Be An Artist!

By Martin J. Smith

In 2013, I was in New York City for Gay Pride. On June 28, at 11:00 AM, I found out  Lady Gaga was going to perform at the Rally that night. It was the best kept secret. The Rally was going to happen at Pier 54 at 7:00 PM. I arrived at 5:00. I wanted to see her in the front row. I decided to wear my David Bowie brand black slacks and vest, along with my lavender Ben Sherman button up.

When the gates opened up, I sped walked up to the front. Behind me, people were running. So, I could get a good standing room, I sped all the way to the front of the pier. The stage was set for an evening of performances.

Pam Ann gave us a stand-up routine, a man who fought at the Stonewall Riots was spoke to us. The theme for Gay Pride was from Rains to Rainbows. And it did rain for 5 minutes. When the rain stopped, my phone buzzed. I got the notification Prop 8 was repealed. Two days prior, on the 26th, DOMA was repealed. I look behind me, and there was a rainbow overarching Lower Manhattan. From Rains to Rainbows indeed! The entire crowd cheered!

Then, the last person to perform was Lady Gaga. She was talking about her own personal experience of growing up in New York City, how she did things to further her career. But the highlight of her being there was singing the “The Star Spangled Banner.” She switched the lyrics. “Star Spangled flag of Pride was still there. For the land of the free! And a home for the gays!” 

This was three and a half years ago. Two years later, same-sex marriage was legalized on a national level! Why am I writing about something that happened three and a half years ago? I’ve already written an article on the LGBTQIA community needing to fight to ensure our generation and future generations do not need to stay in the closet.

I’m writing this because Lady Gaga is an artist. Artists are required during this time. We need people like Pam Ann, Margaret Cho, and the cast of Saturday Night Live to make us laugh at what’s to come. We need movies and television shows to present different realities that are comparable to the ones we live in today. We need people like Madonna to show us the double standards of what’s okay for a man to do but not okay for women to do the same.

We need actors to come out of the closet and show the world you can be gay and still be successful. We need designers to make art we can wear while walking down the street, and show the locals this is fashion! We need drag queens and men to show the world it’s okay to not just cross-dress, but do your best to embody the opposite sex and lip-sync to Donna Summer, Adele, Aretha Franklin, and Katy Perry. We need painters and visual artists to display emotion on a canvas or carved out of marble.

Show the world your artistic side! Make the world beautiful! We cannot survive on the old works alone! In the past 16 years, there were a lot of movie remakes. But it was the original works that stood out. Brokeback Mountain is a perfect example! Two gay cowboys who fall in love, and the following day

I’m just listing what we need. I’m asking you to take part in it. Do drag! Write that book! Act in that play! Sing those songs! Make us laugh, cry, sing, dance! This is your time to shine! And it doesn’t matter if you’re a man, woman, trans, gay, straight, religion, color of your skin… America needs you to be as creative as possible to make this country livable in what could be a dismal four years!