The One Lady Gaga Message That Simply MUST Be Heard

Filed in Lady Gaga by on July 27, 2014 9 Comments

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Lady Gaga is an easy target these days. In a culture that loves to build people up and then tear them down, after so much early success she has a big target on her back. Our society also likes to generalize about people, usually in a negative fashion, because that is easier than actually getting to know someone and being fair-minded.

People I meet in my daily interactions often trivialize Lady Gaga as the kook who wore the meat dress and emerged from an egg at one of her appearances. Yet even more unfair are the music critics who complain that her constant drumbeat of a message about love and acceptance is mere pabulum—simplistic advice that she doesn’t really believe in and which has no real value.

Well, her message could have had enormous value to me and my family. My beautiful brother, Danny, might still be with us had he, I, and my family heard and adopted Lady Gaga’s message many years ago.

Lady Gaga tells us that we must all love and accept ourselves and others regardless of, and in celebration of, our differences, quirks, and faults. She preaches that we are all beautiful in our own way. She admonishes her fans to not leave one of her shows wanting to be more like her, but rather wanting to be more like the best possible version of themselves. She practices what she preaches, in that she knows she is different from other people, and rather than being ashamed of and hiding her quirks, she celebrates them. Lady Gaga has always had a tremendous desire to be unique, and she expresses that with her hair, clothing, and music. If she feels like wearing a meat dress and singing about oral sex, then she fearlessly does just that.

She also urges us to love and accept others as they are. Once we grant ourselves self-acceptance, this is the logical next step. Ironically, this is the opposite of what her critics do to her. They generalize, pigeon-hole, and cast aspersions, because that is easier, even though it’s inaccurate and wrong.

This brings me to the story of my brother, Danny. He was a wonderful, beautiful, sweet person, who is gone. We in our family always knew Danny was different, but we were never quite sure how or why. None of us ever took the time to really get to know him as an adult. He was the eldest child of four children. My Dad, for all his other virtues, unfortunately told Danny once that he was like the first batch of cookies, which were usually burned and needed to be discarded. Danny eventually moved to California and we didn’t see or hear from him very often. We never really accepted him, and I suspect he never completely accepted himself.

Then we received the horrible, tragic news: Danny had jumped off the roof of a hotel, plunging to his death.

We learned after his death that Danny had been gay. None of us were aware of that. I’m sure much of the reason he never told us was because he had observed how intolerant our family was, about gays, African-Americans, the handicapped—basically anyone who was different from us.

Had we been more loving and accepting of others, and taught Danny to be more accepting of himself, would Danny have been willing to share some of his emotional struggles with us? And would he then still be with us? I think he would. So shame on us.

And thank you, Lady Gaga, for having the wisdom and courage to continue to spread your critically important message of love, tolerance, and acceptance.

I miss Danny horribly. It just breaks my heart to think he was in so much mental anguish that he felt he couldn’t carry on any longer and chose to end his life. I would give anything to spend just one more hour with my lovely, wonderful brother. He was the kindest and most generous person I have ever met. And he was a brilliant man. Danny won the Undergraduate Finance Award in college, scored in the top 2% of the nation on the law school entrance exam, and earned both a law degree and a master of laws degree. He had begun a distinguished career as a law school professor. Danny was also a nationally recognized chess player, having been awarded the “Master” level honor, the only higher award being “Grandmaster.”

I want to share with you a brief story about Danny in honor of his life. I think it captures his essence.

One time Danny came back to Chicago to visit me, my wife, and our two children in the middle of winter. He happened to arrive at our house well before any of us were yet home from work or school. There was a lot of snow on the ground, so he decided to grab one of our shovels and build a slide out of snow in our back yard for our kids to play on. He spent hours working on it and it was massive! He also went to the store and bought two plastic sleds for the kids to use on the slide. When Jenny and Chris got home, they were overjoyed with their new winter playground! He played with them for hours as they went up and down the slide, all the while helping them along and laughing.

That was my beautiful brother Danny, in all of his glorious uniqueness.

 

Other cool articles on Mother Monster!

Why I Like Lady Gaga So Much

Lady Gaga Does It Again!

What Is It About Lady Gaga That Drives Men Wild?

A Little Monster’s Review of Lady Gaga’s artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball

Why Katy, Mariah, and J Lo Suck and Gaga Rocks

 

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About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

Comments (9)

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  1. Beth Difrank says:

    Tim
    What a beautiful tribute to your beloved brother Danny
    I honor your willingness to share his story in the hope that others may learn from it

  2. Chris Lampione says:

    Tim – that was a story (a beautiful and passionate one) that anybody and everybody can learn from. I didn’t know any of that about your brother but the legacy can and will inspire. It’s a great tribute to him. Your use of Lady Gaga is going to turn lots of people off because they don’t recognize her social relevance ( or her abilities.) I agree with you and admire you for providing a perspective different from the norm – even to better illustrate your point. By the same token, if you can find a forum to get this blog out to younger folks (tweens, teens and young adults,) you may do even more good than you’ve already done. Have your publisher look into a “younger vehicle” for this ad. You continue to amaze and impress me with yur compassion and insights. Great job.

    • Tim McIntyre says:

      Thanks Lamps. Yeah, they broke the mold with Danny. He was a great guy. I do plan to “boost” this post on Facebook to try to get it out to more people. A lot of the teens and YA’s don’t want to read long articles, though. Take care and I’ll see you soon.

  3. Tim McIntyre says:

    Yes, and why is it so hard for us to do that? If we can be more open minded and accepting, maybe we can then be more compassionate.

  4. Colleen McIntyre says:

    Dear Tim – I love the connection between Lady Gaga and our brother Danny. You know this article has been on my mind the last few days and I totally enjoyed reading every word of it. The “snow” story is a beautiful one and brings back a flood of stories that showed Danny as a wonderful, caring person with a great “master plan” to make people happy! So sorry his life was so short….

    • Tim McIntyre says:

      Oh, Colleen, my beautiful, precious, dear sister, I’m so glad you liked it! We need to spend more and more time together while we are here this short time on earth together!

      • Colleen McIntyre says:

        Tim, you are an absolute treasure in my life….Elaine is like a sister to me. I am one lucky girl!!

  5. Annelle Paschal says:

    Tim,
    What a wonderful tribute to your brother he sounds like a wonderful human being and I share your sentiments. I am happy our paths have crossed, I enjoy volunteering with you. Thanks,
    Annelle

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