R Conrad

I called Lady Gaga evil and got death threats on Facebook

Filed By R Conrad | December 02, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: Against Equality, gay marriage, Lady Gaga

As some folks may know, I have been touring around the United States .Thumbnail image for aegreaterthan_notext.jpgwith the new book, Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage. I edited this anthology which contains critical work from some really wonderful voices in queer and trans activism including Kate Bornstein, John D'Emilio, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Dean Spade, Kenyon Farrow, Yasmin Nair and many more

Touring with the book has meant many things. Sleeping in the back of my truck, driving insane distances every day, barely eating meals, depending on the kindness of old friends for shelter, delivering a lecture (sometimes two!) daily, talking and strategizing with enthusiastic students and community members, racking up insane credit card debt, worrying about my dog back home, and pissing off a good number of the gays.

During my most recent tour stop at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., I spoke to about 40 students from numerous area colleges and universities, giving an hour and a half lecture and q & a. The lecture focused on breaking down the affective and rights-based rhetoric of the national gay marriage campaigns here in the states. Towards the end of the lecture I am always sure to contextualize the gay's unrelenting desire to marry amongst the other systems and institutions we'd likely be better off abandoning than participating in.

Marriage, the military, and hate crimes legislation (aka never ending prison expansion) makes up this holy trinity of desperate inclusion, a platform that looks remarkably similar to the ongoing media stunt known as Lady Gaga. Jokingly I suggested that Lady Gaga was evil, a heterosexual ruse distracting us from keeping our eyes on the most fantastic, transformative queer and trans futures imaginable, not mere inclusion in the heterosupremacist status quo.

Thumbnail image for lady_gaga_rainbow_flag.jpgAnd what happens? Some piss poor sensational blog article with the title "Lady Gaga Called 'Evil' By Gay Activist Ryan Conrad" appears on the internet. It's like I can spend an hour providing a materialist critique of marriage, twenty minutes contextualizing it amongst other issues, and take five seconds making snarky comments about Lady Gaga and that's all they can write about. It's a primary example of why students should pay more attention in their journalism classes, no?

To top it all off, 48 hours later I receive a flurry of somewhat humorous and sort of pathetic death threats in my Facebook inbox (Yasmin got some too, be assured she will be writing about it soon!). This one takes the cake:

ARGH!!! Ughh!!! There is absolutely nothing more disgusting, vomitting and repuslive than watching some ugly urchin dumped covered pig vomit ranting and promoting against equality! Typical white trailer trash with a mind of a squrriel! Listen inbreed, I doubt anyone would take some festering, bowl of disgusting pus like you seriously! After you finish rolling in your own filth, disgrace and whipe of all that urine and crap off of you, you'll be doing more bottom feeding that trash you call family, and you're going to know who runs the damn show around here and that is me and those who know how to run the show correctly! Don't you ever show that ugly, disformed, down syndrome face on Facebook or any social site ever again! Understand!?
The Most Dominate Male,
PS. I should chop you up into pieces and stomp you at the bottom of the dumpster!

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"Sleeping in the back of my truck, driving insane distances every day, barely eating meals, depending on the kindness of old friends for shelter, delivering a lecture (sometimes two!) daily, talking and strategizing with enthusiastic students and community members, racking up insane credit card debt, worrying about my dog back home, and pissing off a good number of the gays."

It's like being in an indie rock band, without the band.

I like your term, "heterosexual ruse." I swear I hear a LOT more straight people harping about "marriage equality" than queers.

I don't like it. As a bi person, it puts me on edge to hear suggestions that bi people are suspicious fakers. It is such a common biphobic trope and it is thrown at femme bi women the most. Tell me, do you presume people like Barney Frank are hetero fakers when they do something you don't like politically? If not, you all should stop pulling that crap on bi women. Gaga is a self identified bisexual. Like her politics or not, accusing bi women of being deceptive traitors or secret heteros is textbook biphobia.

I don't think calling Lady Gaga a "heterosexual ruse" has anything to do with questioning her bi identity. I read the joke as having more to do with gays fawning over her (and other pop icons), distracting them from seriously examining issues facing our community. It's basically a joke about our celebrity-obsessed pop culture.

Lady Gaga fans are crazy. Just sayin'.
Doesn't she self-identify as bisexual?

I may not disagree with the idea that no gays should want to get married or join the military, but nobody deserves a death threat.

friday jones | December 2, 2010 7:51 PM

Ooooh, Bryan is a "Dominate" Male, did he include his phone number for purposes of hooking up? "Dumpster-stomp my pieces, Daddy!"

My dollar to your dime says "Bryan" is not a supporter of marriage equality. That post has troll written all over it.

