The History of the song “Born This Way”

While Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” is a completely new song, the theme has a long and historic role in both Disco/dancefloor history and LGBT Pride History. In many ways, Gaga’s version reflects the modern attitude of today’s LGBT Pride movement, which has come to embody concepts of “just be yourself” and “just be affirming of others” with no need to be one, the other, the middle, on the fence about it, or whatever.
But back in the day, the community was tightly locked in a battle for the right to be acknowledged, so that the beatings and humiliations they took where they grew up, while at home or out in public, or at work, could be documented and some basic human rights be recognized under the law. Similar to the hippie movement a decade earlier, the community was one of exiles who fled away from the constraints of their hometowns. Except in place of the freedom to do psychedelic drugs was the the need to escape the very real dangers of being committed for chemical or shock therapy. Early recognition of “sexual preference” (an inaccurate term used by the press) AKA sexual orientation as “not a disease” or a “sin” was long overdue but brought condemnation from fundamentalist religious leaders. But make no mistake, the genie was out of the bottle. It was okay to be gay and it was not really anything strange at all.
And in this atmosphere of simultaneous liberation and combat came out a momentous disco response to religious fundamentalism’s attepts to put the genie back into the bottle, “I Was Born This Way.” The 1975 Valentino version of “I was born this way” (back with “Liberation”) would go on to become a widely-known Gay Disco anthem when remade by Carl Bean in 1977. The historic song was probably aimed at Anita Bryant.

Valentino “I was Born This Way” 1975

Carl Bean “I Was Born This Way” 1977

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