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FIRST-PERSON: Lady GaGa promotes a gay myth

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–In a soon-to-be-released song titled “Born This Way,” pop singer Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known to her fawning fans as Lady GaGa, promotes the cultural myth that aberrant sexual behavior is based in biology.

In an effort to fuel anticipation for the release of “Born This Way,” Lady GaGa “leaked” the lyrics of the song, which is the title cut of an album of the same name. The album is set to be released on May 23 and the single on Feb. 13, during the Grammy Awards.

The most-oft repeated lyric in the tune is “I was born this way.” In the song GaGa sings, “I’m beautiful in my way, ’cause God makes no mistakes.” In later lyrics she makes it clear the intent of the song when she repeats, “Don’t be a drag — just be a queen.” The play on words is an obvious reference to homosexuality.

As the song progresses, Lady GaGa becomes more overt in asserting there is a genetic basis for homosexuality — really for all aberrant sexual behavior. The lyrics continue: “A different lover is not a sin,” and, “No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track baby. I was born to survive.” The song concludes by repeating the lyric, “I was born this way.”

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic,” President John F. Kennedy once said. “Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

Few subjects have benefited from the sustained, steady echoing of myth than homosexuality. Even in the absence of a single definitive scientific study proving a genetic basis for homosexuality, the false notion that it has a biological basis is widely accepted.

As Kennedy observed, a myth can be embraced without any thought whatsoever. Most myths, I would argue, are accepted emotionally. An individual wants something to be true, so regardless of evidence, he or she emotionally acquiesces to a fallacy.

Lady GaGa, like so many in the entertainment business, seems to have emotionally embraced the myth that homosexuality is biologically determined. Whether or not her decision to propagate the myth is sincere or just a shrewd business decision, only she knows for sure.

There is no doubt that Lady GaGa possesses a good measure of business acumen. That she is successful at promoting herself and her music is without dispute. Few would doubt her ability to jump on the wave of a cultural trend and exploit it for all it is worth.

Given the current cultural climate, a song with the lyrical content of “Born This Way” is not shocking. I would even suggest that for someone in Lady GaGa’s position, it is expected.

Regardless of Lady GaGa’s motivations, in “Born This Way,” she blatantly espouses that aberrant sexual behavior — specifically homosexuality — is genetic and that people are simply born with certain sexual proclivities.

However, Lady Gaga’s “Born That Way” does nothing more than perpetrate a myth. There has yet to be a single solitary scientific study that has definitively established a biological basis for homosexuality. There also are countless numbers of people who once were homosexual but who no longer are so.

To be sure, some studies have concluded homosexuality “could” — “might” — “could possibility” be determined by genetics, but none thus far have been anywhere near conclusive.

There have been media reports through the years that have intimated a biological basis for homosexuality had been discovered. However, like so many in popular culture, the media outlets in question allowed their emotional embrace of the genetic myth of homosexuality to guide their reporting.

For instance, in 1991 it was widely reported that Simon LeVay, a scientist from Calif., had found a biological cause for homosexuality by comparing the brains of decease homosexual men with that of deceased straight men.

LeVay’s research did not quite yield what was reported. As a result, in 2001, he was quoted in “The Salt Lake Tribune” saying: “It’s important to stress what I did not find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I did not show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain.”

In 1995, Charles Mann, an American journalist and author who specializes in scientific topics, wrote in “Science” — the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, considered one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals — that “time and time again, scientists have claimed that particular genes or chromosomal regions are associated with behavioral traits, only to withdraw their findings when they were not replicated.”

The most comprehensive study of genetics was completed on April 14, 2003, when the International Human Genome Project announced the successful completion of the Human Genome Project. Major science journals reported on the incredible advances made in the field of genetics based on the project. However, the one piece of information that never materialized from the Human Genome Project was the identification of the so-called “gay-gene.” So, as far a science is concerned, a genetic predetermination for homosexuality simply does not exist.

Whatever Lady GaGa’s motivation for promoting the myth of homosexual genetics in “Born This Way,” it is clear that due to her status as a pop culture icon she will be a Pied Piper leading her fawning fans down a primrose path of deception concerning aberrant sexuality.
Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptist Convention has a ministry to homosexuals. Find more information at www.sbcthewayout.com.

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  • Kelly Boggs