August 30, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The singer popularly known as Lady Gaga has a knack for something few will ever master.

Showcasing a meat dress, a pile of Kermit the Frog puppets, and even prosthetics remolding her body as something alien, Stefani Germanotta (aka. Lady Gaga) has pushed the limits of breaking the limits, rehashing in her music and her dress an ability to endlessly un-define both sex and sexuality.


She calls her lifelong show the “art of fame” – a sort of paparazzi matador maneuver – but also admits to a political intent, particularly as the popularly-crowned queen of the LGBT movement.

In that respect, her latest gender-bending creation might have been her most pointed permutation to date, though also among the worst received.

Germanotta popped onstage at MTV’s Video Music Awards Sunday as “Jo Calderone,” a male character who predictably pushed the envelope, reportedly using a urinal and making moves on fellow singer Britney Spears.

“I used to hang posters of her on my wall and touch myself while I was layin’ in bed,” said Germanotta, as cameras caught Spears laughing with the audience.

Things got more awkward when Germanotta, who gave Spears the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, locked eyes on her onstage with a come-hither posture. The audiences’ cheers grew louder as Spears clearly hesitated for several seconds, apparently about to lock lips before pulling away.

“No, I’ve already done that!” Spears shouted abashedly into the mic, referring to her now-famous sensuous kiss with Madonna.

The “Jo Calderone” scene was far tamer than many of the hypersexed un-persons Germanotta routinely portrays in her videos – not to mention the blasphemy found in songs “Judas” and “Alejandro,” which even pop singer Katy Perry criticized. Nonetheless, the performance struck a negative chord with many onlookers who criticized the star’s exaggerated gestures and refusal to answer to her usual name.

“Gaga’s shtick wore out its welcome in the first two minutes,” music producer Edward Paige told Fox News; another industry leader said the act “degraded an otherwise enjoyable VMAs.”

Among the gay community was a mixed reaction: Dan Avery of Queerty said that he “respect[ed] Gaga’s dedication to the character” despite a lack of originality; nonetheless, the character found at least one fan in gay Hollywood blogger Perez Hilton.

“Lady GaGa’s alter ego, Jo Calderone, says whatever’s on his mind, and we love it!” he wrote.

The gay rights’ commander-in-chief

Germanotta received an award the same night for her hit music video “Born This Way,” which was named Best Female Video and Best Video with a Message, a brand new award.

Released this year following much hype, “Born This Way” won accolades as a loud-and-clear anthem for the gay rights movement, pairing an upbeat tune about self-acceptance with images bizarre and disturbing in the extreme.

“No matter gay, straight, or bi, / Lesbian, transgendered life / I’m on the right track baby,” Germanotta sings as, in one part of the video, limbs and bodies writhe together in a bath of black slime.

But Germanotta’s powerful statements regarding sex – her videos celebrate sexuality as impersonal, gender-neutral, and filthy – is not restricted to the music world.

The reigning gay icon since 2009, she has spoken out frequently, joining marches and leading rallies, and lending a powerful voice against the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban on open homosexuality. Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tipped his hat to the singer on Twitter as he campaigned for the policy’s removal.

Most recently, Gaga appeared onstage in Rome to rally a sizeable gay rights crowd in June. “We stand here to demand an end to intolerance,” the green-haired star shouted to the crowd gathered in the ruins of the Circus Maximus.

But overall, the impassioned gay rights stand is one of very few the singer seems willing to let slip from under her amorphous persona. For now, her other beliefs appear lost to the very thing she fights most strenuously for: a purity of self-determination that defies definition or nature.

While interviewing the star for 60 Minutes in February, Anderson Cooper was caught off guard a few times, stuttering as the singer drank a large fake diamond in her coffee, and unable to withhold remark when she appeared for a sitting in her underwear. Despite her apparent candor, by the end Germanotta wound up unreachable as ever.

Her showiness, she explained at first, lets her maintain privacy and “a certain soulfulness that I have yet to give.” But when the host asked about the real Stefani, the question was batted aside – much like Jo Calderone’s impatient response with being called a woman.

“What the hell are you looking for? I’m right here,” said the smiling singer. “How much more real could I be? This is what I’m really like.”