Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl LI halftime performance reflected on a larger pattern we’ve seen throughout the nation since President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s controversial policies materialized.
The performance came in typical Gaga style, with mesmerizing costumes, synchronized audience participation and a death- defying jump from the top of the stadium. The pop singer, who has never been shy of controversy, appeared to steer clear of the political realm, unlike Beyoncé’s Super Bowl L performance. The avoidance may have awarded her a new fan base of misguided conservatives, many of whom commended her on Twitter for “not getting political.”
While not anti-Trump so much as pro-unity, Gaga’s performance was anything but apolitical. The artist has been outspoken about LGBTQ rights in the past, and sang her hit song and gay anthem “Born This Way.” Gaga opened her show by signing specific lyrics from “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land,” before reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, placing clear emphasis on “liberty and justice for all.”
Gaga used her national platform to sing a pro-LGBTQ song to an audience that included Pence, who has become the foremost voice of homophobia and gay conversion therapy at taxpayer’s expense.
Many conservatives may have found the halftime show simply entertaining, while anyone who had watched or listened closely enough certainly found validation in the comforting, humanitarian lyrics.