Before Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, and Pink commanded the attention of the gay community, winning its support — and dollars — through vocal outcries at the plight of LGBT people and public championing of queer rights, there was the Queen of the Gays and Queen of Pop. I’m talking about the Material Girl herself: Madonna.
On yesterday’s Ellen, Madonna beamed in via satellite to speak to the recent spate of teen suicides linked to anti-gay bullying. First and foremost, she explained, “The gay community has been incredibly supportive of me. I wouldn’t have a career if it weren’t for the gay community.” Amen, sister.
There is no questioning the ability of the gay community to propel pop icons into eternal stardom. Madonna’s tie to the gay community began at a young age, as she described feeling like an outcast growing up until her gay ballet teacher took her under his wing and made her proud of being unique and different.
Mom to a 14-year-old, Madonna was disturbed by the number of teen suicides and the mere thought of queer teens being tormented, likening it to lynching Black people and Hitler’s extermination of Jews. She said she’s discussed with her daughter and 10-year-old son the topic of bullying based on sexual orientation, stressing the importance of ending prejudices and the motto to, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Ultimately, Madonna cited the media and our culture as the main culprits behind bullying and intolerance, all the while contributing to the “bullying zeitgeist.” She extended her love and support to all those who are struggling and agreed with Ellen that bullies end up being losers.
Here’s the interview.
Though Madonna’s been busy directing films and won’t let us know when her next album will come out, it’s great to see her lending her star power to the fight against a serious and pervasive problem.