Lady Gaga at Obama Silicon Valley Fundraiser

Lady Gaga bought a top-tier ticket and attended an exclusive Silicon Valley fundraiser at the home of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on Sunday night. Wearing a black, sleeveless lace gown and with her hair piled up, Lady Gaga was 2 feet taller than everyone including Obama, thanks to her super high heels and substantial up-do. Her outfit included a black veil. In recent days Gaga has been saddened and angered by the suicide of 14 year old fan Jamey Rodemeyer, and her choice of attire suggests mourning.

Last week Lady Gaga said she would be meeting with POTUS to discuss her concerns about bullying–at one point Gaga tweeted that bullying

must become illegal


USA Today reports from pool reporter Carol Lee of The Wall Street Journal:

POTUS spoke for about 8 minutes, with Lady Gaga sitting front and center. And although he never acknowledged her obvious presence, it seems likely the two crossed paths during greetings inside the house before the dinner.

ABC reports a slightly different scenario from an anonymous source inside the tent. According to their source, Gaga thanked the President for what he has accomplished, then read what she said was a letter from a fan discussing another of her fans who committed suicide over bullying. After which she

thanked Obama for hosting his anti-bullying conference with Michelle Obama, and then made a general plea to everyone in the room, including the president, to do what they can to prevent bullying.

Gaga was spurred to tweet on bullying after Jamey Rodemeyer killed himself over incessant bullying. His final tweet was

@ladygaga bye mother monster, thank you for all you have done, paws up forever

and he was buried in a “Born This Way” shirt. Jeremy had made an It Gets Better video in May, but the bullying at Williamsville North High School in Buffalo, N.Y., and online was ceaseless. New York already has an anti-bullying law, the Dignity for All Students Act, passed in 2010.

The Gay Straight Alliance issued a statement with regards to Gaga’s call for the criminalizing of bullying:

It’s great that Lady Gaga is bringing national attention to this problem, but now we must focus on real solutions. By writing letters, starting and supporting Gay-Straight Alliances, talking to teachers and administrators and mobilizing our communities, we can push schools to enforce existing non-discrimination policies in a way that doesn’t contribute to an environment of fear and punishment, but rather fosters a culture of safety, inclusion, and respect for all students.

Ticket cost for the Obama fundraiser was the standard $35,800 per couple/single seat. Gaga apparently came alone.

Obama Anti-Bullying Video

Thank you, Obama. While you haven’t been the president we thought you would be, thank you for your compassion in speaking out on the rash of LGBT teen suicides. I hope other former presidents–George W Bush for instance–do the same, as do other eected officials from both sides of the aisles.

You are not alone. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do anything to deserve being bullied. And there is a whole world waiting for you, filled with possibilities. There are people out there who love you and care about you just the way you are. And so, if you ever feel like because of bullying, because of what people are saying, that you’re getting down on yourself, you’ve got to make sure to reach out to people you trust. Whether it’s your parents, teachers, folks that you know care about you just the way you are. You’ve got to reach out to them, don’t feel like you’re in this by yourself.

The other thing you need to know is, things will get better. And more than that, with time you’re going to see that your differences are a source of pride and a source of strength. You’ll look back on the struggles you’ve faced with compassion and wisdom. And that’s not just going to serve you, but it will help you get involved and make this country a better place.

It will mean that you’ll be more likely to help fight discrimination – not just against LGBT Americans, but discrimination in all its forms. It means you’ll be more likely to understand personally and deeply why it’s so important that as adults we set an example in our own lives and that we treat everybody with respect. That we are able to see the world through other people’s eyes and stand in their shoes – that we never lose sight of what binds us together.

As a nation we’re founded on the belief that all of us are equal and each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness; to make the most of our talents; to speak our minds; to not fit in; most of all, to be true to ourselves. That’s the freedom that enriches all of us. That’s what America is all about. And every day, it gets better.

In 8th grade, we read Lord of the Flies. Very cheery book for an all girls school. Since then I have spent a lot of brain and life looking at how people behave towards each other. What we call “bullying” has a long history–it is part of our animal nature, driving out what is perceived as weak or different in order to make the herd feel secure. Witch burnings, the Inquisition, anti-Semitism, persecution of Protestants during the Reformation, genocide are bullying in the extreme and all stem from fear. You can this in any society and culture past and present be it indigenous jungle dwellers or MTV watching kids. There is a drive and belief that the Other must be blamed, must be destroyed.

Often that fear is fueled from a place of self-righteousness based in twisted socio-religious justifications which gives the bully, the persecutor the sense of moral superiority.  Since most of America identifies as Christian, it becomes necessary to bring up this:

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matthew 7:12; cf. Luke 6:31).

Yeah, basically

do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Parents of bullies, school administrators and other officials should think for a moment how they would feel if their child or family member were treated thusly, potentially to the point of killing themselves, and act accordingly. And kids who are being bullied need to having coping resources that empower them and get them through that vile place.

Modeling is important, which is why I was a bit shocked by the “turd burglar” comment in HCAN’s otherwise spot on video with Jack Black. Like wtf, a progressive group perpetuating anti-gay epithets?

I pray daily that the actions of school bullies toward LGBT, the disabled and and all those who are perceived as different will stop; that old women will not be stoned and burned in their villages; that love will replace hatred.

Wearing Purple to Show Love and Support

Today, through Tumblr and Facebook, over 3.5million people are wearing purple. Please join them in showing your love and support for teens who are bullied and harrassed, and to mourn the suicide of LGBT teens who were the victims of bullies.

Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. RIP Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas. You are loved.

Our youth is a vital resource, and we should be fostering love, support and tolerance. Please avoid the use of the word “gay” as an insult as in “That’s so gay.”

And while today is to visibly support spirit and peace, every day we need to make the effort and set an example.