we had a little discussion at work regarding gaga's total rip off of 80's madonna. here's the situation - gaga's tunes are particularly catchy and i quite like the music. however i don't get her wacky performance art [i.e. the meat dress] and her personification. madonna's point was very clear -- be the best. appeal to as many as possible. blend with the ebbs and flows of the music/entertainment industry. gaga has yet had an opportunity to prove that she's just as solid as madonna in that department. similarities: the music is very similar - catchy, great to dance to at the gay bar and a hook that stays in the brain for weeks on end. [stop callin' i don't want to talk anymore i left my head and my heart on the dance floor] pissing moms off across the land. guaranteeing never to be on the ellen degeneres show after sitting next to the vegan in aforementioned meat dress. edgy and the gays love her. hmmm. sounds like bette midler and cher before them.
can gaga change with the times though? not certain - it all seems very calculated so perhaps she's got something brewing.
two days ago portia de rossi was on the oprah winfrey show talking about her struggles with anorexia, bulimia and coming out as a homosexual. i was surprisingly off that day and decided since it was oprah's last season, i oughta watch it. there she was talking about her book unbearable lightness a story of loss and gain. her madness of anorexia and bulimia. madness. she was crazy. she hated herself so much and had such a skewed image of her body [and how hollywood didn't help...]. she isolated herself to lonliness and puked her guts out after eating entire bags of cheetos and making herself throw it up into a bag somewhere behind a dumpster and use her t-shirt to clean herself up, only to toss it away and get back in her car and drive off. she never let anyone know how miserable she was. 82 pounds was her all time low. 168 her highest. i was shocked that she felt so bad about herself. i would look at someone like her, just like most of us would, and my closeted homo mind would think wow, she's beautiful. there's rumors of her gayness. how amazing would it be if someone who looked like her would come out. showing the world that you don't have to be stereotypically "dyk-ish" to be queer. things will be different by the time she comes out...if she ever does. i found myself drawn more to her story of her coming out. it seemed so much like mine. the fear. the shame. the loneliness. the isolation. the sadness. hating yrself, literally hating yrself for not being "normal" - like my sister or ... just everyone. i didn't know anyone who was gay growing up and let's face it, it was the 80's and i didn't start hearing about queers until AIDS came to be and then it was only men the media focused on. i didn't have any gay role models. kd lang had been out, but i didn't relate to her. ellen coming out in 1997 was historic. any lesbian around my age knows just where they watched her come out on national television. it was beautiful. portia came out in 2004 - when she began dating ellen. hmm. she's my age. how weird must it be to be dating, and soon marry, such an iconic lesbian. how weird...but how fucking normal. they seem to love each other so much and she credits ellen for showing her that love can save you. corny. true. i think.
her mother's struggle struck me too. i chose to not officially come out to my parents until i realized i'd been cheated on and broken up with. i needed my mommy. i told her meredith was leaving me. i knew it. it's ok if she would have been a little more honest and done it before she began cheating, perhaps it would have ended differently. i hear through friends that she's well. i'm glad. we all deserve love in our lives. i'll never forgive her for what she did to me, but i wish her well. mommy listened and told me it'd all be alright. her and dad would help me get the hell out of there. i was to look for an apartment immediately and they would foot the bill no questions asked. i felt awful after i hung up the phone. here i was 600 miles away and still running to mommy and daddy. depending on my parents like my safety net. they were NEVER not there to catch me. i felt like i'd used my mom that day to cry to. i never let her know anything that was going on. i lied to her. by not telling, i lied. i looked that day, found a place and then wrote my parents a 5 page letter explaining how gay i was and that by not telling them that it looked like i was ashamed of it. and i wasn't. i think about that now and know it wasn't true. i was ashamed of being gay. i felt like i let my parents down. that i wouldn't produce grandchildren for them or have a conventional life. i didn't want them to be disappointed or worry about me. they don't worry so much of my sister because she's happily married to probably the greatest guy ever. she's being taken care of. my life is this circle of people, my sister, tim, b j l , mom, dad. what if they decided it wasn't cool? what if my sister didn't let me see the boys anymore. my beloved boys. what if? i'd never know because i kept it a secret up until i was about to move to portland and i'd grown so close with my sister. i told her one day over coffee on her couch. i won't forget her reaction. i then felt bad for telling her and probably ruining her life. great, good job caryn. i hated myself for being selfish enough to just be me. i wanted to please and i was gonna do it. my sister and i didn't talk for a few weeks. but because i was moving to portland we were forced to see each other before i left. she cried and told me her truth. i cried too. i felt bad for leading her on all this time. my sister. unconditional love. i felt like even though i was moving away in a few weeks, we'd just solidified our relationship for life. my sister went to number 1 on the speed dial. for her, i die. truth. honesty. it's amazing. i always wondered what it would be like to someday be able to repay my parents for being who they are and instilling it in me and my sister - and now their grandchildren. letting us be just who we are and celebrating it to their friends. this is how i do it. today, i choose to be happy. live a happy life to repay my parents for what they've done for me. i do that because i know that's all they want for both my sister and me.
i now live my life so openly. i chose to go to a silent retreat and it opened the door for this kind of thinking. i was ashamed of being gay. of embarrassing my family. it's kept me from getting the kind of relationship i want - love, a partner who wantsto be with just me. for me. for who i am. for once. as morrissey once said
please, for once in my life let me get what i want/lord knows it would be the first time
[i didn't read this before publishing. it may be pulled once i am actually sane and re-read it! enjoy while it's here...]
"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace." -President Barack Obama