Lady Gaga fiercely defends Dylan Mulvaney after vicious anti-trans response to a photo of the pair

Lady Gaga attends 'A Star Is Born' photocall during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Sala Casino on August 31, 2018
Lady Gaga attends 'A Star Is Born' photocall during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Sala Casino on August 31, 2018 Photo: Shutterstock

Lady Gaga is calling out both anti-trans hate and a media outlet that mischaracterized the vitriolic response to a photo of the singer posing with influencer Dylan Mulvaney as “backlash.”

Over the weekend, Mulvaney, who has become a focus of anti-trans trolls and right-wing media over the past year, posted a series of photos of herself and Gaga on Instagram, along with the caption, “Happy international women’s day.”

The post received an onslaught of viciously anti-trans comments from Instagram users who were outraged that a transgender woman would celebrate International Women’s Day.

Gaga herself was dogged early in her career by unsubstantiated rumors that she was transgender, and many of the negative comments seemed to reference that moldy old urban myth, with one user misgendering both the singer and Mulvaney.

Gaga, who was tagged in Mulvaney’s post, reposted one of the photos on Monday along with her own response to the hateful comments and the media coverage surrounding them.

“It’s appalling to me that a post about National [sic] Women’s Day by Dylan Mulvaney and me would be met with such vitriol and hatred,” she wrote. “When I see a newspaper reporting on hatred but calling it ‘backlash’ I feel it is important to clarify that hatred is hatred, and this kind of hatred is violence.”

Gaga didn’t specify which newspaper she was referring to, but on March 9, The Daily Mail published a story about Mulvaney’s post and the anti-trans comments it received with the headline, “Trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney and Lady Gaga spark backlash as they celebrate International Women’s Day with stunning photoshoot.”

“‘Backlash’ would imply that people who love or respect Dylan and me didn’t like something we did,” Gaga wrote in her Instagram post. “This is not backlash. This is hatred.”

The Born This Way singer wrote that she was not surprised by the hateful response from anti-trans trolls “given the immense work that it’s obvious we still have to do as a society to make room for transgender lives to be cherished and upheld by all of us.”

“I feel very protective in this moment, not only of Dylan, but of the trans community who continues [sic] to lead the way with their endless grace and inspiration in the face of constant degradation, intolerance, and physical, verbal, and mental violence,” she continued. “I certainly do not speak for this community, but I have something to say. I hope all women will come together to honor us ALL for International Women’s Day, and may we do that always until THE DAY that all women are celebrated equally. That all people are celebrated equally. A day where people of all gender identities are celebrated on whichever holiday speaks to them. Because people of all gender identities and races deserve peace and dignity.”

“May we all come together and be loving, accepting, warm, welcoming,” Gaga continued. “May we all stand and honor the complexity and challenge of trans life—that we do not know, but can seek to understand and have compassion for.”

“I love people too much to allow hatred to be referred to as ‘backlash,’” she added. “People deserve better.”

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