Lady Gaga arrived at the MTV VMA awards this weekend and performed “You and I”as her male-gendered alter ego Jo Calderone, a sleazy, heartbroken, macho ex-lover of Gaga.
Jo Calderone launched into a four minute opening monologue explaining why he turned up instead of Gaga, talking about his heartache and affection for her. In the MTV press conference after his performance, Jo said he’s “not a singer, or a model or an actor, or anything… I’m just a guy.”
Gaga continued the entire evening performing as Jo, collecting awards on her behalf and even presenting an award to Britney Spears. When accepting the award, Calderone/Gaga said “I feel so blessed to be here, and it’s true. It doesn’t matter who you are. Gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgender — you were born this way.”
Reportedly back stage Jo was quoted relaying a message from Lady Gaga herself, “She was texting me after the award, after I picked it up for her, and she just said, ‘You know, more than anything I’ve ever gotten before, this means more to me, because Born This Way is about the fans and the fans are more important to me than anything I do; more important than f—ing breathing, you know?’
The most disturbing reactions to Gaga’s Calderone piece has come from the mainstream media, who have used terms like “disturbing”, “creepy”, “embarrassing” and “career-ending” to describe the performance.
Murray Hill, a popular drag-king comedian in New York City and host/creator of “Mr. Transman,” said about the performance “There is barely any visibility for FTM, drag kings and lesbians on television. There is a huge imbalance,” he said. “For Lady Gaga, the biggest pop star in the world, to go on TV with millions of people watching in drag as a man and then to actually say ‘lesbian and transgender’ live is undeniably powerful and creates change. She ups the visibility big time and gets the language into the mainstream.”
by Revel & Riot Contributor Tammy Bannister