Lady Gaga Releases Full Lyrics to Gay Anthem, “Born This Way”

It’s here! IT’S HERE. Well, the lyrics anyhow. “Born This Way” is the title track off Gaga’s brand new album set to be released on May 23. The actual song should be hitting radio around February 13 (but will likely be leaked sooner). The track is also getting the Glee treatment this Spring, though no word yet on who will be doing the honors.

The song was written entirely by Gaga and co-produced by Gaga, Fernando Garibay (same guy who produced “Dance in the Dark”) and DJ White Shadow.

Full “Born This Way” lyrics:

It doesn’t matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
’cause you were Born This Way, Baby

My Mama told me when I was young
We are all born stars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir
“There’s nothing wrong with lovin’ who you are”
She said, “Cause he made you perfect, babe.”
“So hold your head up girl and you’ll go far,
Listen to me when I say”

I’m beautiful in my way
Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way
Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born this way
Baby I was born this way
Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born this way
Baby I was born this way
Ooo there ain’t no other way
Baby I was born this way
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t be a drag, just be a queen
Don’t be a drag, just be a queen
Don’t be!

Give yourself prudence
And love your friends
Subway kid, rejoice your truth

In the religion of the insecure
I must be myself, respect my youth
A different lover is not a sin
Believe capital H-I-M (hey hey hey)
I love my life I love this record and
Mi amore vole fe yah (love needs faith)

Don’t be a drag, be a queen
Whether you’re broke or evergreen
You’re black, white, beige chola descent
You’re Lebanese, You’re Orient
Whether life’s disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
Cause baby you we’re born this way
No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or Orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave


I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

There is no telling whether the song will live up to the enormous hype until the music is released, but those lyrics are pretty hardcore. Is this the first time the words “lesbian” and “transgender” were used in a pop song?

Okay, share your feelings in the comments!

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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. Lyrics to pop songs always look really silly to me when they’re written out. I’ll withhold judgment until we’ve heard the single.

  2. I’m sure the song itself will have a great sound, but “groundbreaking”? I would go with trendy and exploitative.

    Its kind of beating you over the head with the religious tones and I have to say I don’t feel very included.

    You can love him, or H-I-M….what about those of us love ‘her’ and if we love him or her can we not also love “H-I-M”? What about if we don’t believe “H-I-M” exists?

    Also I question her use of terms like “chola” and “orient”.

      • i think she’s just trying to rhyme, right? i mean i feel like there’s no way lady gaga still thinks that’s how people talk

          • Word. Especially if she’s trying to be all loving and welcoming of everyone and everything etc…

            That terminology is alienating and offensive

          • i read zach’s commment and in my head was PRETTY SOON RIESE IS GONNA WRITE IN CAPS and then I saw it RIESE FTW.

          • gonna throw out there that “orient” is a play on words

            and i think it’s pretty cool that she talks about god and HIM. seems to me she is throwing the rhetoric of the religious right back in their faces

      • Yeah, I’m really uncomfortable with some of the racial naming she does. “Orient?” Seriously?! I’ve loved Lady Gaga for a while, but this makes me very unhappy. UGH.

    • Its kind of beating you over the head with the religious tones and I have to say I don’t feel very included.

      I agree, it’s very exclusive and I don’t feel ‘a part of.’

      groundbreaking? naw.

    • What does the word ‘chola’ mean? I’ve never heard of it before.

      P.S I’m English and our racial terminology is quite different from yours. i.e. we don’t say ‘people of colour’

      • don’t quote me or anything but I believe chola is a subculture of mexican people living around the south west of the US. To me it’s kind of like a ghetto fabulous cartoony way of being a “mexican” and is not representative of ALL mexicans, or even all Chicanos, or Mexican-Americans.

  3. …I feel like this song is really really obvious. Like, way to be subtle with that there lyrical poetry m’lady.
    But I just don’t know if I care. Cause when I hear the Gaga, I jam. Like a trained little dog. Lady Gaga is my Snausage.

    • I get the image of Bruce Springsteen being in the background being all Bruce-like. I think it’s because of his album Born to Run.

  4. Orient? Really? It ain’t 1897 Gaga. Should have busted out the rhyming dictionary for some alternatives. Js.

    • Oh man, I just did this for both possible pronunciations of the ‘descent/orient’, though the ‘descent/’ structure makes me think it’s an emphasis on the ENT. Listicle without commentary:



  5. damn, okay, so i’ll admit it. i love Lady GaGa. i just am sort of apathetic to her music. i hope this song/album changes all of that. she is so outspoken and while i don’t listen to her music all that often, i adore the fact that she is who she is and doesn’t bother questioning it or giving a f*ck if anyone else does either. props to her.

  6. What I love is that in her lyrics she implies that it’s possible/awesome to be gay and religious, which some people STILL (still!) don’t understand/believe possible. That is definitely something that people need to hear, especially any young self-questioning listeners she may have.

  7. Gaga ate my heart. <3 I'm going to ignore the …interesting… terminology for now by rationalizing it… most rap songs use far, far worse language. In the mean time, I can't wait to dance around my room and scream the lyrics to this so loud the neighbors can hear.


