Lady Gaga’s Emotional Speech on Surviving Sexual Assault and Mental Health | ELLE

Lady Gaga’s Emotional Speech on Surviving Sexual Assault and Mental Health | ELLE

♪ From the shallow now ♪ (audience laughs) – I don’t know if I’m
working it right now. It’s hard to know what to say. I wrote this speech and there’s teleprompters
and I got papers. I don’t know what to– (audience laughs) Use. And in truth, I was just trying
to memorize Anita’s speech because it was so beautiful, but… You give me hope! Thank you, Jennifer, for
that beautiful introduction. You’re an inspiration to so many. Thank you not only for everything you continually do for women, but for the force of nature you’ve been for so many all over the world. I think about me and my best friend who’s here tonight, right there. (audience applauds) I’ve known her since I was four years old. Beautiful adopted woman from Korea. And how throughout high school, we danced and we sang, imitating Jennifer. (audience laughs) Imitating you while we
strengthened our bond. Her name is Bo. And wearing white bandanas and hoop earrings draped
over caramel colored hair. You brought us so much joy. Where are you? You brought us so much joy. On the train, I thought about you. (audience laughs) And how the fuck I was
gonna get off that train. (audience laughs) She loved you so much we even
gave her the nickname, J-Bo. (audience laughs) No for real. Like, we called her that all the time. There is not a doubt in my mind that you will be loved forever as the powerhouse of a performer
and woman that you are. Thank you for making so many
memories for me and my friends that I will cherish forever in my heart. Thank you so much. (audience applauds) I never in my wildest dreams thought that my life
would become what it has. But more so, to be honored this evening purely for being a woman. It’s beyond what I could have imagined. I guess I didn’t see it
happening in my lifetime. I am immensely privileged to be in the company of
so many powerful women who have changed so many people’s lives. I am so humbled to be
standing hand-in-hand with every one of you today. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I
wanted to say tonight because of all of you,
because you inspire me. How does one rise to such an occasion, when maybe you don’t feel that inside? How does one accept where
life has brought them, and what it all means? As I tried on dress after dress today, getting ready for this event, one tight corset after another, one heel after another,
a diamond, a feather, thousands of beaded fabrics, and the most beautiful silks in the world, to be honest, I felt sick to my stomach and I asked myself, what does it really mean
to be a woman in Hollywood? We are not just objects
to entertain the world. We are not simply images to bring smiles or
grimaces to people’s faces. We are not members of
a giant beauty pageant meant to be pit against one another for the pleasures of the public. We women in Hollywood, we are voices. We have deep thoughts and ideas and beliefs and
values about the world and we have the power
to speak and be heard and fight back when we are silenced. So, after trying on 10 or so dresses, with a sad feeling in my heart that all that would matter was what I wore to this red carpet, I saw an oversized Marc Jacobs suit buried quietly in the corner. (audience laughs) I put it on to a resounding view of eyes glaring at me in confusion. (audience laughs) “But the Rodarte was so
beautiful,” one said. “But the Raf Simons for Calvin Klein “was so stunning on you,” said another. “But what about the Brandon Maxwell?” “What about the Dior?” Lots of questions. (audience laughs) They were all dresses. This was an oversized men’s
suit made for a woman. Not a gown. And then I began to cry. In this suit, I felt like me today. In this suit, I felt the truth of who
I am well up in my gut. And then wondering what
I wanted to say tonight became very clear to me. As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not
brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned
at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today, I wanted
to take the power back. Today, I wear the pants. (audience applauds) Today, I wear the suit. In an age when I can
barely watch the news, I gasped at the unjust men
and some women, quite frankly, that I see running this country. I had a revelation that
I had to be empowered to be myself today more than ever, to resist the standards of
Hollywood, whatever that means, to resist the standards
of dressing to impress, but to use what really matters, my voice. After I was assaulted when I was 19, I changed forever. Part of me shut down for many years. I didn’t tell anyone. I avoided it myself. And felt shame even still today. Standing in front of you, I feel shame for what happened to me. I still have days where I
feel like it was my fault. After I shared what happened to me with very powerful men in this industry, nobody helped me. No one offered me guidance, or a helping hand, to lead me to a place
where I felt justice. They didn’t even point me in the direction of the mental health assistance
I was in dire need of. Those men hid because they were afraid of losing their power. And because they hid, I began to hide. I hid for a long time until I started to feel physical pain. Then I had to go to the doctor ’cause I didn’t know
