted at pride/Dinah/gay clubs all over.

    I don’t think she can include everyone into a song. She just listed some things out. There is no intellectual reason to include Lebanese, but for it probably sounded lyrical to her.

    Bottom line, I think it’s fantastic to have a song on Top 40 radio saying “gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgendered … you’re on the right track.” Sure it’s not inclusive of the entire spectrum, but it’s the labels popular society knows. We gotta get people to understand one thing at a time. Exploitative or not, it’s still ballsy of her to release this very queer song to mainstream America (and world).

    I am an Asian-American, 28 years old. The word “Orient” doesn’t offend me that much. I get why it’s historically offensive and ignorant. I was more annoyed when kids used to call me chink or slant their eyes or made me feel I could only be either Chinese or Japanese bc at the time, kids thought Asian people were either Chinese and Japanese. But times have changed and awareness has progressed. I now get a list of ethnicities before they get to mine. I still get asked, but at least that list has gotten longer. One day, there WILL be awareness of the entire spectrum in reference to sexualities.

  25. what’s the album name?

    i’m too tired to listen to the lyrics properly, but i still love it.


  26. I LOVE gaga, and everything she has done up till now has been amazing and inventive, original and refreshing. I really like BTW but even though the lyrics are relevant, its still not up to par with her old stuff! i also did NOT expect to ever be so directly comparing a gaga single with anyone else-she has always been super original and ahead of the game- basically i love her and cant wait for the album but i’m a biiit dissapointed #toomuchhype

  27. I like the song. It does sound a lot like Madonna’s music, but that doesn’t bother me. I think that she’s been such an amazing LGBT advocate that we should get behind everything she does, and support her career however we can.

    Thanks for the support, GaGa.

  28. Shivers/goosebumps right when she said, “I was born to survive…”.

    Indeed, thanks for the support, and maybe affirmation too.

  29. Please see “This Is How We Live, No F*cks to Give: KC Danger’s Guide To Not Giving a F*ck.” Good for everyone who decides to give a fuck here (Do not give a fuck about the following: Being afraid to question things or people or even yourself) but it’s not where I’m giving one of mine.

    • THANK YOU. I’m all out of fucks for the week, i’ve none left to give till i re-up on hump day. And even then, my fucks are not for dissecting pop music.

  30. Lyrics aside it’s just not that interesting or powerful of a song to me. I understand people’s issues with the lyrics and agree with the racial issues and problem of needing to excuse ourselves for being gay by saying there’s nothing we can do about it.

    This song like many Gaga songs is probably going to get into my brain though and slowly make a home so that I find myself randomly humming it to myself. I still haven’t decided if that’s a good thing. Am I being brainwashed?

  31. My conspiracy theory ..

    At some point Madonna said ‘I’m tired, I think I’m kinda out now guys’ .. ‘I’ve got these kids now and I don’t have time to stroke the gays, plus Kabbalah is my life, and I always said (publicly) that when I thought I was over it or too “old” I’d just hire younger models for my videos or projects.’

    So there was Gaga (with a style very different than now), on the radar of all the music industry insiders – yet no one knew what to do with her (true story). Even people like Janet Jackson were watching to see what little Stefani-Joanne-Angelina-Germanotta would do..

    Long theory short: I feel like somewhere, behind the scenes Madonna has a hand in the creation of monster Gaga. They’ve been weirdly quiet about each other, despite the blatantly obvious rip offs.

    Another rip off is the “Born This Way” cover art – look at Kylie’s “2 Hearts” cover :)

  32. I’m too young to be some crazed Madonna fanchild, but this song makes me happy and I’ve been raving to it all day, so good job Gaga, :D

  33. None of my “gay anthems” mention gayness. I took bits and pieces of “normal society” and randomness and made them work for my situation. Shit marketed at gays wouldn’t work, because anything pre-fabbed lacks the dynamic adaptability essential to homo survival tools. This song and its problems.. who needs ’em? We have Johnny Cash singing “A Boy Named Sue” live from Folsom Prison.

  34. It’s growing on me, but this kind of song is too expected. Gurrrrrllll, if Gaga bust out some Frou Frou-esque music, my head would have exploded into rainbow-y bedazzled unicorn-shaped sequins.

