Oh, just EVERYTHING.
Me and Dana on our way to the Gaga show at MSG on Friday. As Bill said on Facebook, "They're chaperoning age-appropriate kids to the concert. Such nice girls."
What an inspired and inspiring show -- even before the show started. Her opening act, Semi-Precious Weapons, was a band she used to play with years ago at bars just blocks away, when twelve people would show up, something the front man announced with glee to the 10,000 people packing the place. And before her set, she screened a PSA about the link between teenage homelessness, homophobia, and domestic violence:
She gave a number where people donating that night could text their pledges. And later in the show -- after a virtuoso performance, with her leg up on the piano's keyboard, of "Speechless" (which she dedicated to her dad, "who drinks too much! But if I didn't have all these alcoholic assholes in my life, I wouldn't write such great songs."), and her new song, "You and I" -- she called one of the people in the stadium who'd texted their five bucks. The cameras showed it to be a seventeen-year-old girl with Diet Coke cans in her hair, who was so thrilled and overcome, I (OF COURSE, because I'm fifty, and going through menopause) started to cry.
The entire show was an extravaganza of over-the-top stagecraft, fabulous choreography, and really beautiful singing. (And crazy drunk girls from New Jersey, who nearly barfed on us in the scrum caused when MSG downgraded everyone's awesome floor seats to not-awesome floor standing.) I not only love Lady Gaga, I flove her.
And I flove that she is saying something that Dana and I (and many, many others) have been trying to tell people for a while, which is that a lot of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered kids are homeless because of homophobia. I would estimate the number of such kids at the shelter where I volunteered to be twenty-five to thirty percent of the population -- the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce says that's about right. With Stefani Germanotta on the team, I'm hopeful that homeless teenagers will start getting more recognition as being, in the overwhelming number of cases, survivors of domestic violence.
In Manhattan and Astoria, Queens: The Ali Forney Center
In Manhattan: Sylvia's Place
In Astoria, Queens: Generation Cue