Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Laghima Pandey

Co-founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, the Born This Way Foundation is an American non-profit organization founded in 2012 with the goal of creating a kinder and braver world. The foundation was established at Harvard University, and was named after Gaga’s second studio album, Born This Way (2011). It is committed to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a better world.

To achieve these goals, the Born This Way Foundation carries out evidence-based programming and authentic partnerships, in order to work with young people to build kinder communities and improve the amount of mental health resources. They place a special focus on creating programs tailored to and powered by young people, putting their ideas, voices, and needs first. They also engage young people online and in their communities, working with a diverse group of partners to connect youth with the services they need to thrive and drive change.


Lady Gaga had always expressed interest in addressing the subject of bullying and the empowerment of young people. In a statement regarding the Born This Way Foundation, Lady Gaga said, “My mother and I have initiated a passion project to establish a standard of bravery and kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment.”

In September 2012, Gaga was awarded the LennonOno Grant For Peace from Yoko Ono for her work with the foundation “actively campaigning on pro-tolerance and peace issues.” The award “intends to keep that pop activism alive” in the spirit of Ono and her late husband, John Lennon, whose best-selling single “Imagine” includes the famous line “imagine all the people living life in peace.”

In 2011, Gaga met with the United States President Barack Obama to talk on the subject. Her meeting was partly in response to the suicide of gay fourteen-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who killed himself because he was being bullied for his sexuality. Prior to his death, he had recorded an “It Gets Better” video. In 2010, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) stated, “There has been heightened media attention surrounding the [recent] suicides.” The same year the It Gets Better Project was created in response to the suicides of teenagers who were bullied because they were gay. Its goal has been to prevent suicide among youth in the LGBT community, by having gay adults convey in video messages that these teens’ lives will improve.

Gaga has recognized that schools are powerful places to spark societal change, and she hopes her message will “inject love, acceptance and tolerance into culture.” At the end of the day, her goal is not only to “save the victim, but also save the bully.”