Back in June, when photos of a skinny white guy were leaked from a shoot, people — read: lesbians — caught the unmistakable resemblance between the new model and our favorite convention-defying performer, Lady Gaga. Though Gaga has neither denied nor confirmed the rumors, her presumable male alter-ego is a Sicilian mechanic named Jo Calderone who is gracing the new cover of Vogue Hommes Japan.
Ah, yes, gender-bending at its finest. The official issue releases in September, but these teasers will do just fine in the meantime. In addition to the photo shoot, Jo reveals details about his background and relationship to Lady Gaga in the accompanying interview:
Where are you from?
How would you describe what you do / your occupation?
Mechanic for my dad’s business. This is the first time I’ve had my picture taken.
When did you discover you wanted to do this?
Well, I always helped my dad at work, since I was a kid. I thought it would be fun to have my picture taken.
What are your ambitions?
I’d love to own my own car shop, I have a bunch of my own ‘muscle’ cars. Maybe if I take some more pictures I can afford it.
What is your relationship with Lady Gaga?
I met her at a shoot Nick Knight was doing. She’s f—ing beautiful, and funny, and interesting. I was a little nervous for Nick to start shooting. She said, “Don’t be baby, you were ‘born this way.’” I took her out after. The rest is private
Interesting use of emoticon and complimenting your female counterpart, Jo. All signs point to Gaga being behind all of this, as the photographer, Nicola Formichetti, is part of Haus of Gaga. Also, Lady Gaga’s middle name is Joanne, and, well, it just has to be her it would make a lot of queer women really sad, OK?
In light of our discussion last week on favorite female cross-dressers, it’s obvious that Lady Gaga isn’t the first woman to don men’s clothing. Still, her gender-bending attitude is admirable, especially in light of constant speculations about her sex and genitalia. But rather than overcompensating with traditional femininity and gender presentation, Gaga thumbs her nose at critics with a strap-on photo shoot, jokes in her video for “Telephone” and, now, a wholly masculine persona. While many female entertainers who suit up for photos wear make-up or high heels to maintain expectations of what is “womanly” and “feminine,” as Jo Calderone, Gaga completely commits to a masculine gender identity, further pushing the envelope of what is expected of a mainstream artist. (What do you mean gender is a social construct?)
Who knows when Gaga will publicly address her presumed other half, Jo, but let’s hope she keeps blurring the gender line, because she looks damn good in that muscle tee.