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.

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.


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.


Image via Getty.

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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.