Lady Gaga Defends Teen Bullying Victims
Sep 29, 2011
Lady Gaga has long been an advocate for bullying victims. Following the possibly bullying-related suicide of one of her ardent fans, she's taken her anti-bullying campaign to new levels. Using her popularity and influence, she hopes to make a lasting difference in the fight against bullying.
The Suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer
Jamey Rodemeyer was a 14-year-old boy from Buffalo, New York. He was victimized by bullies for years because he mostly befriended girls, he wasn't overtly masculine and he openly questioned his sexuality. Clearly affected by it, he spoke about the bullying, as well as thoughts of suicide, with family and friends. When he also blogged about it, the taunts he endured at school followed him online, where classmates posted hateful messages. On September 18th, Jamey succumbed to the pressure and took his own life.
In addition to talking and blogging about the bullying he endured, Jamey also spoke of his love for Lady Gaga. One of his last Facebook posts was a lyric from the Lady Gaga song The Queen: 'Don't forget me when I come crying to heaven's door.' His final blog post was a thank you note to the musician he dearly idolized.
All the Way to President Obama
Jamey Rodemeyer's suicide didn't go unnoticed by Lady Gaga. The musician had previously spoken out about the bullying she faced when she was younger. She noted that following her meteoric rise as a pop singer, she began to recognize her younger self in many of her fans. This led her to try to help bullying victims, as she realized she had developed significant influence.
After Rodemeyer's suicide, Gaga tweeted her wish for bullying to become an illegal hate crime. She asked her supporters to make #MakeALawForJamey a trending topic on Twitter. She even promised to take up the issue with President Obama.
Just weeks after the suicide, Gaga attended a $35,800 per couple fundraiser for the president at the California home of Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. While there, Gaga used a Q&A forum to read a letter she received from a fan about bullying. The president responded by noting his administration's work on an anti-bullying campaign.
In addition to pressuring the president to act, Gaga has continued the campaign with her fans. While performing at the iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas, she dedicated the song 'Hair' to Rodemeyer and included a video tribute to him during the performance. She has shown her commitment to this fight and spoken about her optimism that if enough attention is raised, the current generation can overcome bullying.
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