  35. I stayed up till 4 to listen to this song and wasn’t sure how I felt about it, went to bed ect
    Then I woke up, bought it, played it in the care on the way to school and was like HOLYCRAP THIS IS AWESOME

    It just makes me happy to listen to

  36. Mostly this song just made me happy, but it seems like everyone I talked to was all BLARGHARHGKFGA I HATE IT, which is making me question my love of it because I am a sheep.

    So now I have a lot of feelings and I don’t know what they’re all doing, which means I’m going to go watch Britanna fanvids and reread Harry Potter.

  37. I’ve been watching this debate with interest, as a person who adores Gaga’s sense of style and connection to lgbt groups but hates her music for the most part. I wasn’t expecting to like the song, and frankly I don’t care if she sounds like Madonna because it’s all just pop music, right (don’t hit me)?

    However- re: the use of ‘chola’ and ‘orient’- 1) What is chola? Is it offensive? Do people use the term in America? Is it N word level bad? 2) I am a New Zealander who due to seven great-grandparents being Chinese does not look white. Honestly, at eighteen I am too young to know why orient is offensive. It’s a word meaning from the east-Asian subcontinent, right?

    What I find offensive is when customers making conversation with me at work ask me, “Where I’m from.” I was born here. My mum and dad were. All four grandparents were. Gaga’s intent is to list another race she wishes to envelop to her mama monster breast. She is well meaning, even if the words are saccharine and clunky. People using non-charged words with charged intent are offensive. At least in my opinion

    • I think it tends to be considered more offensive in North America than the UK/former Commonwealth minus Canada.

  38. This song just doesn’t feel like Gaga. Most of her songs had an element of…what’s the word? I don’t even know how to describe it.”Bad Romance”, in my opinion, is one of her best songs. The beat is catchy and pulsating, the lyrics are AMAZING, and both of those things lent themselves to an unbelievable video! I can still watch that video because there is just so much to look at. “Born this Way”, for me, lacks the Gaga appeal. There is nothing very…what the hell is the word I am looking for?! Ugh!! You all know what I mean?

  39. For anyone who just wants to enjoy the music and not give a fuck (or, for that matter, a shit, a damn, a good goddamn, two shits, or even a rat’s ass), you might find this link interesting

  40. I think the worst part is that I was so excited for this song. We have been told for the past 6 months by people in the entertainment industry that this was going to be epic. I feel like those people were just hyping it up to jump on the bandwagon. BUT I am really hoping for some new tracks that sound like the Gaga we know and love. Still can’t wait!

  41. I like Born This Way. I guess it does kinda sound like Express Yourself, but not really. As far as the quality of the song goes, it was pretty much what I expected. It’s a little cheesy, but it’s still great. It’s the first time a mainstream artist has put such explicit pro gay lyrics in their songs. And do you guys know it is #1 on itunes in 21 countries? That is record breaking!

  42. Ok. Here is another comment. Yes, I understand racially ignorant terms are offensive.

    heres the thing, you ever heard of Das Racist?

    If we bring them to the front of the biggest name in Pop Music now, which is our lovely Lady Gaga, then people will be talking about them.

    Heyyy look whats happening up there. Talk about terms that don’t work anymore.

    My guess is that she is using the words because…what other words do we have? IT TAKES TOO MUCH EFFORT TO BE POLITICALLY CORRECT ALL THE TIME. I’ve tried. Polite/Correct may as well Not Exist.

    In a binary world like the one we’re talking on, if there is only Gay or Straight, and you’re defos Not Straight, well then…you must be Gay.


    Give her probs for tryin, eh? somebody once told me, A FOR EFFORT.

  43. Lady Gaga doesn’t actually care about LGBT rights, she’s just riding on the coattails of the LGBT community because she’s desperate to seem ~edgy~.

    I stopped taking Lady Gag seriously after this dumb quote: “I’m not a feminist. I hail men, I love men.”

    Feminist/gay rights activist?

    Yeah, no.