  9. There are some definite issues with the sentiment of this song. I’m not pleased to see the religious overtones and I think that the whole argument (“I was born this way,” I can’t help being queer, etc., etc.) is problematic in and of itself. Although I know it’s a popular refrain in the queer community, to claim that it’s okay because we’re born gay/transgender/asexual/bisexual/bigender/queer and so on and so forth carries the undertone of ‘if we could be different, we would be, but we can’t help it, so I guess you should tolerate us.’ At least, that’s how it feels to me.

    If I woke up tomorrow and was given the choice of sexual orientation, I’d still want to be a lesbian. And to say that it’s okay that I’m queer because that’s the way I was born feels like… being excused, or something. And that makes me grumpy, because as far as I’m concerned, being a dyke is awesome.

    But, you know, I’m not a fan of GaGa and this song smacks of pandering to me. She knows her audience, that’s for sure.


    • “If I woke up tomorrow and was given the choice of sexual orientation, I’d still want to be a lesbian. And to say that it’s okay that I’m queer because that’s the way I was born feels like… being excused, or something. And that makes me grumpy, because as far as I’m concerned, being a dyke is awesome.”

      Tell ’em!

      No clue why I’m this way, but sure happy I am.

    • “in a lot of countries in south america, ‘chola’ is a derogatory word for an indigenous person.”

      No, it’s not. “Chola” is a word the so-called Lady GaGa and its support force made-up specifically for this song to try to insult Americans. It doesn’t work because Germonatta hasn’t got got a clue what it’s talking about. Because Germonatta works against America for someone else’s government. That puts Germy and its complimentary Faggot Force in a very stupid and very bad position.

  10. She gives a shout out to Lebanese people! I’m Lebanese!

    Moral of the story – Gaga and I are destined to be best friends :)

    • just read the other comments… i thought all that too about her word choices the first time i read it, but i am interested to hear how she sings it… and how it all comes across then. not that that changes her word choices. but also, some of my best friends are Asian Americans, and they always say Orient and Oriental. So ya know. I dunno. Who knows.

  11. First of all the rhyming is completely and totally CRAPPY. Okay? Yes rhyming is hard, but… that’s just… I expected better.

    I find the use of orient very much problematic.

    Cholo/a is also used in urban Latino/a communities in the US but it most typically translates to like, gangster (based on what I’ve heard from my Latina friends, as I’m not Latina myself). Which… yeah either way it’s weird for her to be using it.

    Also her talking about disabilities was just like… what? Yeah not a good way to do it. The whole tone probably was trying to be affirming but comes off as condescending.

    I have a feeling I will not like this song even when it comes out.

  12. Y’know, I really want to like this, because she’s trying to be supportive and I usually like her music. But I can’t think of any good way to interpret a white woman singing “orient” and “chola.” The whole song comes off as exploitive. It doesn’t help that the song might be plagiarized and that her corporate sponsors are anti-gay.

    • To be fair almost any activism done by anybody out there, regardless of race, colour or gender, could come across as being exploitative, since their actions could be interpreted as a big PR stunt to try and boost their image. As an Asian-Canadian myself I don’t really find the word “orient” that offensive, since I’ve almost never heard it being used in a derogatory manner, although I’m not entirely sure if “chola” is an offensive word or not. Judging by other comments it appears that it is one.

  13. well i think lady gaga is obviously doing what she intended to do: evoke emotions. personally i don’t look at these lyrics as inclusive, exclusive, demeaning, or demanding. I mean, we could argue that she’s “for” dogs because of her usage of the word “Paws” in the first verse. its a pop song…we’ll see what the whole package brings – the music, the lyrics, and the video

  14. I think everyone needs to chill a bit with the racism accusations, gaga is clearly anything but racist and I think that sometimes trying to be too pc about shit is actually more damaging because over-sensitivity breeds resentment and exacerbates the problem. In response to the view that the lyrics are too simplistic and that she’s just pandering to her audience, I think that for straight people listening to the song who aren’t involved with lgbt life the lyrics won’t be too simplistic at all when they say that gays are born that way. They’re only simplistic for us because we study lgbt culture in more depth/over analyse the shit out of everything. Gaga is awesome and right now she’s one of the only influential people in media who is actually working continuously to promote our cause instead of just dipping in and out of it to sell records *cough* rihanna *cough*… cut her some slack

    • How can you decide lady gaga is anything, but racist. Her lyrics have racist terms in them. period. The fact everyone is quick to cut her slack is the most troubling thing here. I believe it really goes to show that people don’t have a clue when it comes to race. I also think it speaks further to the LGBTQ movement that everyone wants to forget what shes saying is racist. Its already troubling that the movement have often excluded people of color anyway. LGBTQ culture rarely addresses the racism within its own community. Its as if its ok she says racist things, because shes at least speaking out towards LGBTQ rights. Give me a break

  15. I think that her using out-dated, seemingly offensive words like “chola” and “orient” was her way of showing that we have progressed, because those are not frequent slurs anymore. It shows that discrimination is fading, bits and pieces are becoming old-school and silly, and that we’re moving forward in the journey towards tolerance. It’s a call to celebrate and also be strong to anyone who may be feeling discriminated against.
    Gaga is a fuckin genius, let’s be honest. There is depth behind her lyrics; even though they may look silly written out because it IS a pop song, and DOES have to be catchy for the sake of the genre her music falls under, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t underlying themes and messages she’s trying to get across, to those that dig deep enough.

