After months of radio silence — aside from a teaser from inside the studio or two — Lady Gaga made a (not so) surprise return to the stage tonight at NYC Pride.
Just minutes ago, the Fame Monster chanteuse made her way to Pier 26 to speak at the annual LGBT rally. But before you throw out any quick assumptions: No, there was no ARTPOP promo. No, she did not try and come for Madonna‘s wig. And no, there was not even a single meat dress — it just a good ol’ gay rights speech, filled with thankful words for the gay community, personal anecdotes, a few tears and, sure, okay, one or two subtle Born This Way mentions.
“I am here to celebrate history in the making,” Gaga declared. And then she went on.
First of all, she thanked everyone for coming out (both to the pier, and quite literally out of the closet). “This change is happening because of you — the ones who have the courage to challenge, to mobilize, to take action!” she roared, which is a more conservative way of saying: “Put your paws up, motherfuckers!”
Point: Yay gays!
She also talked about being an outcast growing up, and feeling shame and depression as a little girl in school. That is, until she discovered a “particular crowd” that accepted her: No, not the rugby team. Not even the cheerleaders — TEH GAYZ. And as she went on in life, and as she made her way up in the industry and men tried to use her for money and sex (same, girl), she realized: It was in the gays that she saw God for the first time. (I think she actually meant Godney at the 2011 VMA’s, but who’s going to correct her mid-speech?)
Point: Gays are God!
She then tearfully thanked her hairdresser, her clothing stylist for being able to “heal a broken phoenix with all your magic back into a swan.” (Then again, if she actually read Harry Potter, she’d know that crying all those phoenix tears would do others a world of good, but whatever Gaga.) “We are not a niche — we are a big, giant part of humanity. It’s time for us to be mainstream!”
Point: Gays are about to be sell-outs…but in a good way!
Most importantly, she ended the speech with a rally cry demanding for peace on the streets on New York: “I demand the right to safe streets!” she screamed, as the crowd followed suit. “It’s our night — and we can marry it if we want to,” she went on. (DO YOU SEE WHAT SHE DID THERE?) “My LGBT friends and fans always said to me: ‘I knew Lady Gaga when…’ Well, look who the star is now. Now I get to say: ‘I knew you when you suffered, and you felt unequal…I knew you then, I knew you when, but I really know you now.'”
Point: Stay strong, gays!
Finally, she wrapped it all up with a powerful rendition of the national anthem. Watch the entire thing below!
Say what you will about Gaga’s occasionally problematic agenda, or the way she theatrically enunciates words like “evolution” (ee-vo-loo-shun!) and “liberation” (“lih-bah-RAY-shun!“), but it was a job well done. She didn’t promote a new single. She just made a solid speech, and encouraged progress toward equality. Which is great!
It was great — but not legendary, of course.
If you’re in the market for a truly iconic, inspiring and #LotusPromo-friendly LGBT rights speech, look no further than Legendtina‘s bedside video message delivered to Boston Pride this year.
In a matter of 30 seconds (as opposed to Gaga’s 15 minutes of rambling), the Mi Reflejo goddess blesses us all with her iconic glam-ness whilst tucked into bed with a pooch, showers all the true lovers of men with besos, congratulates fans on “43 year strong years” of Gay Pride in Boston — a subtle nod to Bionic‘s “Vanity” (“and the legacy lives on…still going strong!”) — threatens to fuck bodies in Boston “the next time I roll into town,” and tops it all of by throwing in half of the video for her enduring Grindr anthem, “Your Body.”
Top that, you basic flops.
I think you already know my name…GAY!