dyfl : Gaga and queerness
Lots to say about Gaga-as-gay-icon, but if I had to sum it up quickly I’d say we love her because she’s teaching/forcing the mass culture to enjoy pop events on the terms that gay culture enjoys them: Camp, dance/fuck-worthiness, and fabulousness.
This is a good distillation of the counter-argument and brings up a lot of issues about representation and culture v. identity that, again, I certainly hope someone else will tease out.
But whose gay culture is this? Because it certainly isn’t mine — and that’s my problem with Gaga. She claims she wants to give a voice to the gay community, but she only acknowledges the most narrow, nonthreatening, straight-girl-servicing and, I’m sorry, stereotypical gay culture, and gives voice to that while leaving everything else silent. I mean, she described the “Alejandro” video as “a celebration of [her] love and appreciation for the gay community, my admiration of their bravery and their love for one another and their courage and their relationships.” A collection of naked, faceless, featureless and acceptably masculine men who dance with a woman and writhe around in bed with a woman, and, okay, maybe wrestle with and grunt at each other in their spare time — that’s the gay community, that’s the bravery and courage and love of gay relationships, according to Gaga. And if that’s your experience of gay culture, or if you’re willing to accept even a flawed reflection of your experience of gay culture, that’s fine — you know, there are a lot of things I like about “I Kissed a Girl.” I get it. But that doesn’t make Gaga a gay icon, or give her the right to make herself a mouthpiece for the gay community, any more than “I Kissed a Girl” makes Katy Perry a bisexual activist.