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When we developed the cover concept for the 9th Anniversary of Lavender Lens, we quickly reached consensus on the subject: Lady Gaga would have to grace it. Amanda Biedenbender’s review of the artist’s Monster Ball not only truly conveys the experience of the show, but it also draws you into the clever mind of the singer and how she utilizes her notoriety and stardom to make a difference for the LGBTQ causes.
Lady Gaga is possibly the planet’s most influential personality, reaching millions of listeners and viewers day in and day out. Forbes listed her fourth on its year’s list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential Celebrities in the world. Above all, she is both an outspoken ally and member of the LGBTQ community. Lady Gaga has attributed her enormous success early in her career to the loyalty of her gay fan base, and has vowed to always fight for gay rights stating, “They'll always stand by me and I'll always stand by them.”
2010 has been all about our causes. Within just one month two federal judges struck down two laws that have been presenting major roadblocks in the gay movement. In her Monster Ball show, Gaga calls for acceptance and support, including financial, for homeless LGBTQ youth; at the Video Music Awards she introduced servicemembers who have been affected by DADT to encourage people to vote against the policy, and she confirmed the name of her upcoming album and yet-unreleased title song “Born This Way.”
According to a recent study, celebrities have the power to motivate civic engagement regardless of their own grasp of the issues at hand, as published in the Mass Communication and Society journal of Washington State University. The power of celebrity endorsement for human rights is no news to us. Artists have for decades brought attention to civil rights issues and world concerns. Today, approximately 45 % of all new voters are between 18 and 25, and over 45 million citizens aged 18-29 are eligible to vote. People that follow popular culture make up for a significant decision making body in the civic process.
Yet, at no point in history has the LGBTQ community received global recognition as notable as that from Lady Gaga, the world’s most successful pop culture super star. You may hate her outré style, her work, or her intensity, but more likely you appreciate or even love what Stefani Germanotta has created for herself and our active generations. Lady Gaga is the reality of modern day cultural force.
While Gaga’s brand and message resonates on the global level, we should also thank the women around us who have been influencing audiences nationally. Check out Danielle LoPresti and The Masses’ “No More, No Less,” and MC Flow’s “Equality,” the songs that have been (main)streaming on air waves.
Lavender Lens, although a local collaboration, has done its part in manifesting the LGBTQ liberation process and encouraging civic engagement. Thousands of individuals have been part of the project, and together we reflect on now 9 years of working on the magazine for lesbians and their friends. I can’t even find the words to express how incredible this ride has been. Together we have made the seemingly impossible available to our readership and created a strong network of exchange.
I would like include in this month's publisher's notes a message of gratitude and pride. Lavender Lens has been brought to you by extraordinary individuals: Those who rally for all to vote; the servicemembers who have followed their dreams during the devastating ages of DADT; the women and men who go above and beyond to help people who suffer from poverty, AIDS, addiction, rejection, mental illness, and homelessness; the politicians and activists who fight for the rights of our population; the business women and men who set the standards in LGBTQ and general commerce; the educators who make a difference every single day; all professionals who service each individual with dignity and respect; the artists who apply their talent to the promulgation of positive messages; and all individuals who support LGBTQ business and the print run of Lavender Lens.
This year has brought a major shift upward. Individually, many people have become stronger, and collectively we have made some groundbreaking strides forward. Starting today, we are even better connected via our media partner and host of the brand new Lavender Lens web portal, here at SDGLN. Make sure to subscribe and be in the know!