Lady Gaga Shares an Empowering Instagram About Her Own Experience as a Survivor

Illustration for article titled Lady Gaga Shares an Empowering Instagram About Her Own Experience as a Survivor

Only days after her appearance at the Oscars, part-time vampire, part-time monster, and full-time artiste Lady Gaga uploaded a photo to Instagram in which she revealed an anecdote that blueprints how every friend and family member of a survivor of sexual assault should support their loved one.

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In the post, Gaga described the reactions of two family members—her aunt and her grandmother—the morning after her performance of her Oscar-nominated anthem “Til it Happens to You,” a song about sexual assault featured in the documentary The Hunting Ground, at the 88th Academy Awards.

Gaga herself is a survivor, which she made public in an interview in 2014. As she noted in the gram, her own self-perpetuated feelings of shame and guilt, which as reported by the U.S. Department of Veterans are typical of post-traumatic stress disorder in survivors, prevented her from telling various relatives.

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During her powerful rendition, dozens of survivors stepped out behind a parted curtain and slowly walked forward onstage, each of them with messages of hope and strength written on their arms.

“The morning after the Oscars when I talked to my grandmother Ronnie, with tears in her eyes I could hear them welling through the phone she said to me ‘My darling granddaughter, I’ve never been more proud of you than I am today.’ Something I have kept a secret for so long that I was more ashamed of than anything—became the thing the women in my life were the most proud of. And not just any women, the ones I look up to the most.”

Many have called Gaga’s performance, which was received with a standing ovation, the most important part of the awards ceremony.

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Image via Getty.

Contact the author at jamie.reich@jezebel.com.

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DISCUSSION

momsterninja
MomsterNinja

I had a sexual assault incident when I was a teenager. I was on vacation with my family in Florida. I walked on a beach at night eating a candy bar. I was 15 looking for a party I was invited to earlier that day while sitting on the beach. No one was on the beach except a man was sitting at the edge of the water. He was (I think) jacking off and saw me-ran to me and brutally attacked me. I came back to the hotel beaten to a pulp. I was taken to the hospital and then back to my hotel room. No one seemed to really want to investigate or see if I was ok. My parents were embarrassed of me. My mom made me stay on vacation there-we moved hotels. No one celebrated my bravery. It was never discussed.

My mother does not care about it to this day-remembering it as the time I ruined the family vacation. Prior to this-I was sexually molested by a family friend at very young age (before 7) so I think this may have solidified in their mind that there was something about me that was asking for sexual abuse.

It seems weird and for some reason I get pissed when I see others have such a lovely reception of this type of thing. I am what-jealous? I am angry. I don’t know. This shit is ugly in real life and all the women in my young life failed me when I needed them. I had no supporters and I was a villian-no a victim.

In many cases-people who love you the most can turn around and be really shitty.

Today I am 47 years old. It is painful to think about still. I wanted to speak out about this because I still hurt. AND-I really don’t think I am the only one that gets treated like this by family and friends after being sexually brutalized. I have been punished all my life for being sexually brutalized. I never think about it except for when I get terribly down feeling-and tonight is one of those times. It defined me-I fight it always but it really did make me feel gross about myself. And that is disgusting.