From Pop to Politics

OPEN LETTER TO LADY GAGA FROM A GAY IRAQI FAN

In Popolitics on October 11, 2010 at 5:06 am

Gaga don't preach...

It would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday yesterday. It was also the day I got an email forward that I think is worth sharing with you on The Videocrat. It’s a brilliant open letter to Lady Gaga from a disappointed gay Iraqi fan named Sa’ad. For those of you who don’t know, Lady Gaga has been on this fervent gay military rights bender in the media for the past few weeks. As a fan myself, the letter really confirmed what I’ve been thinking about it myself. It’s shocking that no one’s pointing out what Sa’ad has noticed. Please forward/re-post if you agree: 

Dear Gaga,

Let me begin by saying that I am an admirer of your work. You have made the past two years so much more interesting in pop culture. I met you backstage at your show in Toronto last year, and I was enamored by your warm energy and how down to Earth you were. When you fight for gay rights you’re fighting for me, it’s one of the reasons I adore you. But these days something’s a bit off . . .

Over the past month or so I have watched you make every public appearance revolve around the issue of allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the US military. It started with the release of the stunning music video for ALEJANDRO – a song that is an ode to gay men. The video portrays dancers in various military-inspired poses and dress. And that was the beginning of your strange new political campaign. However, your machine gun bra did not disappoint 🙂

At the VMAs your statement was clear: Ex-soldiers who had been discharged for being homosexual escorted you to the event. Later you appeared on stage in a raw meat outfit which you later explained on Ellen’s talk show as some kind of a metaphor for equal rights in the US army.

Shortly after that, you posted a black and white video message addressed to US senators and citizens, urging them to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy.

And then in late September, you attended a rally in Maine where you took to the podium with flair and passion to deliver a dramatic speech against ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’.

And now when I go to your website, the first page displays a photo of you at the rally, accompanied by a written message apologizing for not being successful at repealing the rule. Upon clicking, fans are automatically redirected to an anti- DADT lobby website.

My question to you (and I have a few) my dear Gaga is simple:

Why are you promoting war?

What about the peace sign tattooed on your wrist?

What about the message of peace and love that your idol John Lennon – a man you honor and pay tribute to frequently- brought to the world?

I can’t imagine there’s no Gaga, but lately I’m not so sure…

I am a gay man. But I am also an Iraqi. You should know that the actions of your country’s military have destroyed my country, my people and the new generation beyond repair. When you encourage the militarization of my brothers and sisters, you are saying that war is acceptable. You are basically telling them that they can and SHOULD kill ME.

I began to see your raw meat dress as a metaphor for the flesh of dead Iraqi children and soldiers. I began to doubt your sincerity.

Good people across the world do not want war under any circumstances. I’m sure deep down you feel the same way too . . .

I hope you understand how confusing it is to see one of my heroes, a uniquely talented artist who promotes love and tolerance between all people through her music, on this strange mission that is ultimately pro-war. As a result, you may have lost one of your little monsters forever . . .

Love regardless,

SAAD

I hope this letter gets to her somehow. I leave you with a music video released by another blond Italian-American icon at the eve of the Iraq War. Politically speaking, The Queen of Pop got it right. Peace!


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  1. Don’t Gaga Don’t Kill!!!

    There are other options for you than joining the military gay america. Our community should stand for peace, and tolerance. Say no to Lady Gaga’s misguided campaign to militarize gay america!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. I really hope this letter reached Lady Gaga! I’ve been so mad at her for all this shit.

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Care Who You’re Murdering:
    http://saffolicious.blogspot.com/2010/09/dont-ask-dont-tell-dont-care-who-youre.html

    XOXO
    ~s.

    • Thanks Adam! That’s a great tagline…

      And thanks for reading Saffo. I don’t know how far Saad’s letter has gone let’s try to circulate it in the blogosphere, it’s super relevant since he’s gay AND Iraqi. I’m a Gaga fan too so it’s been really disappointing to see her going in this crazed pro-war direction!

  3. I don’t see how promoting the repealing of DADT is in any way “Pro war”. that’s a really really odd way to take it. the repealing of don’t ask don’t tell is about allowing gay men and women of america the right to serve their country. Granted, that service right now means the ongoing war in iraq, but nobody who supports the ending of DADT is saying “End DADT so gay people can kill some iraqi’s too.”

    Regardless of what current actions the military is taking, the decision to join it does not equal the decision to kill people. The purpose of any nation’s army, first and foremost, is defense of that nation. I will agree to the end of all time that we shouldn’t be in iraq, that our presence there is wrong and has been from the start, but to say lady gaga supports gay people killing iraqis because she’s taken on the cause of repealing DADT while america has a military force there is just stupid. the two are not the same.

    there is nothing pro-war about repealing a law that prevents gay men and women from having the same rights as straight men and women.

