Lady Gaga Makes Sh*t Happen, Demands Target Play Nice With the Gays

Gaga has decided to exclusively sell her remix CD in one place and one place only…Target!
Weird, right? After all, Target is the company that inspired the wrath of the gay community after contributing $150,000 to Minnesota Forward which backed Tom Emmer‘s campaign for governor of Minnesota – a man who made it clear that he was a conservative and anti-gay politician.
Obvs, Gaga was not putting up with that bullshit, so in a surprise twist, she met with their entire executive staff and worked out an arrangement that requires Target to start working with LGBT groups.

Says the Gaga:

“That discussion was one of the most intense conversations I’ve ever had in a business meeting. Part of my deal with Target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they’ve made in the past…our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made supporting those groups.

The deluxe edition of Born This Way with three bonus studio songs and five remixes will only be sold at Target.

While Target is famous for giving away heaps of money weekly, only a small portion (less than 2%) currently goes to the LGBT community. As a result of the Gaga collabo, they now say they’ve “earmarked” almost half a million dollars for LGBT resources.

So, will you shop at Target because Gaga says it’s OK now, or do you still hold resentment for their past errors in judgment? Do you feel better about Lady Gaga for putting her money where her mouth is? What does it mean that it takes a pop star for Target to shape up?

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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. even though i am very frustrated with lady gaga rn and forever this is very cool of her, i guess, kinda.

    it’d be even more rad if lady gaga wasn’t the only person talking about this shit on that level who ever got paid attention to.

  2. Man, what a great idea. Celebrities need to remember that money=power. In a logical and business-oriented, not soulful, kind of way. … Though this may be soulful of Gaga in her twisted but somehow surreally appropriate being.
    But dude. Rich/famous people: buy the 3 million dollar home, not he 5 million dollar home, give the rest to something that makes others’ lives ACTUALLY better.

  3. I hate to say it, but a I think Target is only paying lip service to the whole thing, if you read what Target representatives said afterwards, it pretty much changes nothing as far as their support of antigay candidates etc. And a half million sounds fantastic, until you realize that they donate over 150 million each year.

    • Yep – be cautious before you think Target has changed its ways. They will do and say whatever they need to if Gaga (and her record company) puts her CD in their stores. I don’t trust them and yes, I agree – half a million of $150 million total contribution is peanuts. I don’t trust them as far as Gaga can throw them…

  4. I honestly didn’t realize Target had an anti-gay affiliations. My sense is that like any business, they are supporting all sides of the political spectrum as long as it means they can buy favors from elected officials that will help their bottom line. That’s how it works. Many large companies will donate to both the Republican and the Democrat running against each other in the same race. Target and just about every other large corporation aren’t interested in charitable giving, just their own image and their ability to make money. If Gaga dangling the prospect of exclusive record sales is enough to force Target to give to some LGBT organizations, that’s great of Gaga. But Target will still keep being Target. Honestly, I love shopping at Target. It’s convenient but not nearly as gross as Walmart. I think Target treats its gay employees well and that counts a lot for me. I avoid Poland Spring, for example, because they scored low on an HRC report card of how companies treated their gay employees. (That was years ago. I should find an updated report card from HRC.)

  5. Not a fan.
    It bothers me that someone who loosely, at best, identifies within the LGBTQI spectrum is needed to get this shit done.
    I also kind of feel like Lady Gaga uses oppression to sell albums at this point, and thinks she should earn points for it.
    It’s a weird priveleged helping the underprivleged dynamic that I’m uncomfortable with. I’d rather we help ourselves, with support, and take the harder road, than have someone like Lady Gaga do the dirty work “for” us.

    • I think I understand your point, but Lady Gaga’s support has been so consistent throughout the last several years that I don’t get a “privileged helping the underprivileged” dynamic; it just feels more real than that. Since she is in the unique position to vocalize this particular issue on a very public level, why should we begrudge her our support? And if it helps her sell records, hey, I’m all for someone who so adamantly supports the gay community (regardless of how “loosely” she identifies within the LGBTQI spectrum may be) being successful so she can continue being one more supporter for gay rights.

      Side note – despite their political support for anti-gay candidates, the Target near my house is still practically an official gay hangout. I don’t go there without seeing at least a dozen lesbians and a couple of gay guys. Every time.

  6. a) I love target, but that could be because I live in Vermont and we don’t have one. Target is like crack for me

    b) I think it’s kind of sad that the LGBT community isn’t so open to Lady gaga and all the shit she’s doing fo us. Nobody has accussed Ashton and Demi of using their cause (child sex trafficking) to sell movies, so why are we accussing Lady Gaga, who is implicitly on our side, of the same? Maybe she is a PR genius, but what matters to me is that she’s doing good.

    • Amen! At least Lady Gaga is getting something done. And she’s done more for us than a lot of those “campaign trail promise” politicians. Lady Gaga: change we can believe in.

