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Lady Gaga: I'm Not Using the Gay Community

Singer says she is fully committed to social justice and equality

July 5, 2011 3:10 PM ET
Lady Gaga: I'm Not Using the Gay Community
Courtesy of the Advocate

In a new interview with the Advocate, Lady Gaga slams critics who accuse her of "[using] the gay community to sell records."

That's "one of the most ridiculous statements anyone can make about me," the 25-year-old pop star says. "I would say the top thing I think about every single day of my life, other than my fans, loving the music, and my family being healthy, is social justice and equality." 

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Gaga put her money where her mouth was in a recent controversy with Target. The retailer was planning to sell a special edition of her Born This Way album, but members of the LGBT community were outraged at the deal when Target contributed thousands in cash and in-kind goods to a PAC that supported antigay candidate Tom Emmer in his failed 2010 run for governor of Minnesota. After the incident, Gaga met with the company's "entire executive staff" and shortly thereafter canceled the deal.

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"You're either going to try and change or you're not," she says. "Taking an ambiguous stance is not what I'm about, obviously. I like to go right for the ass-kicker. You're either in or you're out. I'm from New York. I know bullshit. I can smell it from a mile away."

The "Edge of Glory" singer is okay with "rumors [and] shots at me as a human being." It "comes with the territory of being a musician and being someone who is a public figure," she rationalizes.

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So what does Mother Monster think about being compared to music icons like Madonna and Barbra Streisand? "There's no drama, there's no jealousy, there's no competition," she says. "They're just happy to see other women winning. I just feel so connected to Madonna in a lot of ways, and I feel connected to Barbra, and I feel connected to Cher and Blondie and all of the women who came before me."

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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