Some celebrities use their status to help others. Betty White constantly promoted a variety of organizations aimed at helping animals. Oprah Winfrey showered guests of her long-running talk show with life-changing gifts. Individuals like this tend to stand out from the pack, proving that entertainers and athletes can do more than simply provide amusement or excitement. In fact, many famous people take up specific crusades to bring attention to inequities and bring others into the fold to find solutions. One perfect example of this is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga.
It is difficult to separate Lady Gaga from her support of the LGBT community. Since first hitting stardom in the early aughts, the performer has used her platform to help those who are persecuted for their sexualities and gender identities. In fact, this is exactly what led the singer to become a celebrity minister through the Universal Life Church.
A Challenge Getting Started
Lady Gaga was born and raised in New York City, and her friends and family often mention that the young girl exhibited signs of superstardom from a very early age. Still, talent often is not enough to get a person noticed in the Big Apple. After dropping out of college to pursue a career as a musician, Gaga played at a variety of local venues throughout Manhattan and the other boroughs. However, she could not land any radio play during her first few years and remained predominantly a “local celeb.”
Everything changed for the young woman when the gay community of NYC took notice of her. Identifying as bisexual herself, Lady Gaga had already been a supporter of the LGBT community before her attempt to become famous. Members of the community reached out and spread word, and she soon found herself caught up in a whirlwind of marketers, promoters, and professionals. Gaga constantly attributes her LGBT fans for getting her started, a point she remembers when it comes to using her status for good.
Helping Those in Need
Until the Supreme Court removed state bans on same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015, there were countless couples who were unable to take their relationships to the next level of commitment. Many celebrities took it upon themselves to advocate for these groups, making the legalization of same-sex unions a hot topic in the political sphere for several years. One of the biggest crusaders of the cause was Lady Gaga, who had taken to calling her fans her “little monsters.” The name was meant for everyone who identified as “not normal” according to society’s standards, and it clicked with her gay fanbase.
Gaga did a lot more than just play music for the community and bring attention to the struggles they faced. In 2011, the singer’s yoga instructor, Tricia Donegan, was looking to wed her partner. Since the couple found themselves facing challenges in finding a minister, Gaga took it upon herself to find a solution. The singer brought the situation to the public’s attention in an attempt to showcase how bizarre it was that so many people were denied the right to wed those they loved. She also vowed to become ordained and marry the couple.
A Journey to the ULC
Once she made her intentions clear, the singer received an open letter from the Universal Life Church. The message praised Gaga’s support of same-sex marriage and implored she seek ministry status through the ULC. The request was a success, and Gaga was able to become an ordained minister and perform the marriage of her yoga instructor.
Countless celebrities support important causes. Still, not all of them take their commitment to the next level. Learn more about the other celebrity ministers of the ULC to gain more perspective on the many people out there looking to spread love in whatever ways they can.