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Tag: Lady GaGa

Gaga, Reid, DADT converge at the intersection of pop and politics

By Eden James

If you haven’t been following this week’s developments on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, then you’ve probably been hiding in a cave.

After all, it’s in the bloodstream of not just the cable news channels but the entertainment shows as well, after Lady Gaga made it her mission to highlight DADT at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night and turn over the front page of her web site to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

As Yahoo reported:

“After the show aired, web searches soared on everything from “lady gaga guests” to “what does SLDN stand for”.

Then, after Gaga went on Ellen, it hit the Twitterverse and the news cycle extended again. Check out this Las Vegas TV news blow-by-blow of the tweeting lovefest between Lady Gaga and Senator Harry Reid, who promised to bring DADT to the floor for a vote next week, as a part of the larger Defense Authorization bill:


And that’s just the tip of a very large iceberg of activism inspired by Lady Gaga’s move on Sunday. A great deal of credit goes to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which courageously decided to amp up the pressure on the Senate by moving out of the comfortable cul de sac of political activists and into the realm of pop culture. (Of course, it goes without saying that if it wasn’t for the hard work done for years by SLDN, Servicemembers United, Knights Out, the Palm Center and so many other organizations, institutions, and individuals — the list is endless — dedicated to the repeal of DADT this “tipping point” moment would not have been possible).

What we are witnessing is the accelerating convergence of pop culture and politics and a recognition by people as powerful as Sen. Reid that it can’t be ignored – and should be embraced. We saw a similar dynamic in 2008 after produced the “Yes, We Can” video following Barack Obama’s defeat in the New Hampshire primary:


UPDATE: The “Gaga-inspired-student-calls-their-Senator” trend is picking up on YouTube. Check out this student calling Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown — and finding out that Brown is against the repeal of DADT… until the Pentagon issues its report in December:

Inspired? Call the Capitol Switchboard right now to talk with your Senator ASAP. As the video above shows, it just takes a minute of your time:

(202) 224-3121

87 Comments September 15, 2010

Lady Gaga brings Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to MTV Video Music Awards

(Cross-posted to LGBTPOV)

By Karen Ocamb

LadyGaGa_VMASuperstar Lady Gaga won eight awards at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night. But for many LGBT fans, her greatest win was following through on her promise to make LGBT equality one of the priority fights of her life and career. She transformed her website into an action page to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and appeared on the red carpet with service members impacted by DADT – former U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. David Hall, former Air Force Major Mike Almy, and former U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Stacy Vasquez, who were discharged under the policy, and former West Point cadet Katie Miller, who resigned last month in protest of the policy.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis told the Washington Post that Gaga’s move “casts a spotlight on the unjust burden that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ imposes upon the brave men and women who defend our country every day, and further underscores why the Senate must swiftly act to get rid of this despicable law for good.”

Gaga also announced her own arrival (seen here in a photo by Terry Richardson) on Twitter: “Silks, fabrics, shoes + jewels, fashion dreams + breaking rules. Real heroes on my arm, tonight, is for us monsters, and our fight. X.”

This from SLDN: A U.S. Soldier in Balad, Iraq watches Lady Gaga on MTV, calls the Senate switchboard, and writes a thank you note: – “Thank you Lady Gaga! I called my Senators from Iraq…it took all of three minutes (one minute was dedicated to all the numbers I had to push on the telephone). Let’s keep the pressure up!”

This week is critical to move on the bill to repeal DADT, which is in the Defense Appropriations bill.

Here’s a reminder of Lady Gaga’s commitment, her speech at the Oct. 11, 2009 National Equality March in Washington. Her scream to President Obama is something many others are screaming now.]


The Courage Campaign also has a petition letter from Lt. Dan Choi to Sen. Harry Reid that you can sign here.

59 Comments September 13, 2010