United we stan: How Lady Gaga taught me to honor the bisexual community

the voice and vision of a new generation
Image Credit: Lady Gaga

United we stan: How Lady Gaga taught me to honor the bisexual community

August 6, 2018

In what seems like a common experience for people in my generation, Lady Gaga was the main driving force behind my coming out as gay. Now, she continues to be my role model and her music makes me feel strong and free to be myself.

I first found her while scrolling through YouTube. Previously, I had only heard her name in the media, but after watching her performance of “Applause," I fell in love.

Gaga proudly owned her femininity on stage. The theatrics at the beginning of her performance—with the booming track and her energetic costume changes—displayed a level of power and confidence I’d never witnessed. She was unapologetically in control of her sexuality and her command of the stage pushed me further on my path to self-discovery.

Through Lady Gaga, I also garnered a deeper understanding of something beyond myself: I became more aware of the issues that bisexual+ members of my community faced. It is uncommon to find bisexual+ women proudly represented at all, let alone positively, in the media. Bisexual+ individuals have to constantly reaffirm their sexuality in a world that often thinks bisexuality isn’t a real identity.

“I’d say she’s one of a few bi women I look up to, in terms of role models,” says Rosie Sahagun, a student who identifies as bisexual. Briannah Hill, a nonbinary GLAAD Campus Ambassador adds to Rosie’s sentiment: “[Lady Gaga is] showing representation for youth and people who are bi.”

Gaga’s support for the queer community was solidified with the release of "Born This Way." I listened to the title track in my junior year of high school. It was the anthem I needed to accept myself and move forward with my life instead of following other people’s expectations. The powerful lyrics made me feel comfortable knowing that I had someone to look up to that was fighting for my equality.

Throughout her career and through her music, Gaga continues to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. I remember watching videos of her speech from the 2009 National Equality March where she called for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Her interview with Barbara Walters in 2009 opened my eyes to bi+ erasure, an important issue within American media and within the LGBTQ+ community. Bi+ erasure refers to behavior that questions or outright denies bisexual+ identities. 

In the song “Poker Face,” Gaga asserts her bisexuality. She so clearly just wants to be herself and this philosophy is something that a lot of young people I spoke to find brave and essential in media.

Other members of the LGBTQ+ community share similar stories of feeling represented through seeing Gaga’s bisexual+ pride.

“Her music helped me get through middle school and high school. She’s incredibly relatable...” said Eva Reign Thomas, a GLAAD Campus Ambassador who is transgender. Christopher Aceves Jr., a gay high school student, puts it perfectly: “I look up to her for her bravery and how she just loves to be herself no matter what anyone thinks.”

Lady Gaga not only taught me how to love and embrace my own identity, but she also helped me understand bisexual+ identities and how important it is to always include and advocate for the bi+ community.

And even though I’m not bi myself, I still relate fiercely to Lady Gaga and feel lucky to have her representing our communities in the media. Gaga says, “we’re all born superstars,” and I think we shouldn’t be afraid to push for all of us—L, G, B, T, and Q—to be represented.

#WeStan is an amp original series honoring LGBTQ legends in media because we know that representation matters. Follow along on GLAAD social mediaFacebook, Instagram, Twitterto see who our fans stan!

Federico Yñiguez is a GLAAD Campus Ambassador and rising sophomore at California State University, Long Beach studying graphic design. He is a proud member of his university's Queers and Allies club.

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