Lady Gaga launched her foundation, Born This Way, with her mother Cynthia Germanotta at the prestigious Harvard University. The foundation’s goal is to empower youth to prevent bullying and promote acceptance. Gaga had some heavy hitters on hand for the launch including Oprah Winfrey and Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius. And you know if Oprah endorses your foundation it’s no half-baked star vanity project.
One of the more touching guests in attendance was Alyssa Rodemeyer whose 13-year-old brother, Jamey, committed suicide after enduring constant bullying for being gay. A big fan of Lady Gaga, he tweeted, “@ladygaga bye mother monster, thank you for all you have done, paws up forever,” just before he took his own life.
Gaga was deeply touched by Jamey’s suicide. She vowed to speak to President Obama about bulling and played a tribute to him at one of her performances.
See Lady Gaga’s tribute to Jamey:
At the panel discussion, Secretary Sebelius pointed out the most effective way to prevent a horrible outcome from bullying is when a peer steps in as opposed to a teacher or another adult. Gaga is motivated to change the youth culture in hopes that it becomes un-cool to be a bully. Gaga is very serious about changing the youth culture, when one physiologist suggested during a panel discussion that we need to start by educating teachers to support kids, Gaga responded, “I don’t know if [all] teachers give a shit.” Gaga went on to say, “that approach has been taken in the past we need to start taking it to the youth.” Gaga wants to partner with other groups to make sure that she promotes the best solution possible for youth empowerment.
A Born This Way Foundation bus will follow Gaga’s tour providing a place where people can convene to learn how they can get help or get help about bullying. Gaga’s hope is to create a Gagastock like atmosphere at her concerts where people can gather with or without a ticket to celebrate peace, love and acceptance.
Bullying is a problem that has not gone away, but it seems to be only in the public eye when someone commits suicide or a senseless tragedy occurs. Having one of the largest worldwide superstars give her voice to such an important cause will ensure it remains in the public eye.
I commend Lady Gaga for her commitment to this issue, and can’t wait to see my fellow little monsters at Gagastock.
See the entire Born This Way Launch Event:
Visit for bornthiswayfoundation.org for more information