Lady Gaga identifies as bisexual because she thinks it means being attracted to both straight men and gay men.

Bisexual people aren't fakers. But there are a lot of straight female musicians that fake being bisexual.

Who wants to take on the topic of heterosexuals fethishizing LGBT people?

"Lady Gaga identifies as bisexual because she thinks it means being attracted to both straight men and gay men."

ahaha, I really, really hope you aren't kidding about this

No, she has said that she has had sex with women. This stereotype that bi people, particularly femme women, are fakers, or that you have any more right to scrutinize their identity than someone who self identifies as lesbian (remember Tatu, yet somehow I don't see you people falling over yourselves every time a celebrity comes out as lesbian to try to say she is a liar) is harmful. I am sick and fucking tired of seeing lesbians and gays act as if they have any fucking right to police bi identity, especially by throwing around old ass biphobic stereotyping. Just because a self identified bi women doesn't match up to whatever the fuck you think 'real' bi people should be like, you have no fucking right to presume other's identities are fake.

"Who wants to take on the topic of heterosexuals fethishizing LGBT people?" Maybe someone could take on that topic when it is fucking relevant, instead of using as an excuse to bash bi people.

Oh, I'm not bashing bisexuals, just Lady Gaga. I know bisexuals who are actually bisexual and femme to boot. Lady Gaga is, however, a character. Lady Gaga is not all bisexuals, and all bisexuals are not Lady Gaga.

And I have gotten sick of people saying that my opinion of Lady Gaga must apply to all bisexuals. It doesn't.
Don't like her music? You must be biphobic.
Don't like her videos? You must be biphobic.
Don't like what she says? You must be biphobic. Aren't a fan? Clearly it's because you have an issue with bisexuals.

It's absurd. And actually I was thinking of Tatu when said that people fetishize LGBT people. Female musicians in particular play up the girl-on-girl action as a way of marketing.

Lots of straight women that have sex with women. And Lady Gaga has said that she can separate sex and love, and that when it comes to love and relationships it's dudes she wants. Women are just for fucking fun. And that isn't really like the bisexual women I know...but straight women.

I don't think cat's issue is that you don't like Lady Gaga's music, it's that you're implying she is not a "real" bisexual because she's primarily attracted to men.

I'd have to agree that you're approaching "policing" bisexual identity when you can comfortably accuse a self-identified bisexual (who has apparently stood by that statement) of not being a "real" bisexual because she doesn't have an equal attraction to both men and women. What happened to the Kinsey scale?

I'd also like to point out that saying "What I say can't be biphobic because I know bisexuals" is about as valid as "I can't say anything racist because I know black people."
And didn't a lot of gay men more or less successfully divorce sex and love in the 1960s and 1970s, what with the bathhouses and the anonymous orgies? Were they not "real" gay men because boning dudes was mostly just for fun?

Meridith, I totally knew that if I said I know bisexuals, dated bisexuals and overall I don't think bisexuals are fakers, that someone would say that's not a defense.

But tell me, why is the reverse not true? Why do people get to call other people biphobic, transphobic, racist, sexist and all those other things based on their opinion of one single person?

I think Lady Gaga is full of shit because I generally think celebrities are quite often full of shit because they have another motivation. That is to create images that gain attention and ultimately profit from that image.

You, cat and a lot of people are inappropriately taking people's opinions of Lady Gaga and insisting that it applies it to all bisexuals. And I know that it totally doesn't matter how carefully I word it, that's how it's going to be misconstrued. Every. Time.

Oh yeah, and fetishizing LGBT people is fucking relevant because that's exactly what Lady Gaga fucking does. Madonna did it too. The difference is Madonna doesn't go around saying she's bisexual even though she has fucked women. "Oh it's sexual liberation." No it isn't. It's putting sexuality on the TV machine for commercial reasons.

Does it matter if I love Ani Difranco? Probably not. She's not as famous.

Grrrl, I feel your frustration. It happens all the time here, people have their axes to grind and, instead of really reading and considering a comment, they fire off their boilerplate response. Maybe that's just the nature of the beast -- after all, it's called the Comments section, not the I'm Listening section.

Lady GaGa is NOT bisexual! I don't care what this girl says. She is a clever little rich girl from the upper westside of NY who is surrounded by older minions in her label, most likely women, who tell her to say she is "bisexual" because it's edgy and "cool". Say you are bisexual like David Bowie because it will make you ambiguous and alluring to both sexes. This is a little girl playing dress up who is toying with LGBTQ Community. Her veneer is so thin I can't understand why anyone can't see past this fake. She has no business speaking on behalf of anyone in LGBTQ Community. Pop stars need to know their limits and not cross those boundaries of people who struggle each day in the community. I find this woman very insincere and detestable. I loathe her.