Lady Gaga has taken the rumors about her gender and turned them into a game that she wants you to play. This game is all about making you think about gender in a different way instead of labeling people, man or woman, gay or straight.
Gaga was born a female and still is a female biologically, but gender is more about the mind than the body. She makes you wonder if she’s a glamorous female trying to turn men on, or a drag queen in a woman’s body. Is her admitted bisexuality a statement on the rumors of her being a hermaphrodite or simply a way to turn on men? Gaga wants you to ask these questions and redefine your idea of normal.
It’s the blond wigs, heavy makeup and eye-popping outfits that make you think Gaga could be a man dressed as a woman, so it’s no wonder that so many people believed those hermaphrodite rumors. Gaga says she feels like a gay man trapped in a woman’s body, and it shows in her music. On some songs, she sees herself as an insecure man who finds confidence by dressing as a glamorous woman on “So Happy I Could Die.” Lyrics like “I love that lavender blonde/the way she moves, the way she walks” or “I do my hair, I gloss my eyes/I touch myself all through the night/ And when something falls out of place, I take my time, I put it back/I touch myself ‘til I’m on track” are good examples of how Gaga sees herself as a drag queen. Something falls out of place, hmmm… I wonder what that could be.
It’s also interesting that on “Bad Romance,” Gaga chooses to mention three Alfred Hitchcock movies that all feature males as their main characters. The movies she mentions appear in the song as “I want your Psycho, your Vertigo shtick/want you in my Rear Window, baby you’re sick.” Psycho features a grown man who dresses up as his dead mother and kills people. Vertigo is about a man who won’t let go of the past, and he dresses up the possible love of his life into a carbon copy of a dead woman from his past. And Rear Window focuses on a man who’d rather look at other’s people’s lives from his bedroom window than live his own life. Maybe Gaga sees herself in these men. Maybe each male character is an extreme example of her different types of fans, the Little Monsters. Many of the Little Monsters are adolescents and young adults who are quirky and unusual who feel like they don’t fit in. Lady Gaga tells them it’s okay to be different as long as they are themselves. Even if that means dressing up and hiding their bodies or faces, if that’s the way they feel comfortable in their own skin.
In 2009, Lady Gaga revealed to the world that her No. 1 song “Poker Face” was about how she fantasized about women while she had sex with her boyfriend, but she kept it a secret for a while because she feared rejection. After hearing that information, you’d probably say that Gaga is bisexual and you would be right, but it’s the way she weaves her bisexuality into her art that makes her announcement so unique. She reflects the rumors about her gender with her magic mirror and turns it into art, and uses “Poker Face” as a way to comment on her bisexuality by saying her poker face is her mask, her hat and her veil of mystery. This obsession with covering her face, whether it’s with her fingers, veils, scarves or hats is a way of keeping part of herself private.
Gender is all about how people see themselves in their minds. Society makes the gender roles that we live with, but Lady Gaga wants you to break the rules. People only follow the rules because they care what people think, and Gaga says to be free. Whether you’re a man or a woman, transsexual or hermaphrodite, embrace your inner drag queen or your inner butch. Fly your freak flag and declare yourself a “free bitch.”