Lady Gaga: ‘Being A Lady Today Means Being A Fighter’
Lady Gaga wrote a letter for the December/January issue of Harper's Bazaar, in which she elaborated on the way her late aunt's memory shaped Gaga's life, what it means to be a woman in 2016 and how she responded to Donald Trump's Access Hollywood tape.
Gaga begins by commending her mother and grandmothers for their unending strength, and credits them with imparting their fearlessness on her as a child. The "Diamond Heart" singer then segues into her spiritual relationship with her father's late sister Joanne, who died at the age of 19 of complications from Lupus.
"The best way to describe my relationship with her is that it's like the relationship someone might have with an angel or a spirit guide or whatever you think of as a higher power," Gaga wrote. "Joanne died of lupus, which is an autoimmune disease, and from what I know of the history of my family, one of the reasons her disease may have worsened was that she was assaulted when she was in college.
"She was sexually assaulted and groped. Joanne passed away in 1974, 12 years before I was born, so I learned about her mostly through stories and pictures," Gaga continued. "But I also learned about her through the rage of my father and watching him pour a drink every night and through seeing my grandparents cry at the Christmas dinner table when it was clear that there was an empty seat they wanted to fill."
The "Perfect Illusion" singer says she thought of Joanne when a 2005 Access Hollywood tape -- in which president-elect Donald Trump admits to potentially sexually assaulting several women -- leaked online shortly before the U.S. presidential election took place.
"Here we were, in 2016, and the fact that the sort of language that was being used to talk about women was everywhere—on TV, in politics—was eye-opening. I felt depressed and hurt by it because that's what that kind of language does," Gaga wrote, before touching on the way women are often silenced for giving voice to their emotions.
"Then I watched our incredible first lady, Michelle Obama, talk in New Hampshire about how hurt she felt seeing it too," she continued. "She talked about how women are often afraid to say anything because we're worried that we will appear weak—that we'll be told we're being over-the-top, dramatic, emotional. But we're not. We're fighting for our lives.
"Being a lady today means being a fighter," she continued. "It means being a survivor. It means letting yourself be vulnerable and acknowledging your shame or that you're sad or you're angry. It takes great strength to do that."
Head over to Harper's Bazaar to read Lady Gaga's full letter before the issue hits newsstands on November 22.
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