    But shoot, I think the song is gonna be fabulous.

    • I am having trouble believing that everyone really think its great that shes showing we progressed. No what shes showing is that many people don’t care about Latinos and Asian Americans to express that this is an issue. If she said the n-word or negro everyone would agree. I am saying this as an African American that this is all disturbing.

  16. I think its very very powerful. When this gets played its going to have a huge impact. The words lesbian, gay, transgendered, played on radio stations all across the continent? Amazing. I want to know what Gaga’s intentions were for using those certain terms. Overall though i find it very uplifting for a pop song.

  17. As a latina who grew up in south America, I’m having a lot of feelings about her usage of chola. Idk, while it’s not something that was used often at all where Im from, it’s definitely used as more of a slur, or, at the very least, a not-too-heavily-loaded derogatory term. Sort of like a low-income “ghetto/gangster” ethnic woman.

    Other than that, I’m not too fond of the religious overtones like many others have mentioned. Nor am I particularly into the whole “I was born this [gay/lesbian/queer/trans*/stuff] way” thing. While I’m definitely not from the “[sex/gender/sexuality] is a social construct” camp, I DO believe society does affect the development of our identities to some extent along with biology (prenatal or otherwise. Since tbh development changes identity so much you guys!). /tangentoff

    Still excited to hear

  18. Making a fairly general statement here;
    Pretty much anyone who speaks out against some form of discrimination/marginalization while in a position of power or influence benefits, whether or not they want to. Arundhati Roy talks about it in one of her books for anyone who is interested.
    I don’t know what Lady Gagas motives for writing this song is, whether she’s just trying to be relevant to her audience or whether she believes what shes saying (I suspect it’s both though), but I think to dismiss the song as exploitative is somewhat missing the point. Isn’t Gaga bi/pan anyway? Without commenting on the possibly racist language (i’m Australian and i’ve never heard either of these terms in common usage, though I never thought Orient was an offensive term, could be wrong), i’m excited to hear queers mentioned explicitly in a pop song at all to be honest.

  19. are lady gaga fans really that simple? you mean to tell me that all she has to do is write a song a second grader could have written, throw in a pro-gay theme and everyone bows at her feet? how about the artists who don’t have to do the in-your-face “advocacy” and instead build shelters and actually DO for the community?

    if lady gaga is what gives our community a voice – if her new album is what convinces the religious right to give us rights…i stand corrected. otherwise, i’m tired of her face and her blatant exploitation of the gay community.

  20. Words have to be reclaimed, but mainly from within the affected group of people. I don’t know much about racism, so I’m gonna leave that issue and make another point. Lady Gaga is SO influentual to all of the world. AND she is a fellow queer. This song is not revolutional to us who are already in the lgbtq community, but it’s revolutionary to the mainstream culture, and is gonna affect a lot of people, and some will think it’s provocative, and many will start to think and be more accepting. Not that I want acceptance, I want a queer revolution, but for something in that area, I’ll have to look at artists who are not so mainstream, who can inspire me, but not reach out to all of the straight people. It’s not that Lady Gaga is saying something fundamental and revolutionary to ME, but I get butterflies thinking about the ripples on the water that this song will cause, and the ripples Lady Gaga has already caused.

  21. Wow people – chill out for a minute. None of us have heard the song, no one knows if these lyrics are 100% accurate – so let’s hold off with the craziness (this may be tough for some of you).

    Obviously, Gaga is a HUGE LGBT advocate. Did any of you see her DADT speech in Maine? We have so few allies – why are hating any of them?

    I can’t wait to hear the actual song and see the actual lyrics. Aminela is so right – these lyrics will be revolutionary to the mainstream. Go GAGA!

  22. I’m totally with Ashley on this one. You can’t reclaim a word that DOESN’T belong to you. I wish someone white would try to reclaim the N word, because they would promptly be dismissed. Now, I love me some Gaga, but Gaga went a little far on this one.

    Furthermore, as an activist that works to be as inclusive as possible, it is very troubling to see that people are speaking so hard to justify Gaga’s usage of such problematic words in her lyrics. It really does speak to the ever growing divide within the movement. Do I think Lady Gaga is racist, no. BUT are her lyrics problematic? yes. And when I’m out at the club and a bunch of people are singing them out loud, will it make me feel as though no one cares to see an issue that is among the varying degree of multifaceted racial issues I encounter on a daily basis very simple? yep.

    You can add this to the list of why #queerscanthaveanything

    Also I second what Bani said.

  23. “subway kid, rejoice your truth”
    It makes sense somehow, right? Can anyone explain it to me?

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