No, Lady Gaga Was Not Born a Man

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga. Photo by Gregg DeGuire / WireImage

The rumors that Lady Gaga was born with either male genitals or both male and female have been debunked and are false. The claims originated as Internet-based rumors that appear to have no basis in fact.

Lady Gaga, the Pop Star

Stefani Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga, rose to prominence as a pop star in late 2008 when her debut single "Just Dance" ultimately hit #1 on the pop singles chart in the US. It kicked off a string of eleven consecutive top 10 pop hit singles. Ultimately, she became one of the top five bestselling digital singles artists of all time in the US.

A significant element of Lady Gaga's stardom has been tied to her embrace of alternative sexualities and lifestyles. She has become a spokesperson for lgbtq communities and embraced challenging traditional views of pop music.

What Is a Hermaphrodite

A hermaphrodite is an organism born with both female and male reproductive organs. The situation occurs naturally in many species including a wide range of snails. However, it is estimated that less than one percent of animal species are hermaphroditic in nature.

Having at least vestigial male and female genital tissue is a rare condition that does occur in human beings. The current preferred term for many of the individuals is intersex. It often accompanies unusual configurations of the chromosomes.

Where Did the Rumors Start?

The rumors appear to have started with a blog post from 2008 on Starr Trash. The post was titled "Lady Gaga Admits True Sex." It includes a statement that claims to have been written by Lady Gaga herself and discusses having both male and female genitalia. However, closer examination of the blog reveals that every post is steeped in satire including others with titles such as "Angelina Jolie Steals Asian Child," and "Halle Berry's Pimp Throws Her Out."

The rumors surfaced again with a video clip from a live performance in 2009. Lady Gaga is wearing a red dress and leaning against a blue motorcycle. Some have insisted that her visible underwear shows the presence of at least a small, vestigial penis. Unfortunately, clarity is lacking in the performance video, and it is impossible to make a conclusive determination about the presence of male genitalia. 

Lady Gaga's Public Statements

The first response to the rumors from Lady Gaga's camp appeared in August 2009. Her manager said, "This is completely ridiculous." During an interview on an Australian radio station, Lady Gaga said, "It’s too low-brow for me to even discuss."

In a January 2010 interview, Barbara Walters brought the rumors into the mainstream. She asked if they were true. Lady Gaga responded, "No."

Barbara Walters followed up with the question, "Do you mind the rumor?"

Lady Gaga responded by saying, "No. No not really. At first it was very strange and everyone sorta said, ‘That’s really quite a story!’ But in a sense, I portray myself in a very androgynous way, and I love androgyny."

"Telephone" Video

In her acclaimed January 2010 music video to accompany the single "Telephone," Lady Gaga pokes fun at the rumors. One of the female guards says, "I told you she didn't have a dick."

Another female guard responds, "Too bad."

Androgyny In Lady Gaga's Work

Androgyny is an ongoing theme in much of Lady Gaga's work. However, androgyny must be distinguished from intersex. Androgyny is the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics outside of specifically the genitalia. Such performers as David Bowie, Grace Jones, and Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics are known for their explorations of androgyny. 

One of Lady Gaga's most overt explorations of androgyny occurs in her music video accompanying the song "You and I" released in the fall of 2011. In the clip, she appears as a male alter ego named Jo Calderone. 

The character of Jo Calderone first appeared in August 2010 in which Lady Gaga posed as a new male model wearing high fashion clothing for a magazine photo shoot. Lady Gaga ultimately performed live as Jo Calderone at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. 

The music video for the hit single "Alejandro" also includes many androgynous elements. The soldiers who dance in the music video wear fishnet stockings and high heels.