    • It’s inherently a pro-war stance, David. Gaga is a pop star taking a very political stance on a military issue in the US when she should be anti-war in the way John Lennon was. She’s an artist. But she’s behaving like a politician. Pushing for gay people to join the military isn’t exactly a peaceful message.

      The point is that she’s a celebrity who’s got a lot of media exposure and if she’s going to pick a battle, it should be about something more relevant and pressing within her fanbase: Raising awareness about kids being bullied and assaulted in high schools for being gay.

      • I still have to completely disagree with you. The issue she is fighting for isn’t about whether or not anyone should go to war. Gay men and women are currently blocked from serving in the military in exactly the same way that gay men and women are currently blocked from being able to be married. This issue is about individuals in our nation being denied the rights that other individuals have on the basis of their sexuality.

        Lady GaGa isn’t advocating anyone go to war in the same way that I’m not advocating going to war.

        I don’t like the idea of anyone going to war, but war isn’t the primary function of a military force – defense is. We have to have an army or we have no defense against any other nation that has a desire to do us harm or subjugate us. In an ideal world,t his wouldn’t be an issue – i’d love to see peace rule as much as you would, unfortunately that is not the world we currently live in.

        In a world where we need to have an army, all citizens should be allowed to make the decision to serve in the armed forces regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, regligious beliefs, etc. The decision to serve in the armed forces is not a decision to kill people or a decision to go to war.

        I have to reiterate that making the claim that “Supporting the repeal of DADT = Supporting War” is stupid. they are not synonymous. They, in fact, have nothing to do with each other. Supporting the repeal of DADT is a civil rights issue. It always will be. When gay men and women are blocked from the same rights as heterosexual men and women, regardless of what those rights are or if you believe their should exercise them, it is an inequality that cannot be allowed to continue.

        No laws should be made to exclude persons of any gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or creed from the rights of their fellow citizens. This isn’t about the right to go to war, this is about having the same rights as other citizens. You cannot equate the two.

        Lady GaGa isn’t pushing for gay people to join the military. She’s pushing for them to have the right to choose it. This is the same as how Roe V. Wade doesn’t force women to have abortions, but gives them the right to choose it.

        As far as her acting like a politician instead of a pop star, I can think of many many pop stars who,w hen given the chance, voice a political opinion. it’s part of the nature of celebrity. Nobody gives coldplay a hard time because they support Oxfam and Amnesty International, Nobody gives Bono a hard time because of whatever cause he’s whoring at the time. This is the same thing. This is a cause she’s chosen to adopt because this is a change we can make right now, in our generation, for the better. Repealing DADT isn’t so more gay people can kill iraqis, it’s so more gay people have the same rights and privileges as their heterosexual peers.

        When it comes down to it, taking an unpopular opinion or stance on an issue just for the sake of being counter culture or controversial has no merit. Making ridiculous jumps to conclusions about the subtext of somebody’s political message (Repeal DADT = Kill Iraqis) and extrapolating the craziest possible motive behind something (Lady GaGa wants gay people to join the military so they can kill iraqis) does nobody any good. The only thing that is inherent in Lady GaGa’s stance on DADT is that the barring of gay men and women from ANY right, privilege or activity based on their sexuality is not only a horrendous example of inequality, but a violation of basic rights afforded to all americans and it must be stopped.

    • I agree with David. I don’t think repealing DADT has anything to do with being pro-war or not. I am personally VERY anti-war (in the instance of Iraq, anyway), but I also don’t think that people who ARE in the military should have to keep a secret if they don’t want to. If they choose to, that’s one thing, but they shouldn’t be forced. Just because you CAN be gay in the military doesn’t mean people who weren’t going to join are now going to. People join the military for lots of reasons, not just to kill Iraqis. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

      The two things are completely different. Repeal DADT.

  4. David dear, Oxfam and Africa and all the other causes celebrities champion are HUMANITARIAN in nature! Not political!

    I understand that Gaga’s heart may be in the right place (she might be doing this for the fame). But she obviously hasn’t thought the campaign through. You will never understand what it’s like to be Iraqi. When we see shit like this it only means death and destruction.

    Like I said – there are SO MANY MORE PRESSING ISSUES for the gay community and civil rights (marriage, hate crime, etc). Why has she latched on to this one?

  5. The role of any army in any war is to kill people. The United States has never fought a just or moral war. Unless your morals are colonization, theft of land, resources and to force a state to concede to your imposition of legal systems.
    Gaga is a joke, trying to piggie back off of a popular but extremely misguided movement. I’m queer and oppose war. All war.

