Lady Gaga has always been a performer who pushes people’s buttons. Typically it is her bizarre dress and ambiguous sexuality that have caused an uproar, not her music. With the release of her latest single “Born This Way” she tackles the issue of identity head on and – shocker! – it has caused yet another outbreak of internet fighting and awkward dinnertime conversations.
While the song’s core refrain of “I’m beautiful in my way/’Cause God makes no mistakes/I’m on the right track baby/I was born this way” is being taken by many conservatives as a direct challenge to their belief that sexuality is a choice, I think those clamoring against it are missing the point. There is no getting around the issue if you happen to disagree with her, but does that render the song meaningless?
Consider these lyrics from the bridge:
“Don’t be a drag, just 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 were born this way”
While the issue of sexuality may be the hot button topic, the real beauty of the message lies in the lyrics about disability, race, and bullying. Whether you agree or disagree with her that people are “born this way” with regard to sexual issues, there is no denying that there are many people suffering because of who they are. There is also no denying that homosexuals and transgendered people are often made to feel less by those around them – Christians included. This is especially true amongst teenagers.
You may not be one, but there are millions of people who feel bullied, marginalized, and alone. There are millions more who are broke, struggling with their sexuality, and mistreated for their skin color. They can all find some solace in these lyrics, whether you can or not. Just because a song doesn’t resonate with you doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile! It just means it isn’t for you.
For many people this song is positive and encouraging – something those railing against it are not. Perhaps the greatest irony then, is that this song is having more of a positive impact on people’s lives than the words of those bashing it.