Download: Why I Love Lady Gaga

Well, actually, I don’t love as much as have very mixed feelings about Lady Gaga, who is, at best, a Madonna knockoff. But I don’t want to be accused of bullying her or anyone else since bullying is the new moral panic. Everyone is claiming that they’re a victim of bullying: from the incredibly powerful American Legislative Exchange Council to the snot-nosed kid pushed out of the way at the playground.

But Gaga at least understands that it isn’t bullying every time someone is mean to you; rather bullying is a very specific set of actions that most often target the most marginalized among us, especially LGBT youth.

Queer kids are about three times as likely to be bullied as their straight peers. That’s why Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, helped to start the Born This Way Foundation at Harvard. The foundation is dedicated to helping bullied and bullies alike by fostering a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated, or, in Gaga-ese, “all our little monsters” can come out and play.

I’ll admit that my first reaction to Lady Gaga saving the world from bullying was a poker face, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided the effort should be celebrated, and we should just dance.

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