  6. while this is a sensitive issue, and while i do respect the perspective you’re offering, the greater issue gaga is attempting to tackle is one of equal rights. and ultimately, while i do respect your opinion, you are completely wrong.

    the fact is that there are currently gays in the military. this is nothing new. regardless of whether you agree with it or not, gay people have been in the military as long as there has been a military, right? those gays in the military have chosen to be in the military.

    now, currently, if those gays disclose their sexuality to anyone, they can be kicked out. is that right? the military is the only job where it’s right to fire you for being openly gay.

    do i agree with the military action currently going on in the middle east? fuck no. but do i think it’s right to disallow someone from serving if they really want to? fuck no it’s not right.

    this isn’t about militarizing gay people. this is about offering gay people the same rights that you offer to any other person.

  7. Dear Saad, Please know that you are not alone in your sadness and horror about this war (and all other wars). It seems impossible to heal the wounds that have been caused by the military. There really is no good reason for all of the killing. Unfortunately, many people are not clear on the fact that “war is big business”, and that is what motivates those in power to keep it going. There are millions of us here in this country that DID NOT, and DO NOT approve of this war, or any other. As for the Gaga “situation”, I can not speak for her motives, however I am pretty sure that her intentions are good. She is a staunch advocate for equality and the rights of those who are denied it. I’m pretty certain that she does not condone this terrible war and the lives that have been lost. Please know that my heart and that of many others aches for the pain of your loss. I know that your country is and always was comprised of good, loving people. It’s always those that behave in the EXTREME, which causes the rest of us to live in fear. I can assure you Saad that you have people here who care about you and love you. You are a member of our family our “Gay Family” and I for one will be here to offer you a strong embrace of comfort and brotherly love. Your American Friend, Max

  8. All Hippie Wanna-Be’s. Just wait until you get a tad older….then you will realize there is alot more to this world than Lady Gaga and DADT!

  9. Sadly, war is a very real. The immeasurable amount of tragedy that ANY war brings is something no one can deny. However, the issue of repealing DADT is an issue of American civil rights. Should Pro-peace Americans not care about the discrimination faced by brave soldier who are willing put themselves in the horror that is war?

  10. gay and lesbian americans just want the same rights as all americans! im sure gay and lesbians in the military are not wishing to get deployed so they can kill people! no body in the military wants to get deployed! come on now! get real!

  11. To all of you who are facing the brutality of this senseless war, please know that there are millions of us here in the U.S. who DO NOT approve of this war. For that matter, any other war. It is very disheartening to be associated with the destruction of any country and it’s people. The real enemy hear and elsewhere in the world are the “puppet master” pulling the strings of their minions. These are the mega rich, mega greedy masters of manipulation. The ones that we don’t see everywhere in the media, the ones who want to control us all from their “safe” hiding places. The issue with DADT and Lady Gaga is a little more complicated than we are all being made aware of. The reality is that the LGBT community is fighting for this particular equal right, because it sets the “path” to all other rights that we have been and are being denied. Once we achieve the goal of equality in our military service, then the argument that follows is “how can we serve our country, yet not have equality in all other aspects of our lives?” I know this is a sounds a bit bizarre, but unfortunately in this country the political system works in “mysterious ways”. WE DON’T WANT TO JOIN THE MILITARY TO KILL ANYONE. We want a pathway to complete equality, one that we will fight for on behalf of all GLBT CITIZENS HERE AND AROUND THE WORLD. We are your gay brothers and sisters and we love you! Max

    • Max… I can’t speak for Saad because I don’t know him but I appreciate your anti-war sentiment. The people I meet during my travels in the US never cease to amaze me with their kindness and good will. I am all for equal rights for everyone but I don’t think being part of the military is some kind of milestone that will make everything else OK. Many states have approved gay marriage – and I don’t think that has much to do with DADT.

  12. As an antiwar gay myself I can appreciate the sentiments in this letter and some of the comments made but I think that gay people should have all the rights that straights have. Even the bad ones in my view like the military and marriage. Banning gays in the military doesn’t stop wars, just look at Israel.

  13. While I do not support the War, and I can appreciate Saad’s sentiments, he completely misses the point on Lady Gaga’s support of DADT. She is not pro-war, but rather pro-lesbian and gay rights, wherever they may be, including places that she may not directly have a connection to or any commonality. It’s true, I will never know what it is like to be an Iraqi, but that shouldn’t change the fact that I support gay and lesbian rights, whether I am a gay man, lesbian or straight. I understand being anti-military, but gays and lesbian soldiers shouldn’t pay for that simply because they are not straight. The repeal of DADT is simply to give them the same open human rights as any other soldier, that’s it. Whether you are anti-or pro-military is another matter.

  14. Lady Gaga is the best female popstar, forget about Britney Spears. britney does not even come close to gaga :“

  15. Promoting peace and promoting the repeal of DADT are mutually exclusive entities. John Lennon has been dead for decades and we still don’t have world peace; Gaga is trying to fight for something she can see change RIGHT NOW. Even if she did 100x as much work fighting for peace as she does for equality, the fact is that her time and energy are better spent where she can actually make a difference.

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