  7. I wondered the same thing. The wiki link to Target Corp (I couldn’t find a better source for 2009 or 2010). It says Target’s charitable giving averages US$3M/week or over $150M/year. If my math is right, $.5M is 3/10ths of one percent of Target’s annual corporate giving (keeping Target’s “less than 2%” to the lgbtq community safe).

    From The Advocate 12/22/10 “Federal campaign filings show that Target continued to make contributions to antigay political candidates after the company apologized for it during an uproar this summer…Target’s PAC showed $41,200 in federal election activity, according to The Awl, of which $31,200 went to antigay politicians or PACs supporting those candidates.” If this article references Target’s own PDF of FEC donations for 2010, it’s off by one decimal place ($412K, not $41.2K).

    Target even got smacked in Forbes for dumb corporate donations, no mean feat. “But ROI said Target’s “halo effect” isn’t big enough to protect against a poor decision. Target made a common mistake: Thinking that any social initiative will be applauded unconditionally.”

    To me, it’s not either/or. Target and Gaga aren’t good or bad, they’re both. They feed on our consumption; we shape their behavior every time we buy or don’t buy their products. For a long time, Target was rewarded for being not Walmart. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for the queer community to expect something more.

  8. I forgave Target when they started selling badass flannel shirts. They were so nice… So comfy… So made for lesbians I wanted to cry tears of rainbow joy.

    • So glad to hear the shirts are comfortable. You’ve just helped Target fund anti-gay politicians across the U.S…good job!

      • They truly are. You should get one. (I am joking, please don’t be angry.)
        While it blows big time that they’re funding anti-gay politicians, and while it sucks that I was unaware of how bad it was sooner, honestly, I’m all out of fucks to give this month. I will change my shopping ways but I don’t have the type of energy it requires to be truly angry right now.

  9. When someone has an ability to help make positive change for people then no what you are, what color, or sex, I feel like that is an amazing thing for them to do. Most just hide behind something and never stand for anything. Those are the ones who should be ashamed.

  10. this sort of makes me feel weird, more along the lines of “why?”. i feel like having access to gaga’s cd/remixes/whatever is not incentive enough to change their views entirely. like they are going to “pay their dues” and then not give a shit about gays after that. [they = CEOs/the anti-gay people?]. ok this comment probably makes no sense.

  11. hi guys, minneapolis person here! just dropping by to note that this actually sucks. target gave a lot of money to hate-candidates this election cycle. and after we, as a movement, called them out on it, they just continued to funnel rightwing money to hate-candidates through the chamber of commerce and rnc under citizens united (long story.) so, they’re still supporting people who think it’s moral for gays to be executed, and they’re still supporting people who want to abolish the minimum wage. the fact that they threw us a bone and sponsored Twin Cities Pride doesn’t mean anything- it’s play-money to them, and yet they essentially HIRED the crap-ass politicians who are keeping us all with second-class citizen status.

    (not to mention the fact that corporations shouldn’t buy our democracy at all. it means the good politicians get extorted and the bad politicians are just bribed.)

    it blows, lady gaga is just providing P.R. cover for them whether she realizes it or not, with exactly no substantive changes to their policy.

    that noted, but born this way is still the jam.

    • COSIGN. Haven’t shopped at Target since I heard about it last year. Ummmmm. Shame on me, I’ve still shopped at Best Buy which has done the same thing. *rethinking.

  12. Hm, regardless of how it turns out and whether or not it “sticks,” it’s a nice gesture. Actually, gesture makes it sound trivial. I think that even if they’re only paying her lip service, she’s found another way to get the word out there and make it a common issue. There will be effects of this move that go beyond Target’s decisions. She’s taken our circus of a media and found a way to work within the system. People love Lady Gaga. They listen to what she has to say. She has the ability to reach a wide audience. People are going to talk about this and therefore, more people are going to be talking about us which is a good thing.

  13. Ooh, can we get her to go talk to Chick-Fil-A next? ‘Cause that’s waaay harder to resist than Mossimo tank tops.

  14. as emily said above, something about this just does not make sense to me. i admit, i’ve always felt pretty neutral about lady gaga, but seriously, is a cd remix really incentive enough for target to reverse it’s political tendencies?

    the only thing i can think of, honestly, is that this is a convenient way for target to get some good LGBTQQQIIWTF publicity. like, they were gonna try to seem/act more queer-friendly anyway, and this is like, a good excuse or something. not sure if this makes sense either though.

    i also would be interested to know what TYPES of queer organizations target might give money to. i know it’s a tired argument, but i do think it’s true that the relatively-mainstream “gay agenda” gets pretty narrowly focused on marriage etc. and charity-friendly groups might tend to leave out other issues. i just honestly am not sure at this point if all help is good help, or not.

    also, don’t kill me but i gotta say it: born this way is full of biological determinsims and the kind of multiculturalism that erases the reality of institutionalized racism. like, it’s ok to be gay because god made me this way? stfu, it’s ok ANYWAY BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME.

  15. Im really happy to see that GaGa has stepped up.I new from the begining that she was a supporter,but this is really cool of her.I think other money hungary celebs should watch and learn…thanks Steph!!!! your awesome damn im about to cry now…


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