Discovering Sexuality

The internet has been a game changer for the LGBT community with more resources than ever for people to find acceptance and support. In order to sexually discover themselves, it is easy for people to find information about what can be expected, what is not condoned and what people deem ‘appropriate’ (Dill, 2012). Despite the positive trajectory, we are still in a transition period which means awareness and understanding must be pushed to ensure an equal future for all sexual orientations and gender choices.

Lady Gaga is a known icon in the LGBT community because of her activism and is the queen of controversial music videos. Her track ‘Born This Way‘ garnered huge attention initially for the lyrics which directly speak of equality.

“No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life”

– Lady Gaga

However, here Zafar (2011) deconstructs how the video explores various historical and artistic references – such as Michelangelo, Bernini, Madonna and Alvin Ailey to mention a few – that reinforces her message. There is no direct correlation to the overall intent of the lyrics to the music video, however her references (once researched) provide clarity. Alternatively, her music video for ‘Poker Face‘ depicts the face value of the lyrics, when in fact the song was about her bisexuality.

gaga 14_cut
Lady Gaga in BTW compared to Bernini’s “The Ecstasy of Saint Therese”

Artists such as Hozier and Troye Sivan take a more literal approach in directing. Their music videos ‘Take Me To Church‘ and ‘Fools‘ portray realistic perils of gay men in the struggle to be accepted by family and the communities. Dill (2012) also mentions how the actions of people who are in the spotlight help adolescents ‘predict likely consequences of sexual beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours’ (p. 13) which is why visual representation can be such an important tool in this context.

While providing an awareness to the struggles the LGBT community experiences daily is definitely making a huge difference, sometimes simply acknowledging it as normal is all that is needed. Disclosure captures this perfectly in their video for ‘Latch‘, as does this lovely number below.

Peace

 

Author Unknown (2011) Lady Gaga Spreads Positive Message for Queer People; LGBT Advocates Applaud VMA Drag Show, International Business Times, accessed 31/3/16, available here

Dill K E (2012) Mass Media Influences on Sexuality, The Journal of Sex Research, accessed 1/4/16, available here

Zafar A (2011) Deconstructing Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ Video, The Atlantic, accessed 1/4/16, available here

 

 

2 thoughts on “Discovering Sexuality

  1. I really enjoyed your analysis of different music and/or videos as to representation of LGBTQIA allies. I’m wondering how this research fits into your overall project, will it become a Digital artefact or part of a research essay? Have you considered how artists such as Lady Gaga have brought together fans in large communities across the internet and in real life, giving them a safe place to explore their identity and be themselves? I experienced this when I went to see her perform in 2014 at Art RAVE: The people I met there were all friends through internet communities, very much a result of cyberculture. Apparently quite a few academics have made a study of this: http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/662/543
    http://www.academia.edu/3776318/Making_Monsters_Lady_Gaga_Fan_Identification_and_Social_Media

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  2. It’s a really important topic discussing how any form of media can assist with LGBTQIA issues, and music videos had not been one I had thought about to honest, so that’s really cool. Whilst there’s so far to go, I was just talking at dinner tonight noticing how far we have come over the last few years, when listening to The Goon Sax’s new album ‘Up To Anything’ and consequently the song and film clip for ‘Boyfriend’. To give some context, these guys are one of the most hyped Australian bands of the last year, are under the age of 18 and have obviously have some influence. Their recent video for ‘Boyfriend’ is a simple, pretty DIY affair with the band playing around (you guessed it) goon sacks, but also detailing the lyrics and the staged cups of tea and dates he would share with said supposed boyfriend. The nonchalance is something that always should have been there, but I honestly feel like a film clip made this like when I was there age would have gone far from unnoticed just a few years ago, at least in area where I’m from. Hopefully along with the continued awareness being raised in other film clips being raised by artists such as Troye Sivan, we can see a progression continue in future years.

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