  44. I feel like I’m going to get eaten alive for this post but I hope I won’t.

    I feel like either 1) she can write good music and chooses not to or 2) she can’t really write good music and has to make up for it by being eccentric in her appearance, words and behavior. Women like Bjork, Tori Amos, and Kate Bush aren’t strange because they wear weird clothes or act outrageously, they’re just strange because that’s the way they are. That’s how they are as people and artists and it makes their art fascinating and deep, something that isn’t just attempting to grab attention. Seriously, when was the last time you heard about Tori or Bjork in the media? But they’re still releasing good music and still living their lives. They don’t have to put themselves out in our faces all the time because their art alone gets attention. Strip away Gaga’s manufactured image and persona and what is there? Only pop music that, for as much as I know, might be Katy Perry or Christina Aguilera.

    I have a lot of strong feelings about this issue because (again with the numbered points) 1) I have been singing and playing classical piano since I was a kid, and studied music composition in college and 2) I consider myself an artist and as such I find it offensive that people like Gaga pollute the world with products that I don’t think really mean anything to her. I also find it offensive because I feel she’s using the lgbt community to make a statement about herself. I think she cares about people, I don’t think she’s heartless, but I do think she’s in this for her own success. And what success she’s had! People adore her, she has millions of fans, and it’s like people just don’t get that it’s a big joke on them. But at what cost? (Cheap L Word analogy: I watched her video comments on “Born This Way” and couldn’t help thinking of season 6 Jenny Schecter.) I watch Gaga talk about her music and it’s like watching someone so lost in their own bullshit she will never find her way back out. And with this song, she’s cheapened whatever message she wanted to send by watering it down. I can listen to her old songs but I feel like this is faking it to the max. Trying to pander to any kind of societal group just to get record sales really irks me and now she’s pandering to us.

    Do I think it’s good to have this message out in the world? Maybe not in the words she chose, but yes. However, I also absolutely believe it can be done with more authenticity and quality behind it. I’d like for my “anthem” to get me and respect me, not cater to me to make the artist appear more interesting or for them to make a buck off of my “lifestyle”.

    I guess if I want artistic integrity I shouldn’t be looking at pop music, right? I’m an optimist/idealist at heart though and I’d like to be able to hold people in poweful positions accountable, whether they are pop stars or politicians.

    If you haven’t read the fascinating NYMag interview with Gaga, you should. Go here:

    For the video clips I mentioned, go here:

  45. I think that we should all e-mail Gaga and tell her to make a 2nd version with different lyrics. I think if she was humble enough she would realize her mistake.

  46. I am so HAPPY that everyone else feels that way!! Its a totally rip off!!! i loves me some lady ga ga i do, i also understand that you truly dot have to original in this market, but for cryin out loud if youre gonna rip off a legend at least make it Better!

  47. OK, anyone mind if I add my opinion to this sh-tstorm? Kayc, thanks.

    1. I really like this song. It’s catchy and you can dance to it, and it’s got a nice feel-good message (yes, I know there’s an issue here, I will elaborate later). I happen to think that Lady GG is actually being sincere, and she really -does- care about people loving who they are. I don’t see/hear very much similarity to the Madonna song, but hey, it could just be me.
    2. Some parts of this do seem a little scripted. Maybe it’s because of her being an ebil scheming mastermind who is putting on this ‘weird’ façade to fool us all while she milks our money out of us. Maybe she’s being backed by a bunch of evil businessmen. It’s possible that it could just be because she spent an annoying amount of time trying to write this, and couldn’t find something she liked which didn’t sound clichéd.
    3. The racial things…um…I’m not sure about that, Lady GG. Maybe it’s another case of ‘just trying to write this f-cking song’, maybe it’s her trying to say ‘Retake these racial slurs and nobody can throw them at you, their shield can become yours, be proud of who you are, blah blah blah’. I know that it’s a little iffy on some rhymes, but it doesn’t screw the some over completely in my opinion. (Though I can understand that some people might be pissed.)
    4. I’m not sure about all the other affirming songs, but I’m 85% sure that Ke$ha is trying to copy Lady GG. (Though I could have my release times screwed up again.) The others, eh…meh. I think they released it for similar reasons, but aren’t actually trying to copy each other.

    I still like Lady GG, even if she -has- screwed herself over, and I’m gonna call her innocent until proven guilty. At least she walks the talk and helps get things done.

    P.S. I could just be a biased 13-year-old trying to rebel against her hippie parents, tho.

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