May 20, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

West Hollywood Declares May 23rd “Born This Way Day”

The City of West Hollywood is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Lady Gaga’s hit song Born This Way by announcing “Born This Way Day”.

This year, to recognize Harvey Milk Day-weekend with something extra, the City of West Hollywood conferred a special Proclamation officially declaring Sunday, May 23, 2021 as “Born This Way Day” to honor Lady Gaga and the Born This Way Foundation on the 10th anniversary of the iconic “Born This Way” album and to recognize its cultural impact on the LGBTQ+ community. 

A temporary pride flag “Born This Way” street painting on Robertson Blvd. was also unveiled in tribute to both the LGBTQIA+ community and the album itself. 

The colorful street painting also kicks off Pride season in West Hollywood with the annual One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, which runs from Harvey Milk Day (May 22) to the end of June Pride month (June 30).

West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath also presented Lady Gaga with a key to the city and this note of thanks: “Thank you for encouraging us to love ourselves and be proud!”

“Through her music and activism, Lady Gaga has become a cultural icon for our generation,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “The anthem ‘Born This Way’ has become an out-and-proud declarative stance for countless LGBTQ people. The Born This Way Foundation fosters honest conversations about mental health with young people and seeks to eradicate the stigma around mental health struggles. I’m overjoyed to declare today ‘Born This Way Day’ and, on behalf of the entire City Council, give a Key to the City to Lady Gaga as we launch Pride this year in West Hollywood!”

Lady Gaga, the Grammy and Oscar Award-winning superstar, is also well known as a supporter and ally of the LGBTQ community. Ten years ago, on May 23, 2011, the “Born This Way” album was released and its lead single became an LGBTQ anthem. The song has encouraged people of all sexual orientations, genders, ages, and races to accept themselves and others, and to embrace differences, reject prejudices, and feel empowered.

The pop icon took to social media to explain the inspiration behind Born This Way posting, “Born This Way, my song and album, were inspired by Carl Bean, a gay black religious activist who preached, sung and wrote about being ‘Born This Way.’ Notably his early work was in 1975, 11 years before I was born. Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy, because we deserve joy. Because we deserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all.”

In 2012, Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, founded the Born This Way Foundation, which supports the mental health of young people and works with them to create a kinder and braver world. The Born This Way Foundation develops innovative programming and partnerships to model, convene, and support healthy conversations about mental wellness, to connect youth with resources and services that support their mental health – online and offline, and to encourage and build communities that understand and prioritize mental and emotional wellness.

Gaga’s team has also put together a “series of surprises” rolling out over the next month, including a “very special collection of songs from the album reimagined by prominent artists from the LGBTQIA+ community and allies,” as well as various partnerships, products and merchandise that will be announced soon.

Born This Way has since racked up 5.8 billion global streams, 5.2 million physical albums sold and 31 million digital tracks sold. It was also Gaga’s first No. 1 album and it debuted at #1 in 25 countries.

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