Is Lady Gaga a Man? Woman? Or a Hermaphrodite?

Online rumors question Lady Gaga's gender

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga performs in drag at the 28th Annual MTV Video Music Awards show in 2011. Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Glam diva Lady Gaga (real name Stefani Joanne Germanotta) has joined the ranks of female celebrities reputed to be "hermaphrodites." A less subtle variant of the rumor simply claims that Lady Gaga is a man who dresses as a woman (i.e., a transvestite). Other celebrities to face these rumors include Megan FoxCiara, and Jamie Lee Curtis.

"It's Not Something I'm Ashamed of," Gaga Supposedly Said

Simmering rumors of Gaga's intersexuality boiled over in 2009 after a fan posted a YouTube video showing a little "something extra" peeking out from under the singer's miniskirt during a summer performance in Glastonbury.

The quality of the video is too poor to tell precisely what that "something" is.

The video was soon followed by a viral statement attributed to Gaga in which, supposedly, she openly and proudly confirmed her intersexuality, "It's not something that I'm ashamed of, just isn't something that I go around telling everyone. Yes. I have both male and female genitalia, but I consider myself a female. It's just a little bit of a penis and really doesn't interfere much with my life."

However, Gaga's management dismissed the quote as fake in an actual statement to ABC News. "This is completely ridiculous," a representative said by way of a denial. It did not successfully lay the matter to rest.

Lady Gaga Explicitly Denies Being "Part Man, Part Woman"

Lady Gaga was interviewed in Jan. 2010 by Barbara Walters, who asked her point blank about the hermaphrodite rumors.

Walters: You know, there also is this strange rumor that you're part man, part woman. You've heard that rumor?

Gaga: Yes.

Walters: True?

Gaga: No.

Gaga went on to say she isn't bothered by the rumor. She said she loves androgyny.

Gaga herself poked fun at the rumor in the "Telephone" video in 2010, with one of the female prison guards in the video saying, "I told you she didn't have a dick," and a second one saying, "Too bad."

Video Rekindles Gaga "Sex Change" Rumors

Still photos released on November 12, 2011 from Gaga's 2011 video release "Marry the Night" show her lying on a hospital gurney, rekindling rumors that she was born "a man." In point of fact, Gaga has consciously and continuously played on her gender-bending image in public appearances and promotional materials.

Background: What Is a Hermaphrodite?

The word hermaphrodite is an archaic medical term for a person born with "ambiguous" genitalia (i.e., neither clearly male nor female), or sex organs inappropriate to the subject's chromosomal gender. Intersexuality is now the preferred term for either of these conditions. A small percentage of the approximately 1 in 2,000 infants diagnosed with ambiguous genitalia in the U.S. undergo sex reassignment surgery.

Hermaphroditus was a character in ancient Greek mythology who underwent a physical transformation making him both male and female.

Resources and Further Reading