what was wrong with me. And then I was diagnosed with PTSD and fibromyalgia, which many people don’t
think is even real, and I don’t even know what
the fuck to say about that. But I’ll tell you what it is. It’s a syndrome that is
essentially a cyclone of many different conditions
depending on the person, inducing a stress-induced pain. And I really wish my friend
Lena Dunham was here tonight because I think she
could probably articulate this much better than me. And I hope we can all agree
that she’s a remarkable woman. (audience applauds) Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, these are just a few
examples of the forces that can lead to this tornado of pain. So what I would like to say, in this room of powerful
women and men today, is let’s work together to beckon the world towards kindness. I’m fortunate enough now to
have the resources to help me, but for many, the resources
either don’t exist, or people don’t have the ability
to pay for or access them. I want to see mental health become a global priority. (audience applauds) We might not be able, or
we’re not able, actually, to control all of the
challenges and the tragedies that life throws our way, but we can work together. This room and even wider can work together to heal each other. And we can also try to find the strength, in the best way that we can,
to ask for help if we need it. One in four people in the world
suffer from mental illness. 300 million people suffer from depression, 60 million people live with
bipolar affective disorder, 23 million people are
stricken with schizophrenia, and 800,000 people die
every year from suicide. In low and middle income countries, between 76 and 85% of
people with mental disorders receive no treatment at all. In high-income countries, between 35 and 50% of people
are in the same situation. The people in this room, and the people that you
have in your network, have the power to turn kindness into plutonium and change the world for both children and adults, to provide for a better future and make up in whatever
small way that we can, microscopic maybe, for the pain those have
suffered in the past. And if anyone is compelled to do so, please join me and my mother Cynthia. We’re the founders of the
Born This Way Foundation to empower youth, to inspire
a kinder and braver world. We want kids to learn about mental health and the importance of
kindness at a very young age. And it is my personal dream that there would be a mental
health expert, teacher, or therapist in every
school in this nation, and hopefully, one day, around the world. Let’s lift our voices. I know we are, but let’s get louder. And not just as women, but as humans, and see that there are there
are great men in the world. And ask them to hold
our hands for justice, that our voices be heard
whatever our story may be, for an equal standing that
we will fight for justice for women and men and those
with other sexual identities, for me. This is what it means to
be a woman in Hollywood. It means I have a platform. I have a chance to make a change. I pray we listen and believe and pay closer attention
to those around us, to those in need. I’m sorry, I preach a lot, so you’re gonna have to bear with me. Be a helping hand. Be a force for change. Thank you, Nina Garcia. Thank you, Steven Gan. I was an outcast and you believed in me, and I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you, Elle. Thank you all the loved ones in my life. Bobby, I love you. Everybody at table five. (audience laughs) My fiance Christian. All the loved ones in my life who’d take care of me every day. And Ryan Murphy, thanks for giving me
my first leading role. (audience applauds) You know that Golden
Globe belongs to you, man. Thank you to all of you, everybody in this room
who has supported me in having a voice, and knowing I have
something inside me to give that’s more important than any
stereotype about Hollywood. I have my heart to give to you, and I want you to have all of it. Thank you for inspiring me. I can’t say enough about you. Listening to you speak
tonight gave me hope when I have trouble
sleeping ’cause I’m afraid, or when I walk out in the
world and I’m trembling inside. It’s women like you, Anita,
that make me feel strong. Come on. (audience applauds) Be kind to yourselves and
be kind to each other. And to the designers that sent me all those beautiful dresses, thank you too. (audience laughs) (audience applauds) It taught me something that I
needed to learn again today. And to quote myself– (audience laughs) If there’s one thing you take away from me being here tonight, Elle, it’s breed compassion, amen fashion. (audience applauds) Thank you.

16 thoughts on “Lady Gaga’s Emotional Speech on Surviving Sexual Assault and Mental Health | ELLE

  1. Earlier this week, we celebrated ELLE's 25th annual Women In Hollywood event, and gave credit to 11 women — including Lady Gaga — who push the conversation forward in 2018. Let us know your favorite moment from Gaga's speech, and read more about #ELLEWIH on

  2. I love a suit on a woman and feminine clothes on men. And basically anything that makes one the most comfortable in one's skin via the 2nd skin. Especially if one has to give a long-ish speech. Kudos, gaga, love u and thankyou, elle, nina xoxo

  3. This is a very Touching Speech!I just dont know Why she does so many perverdet (not to say satanic) videos which are disdurbing and Dirty! This is not what Teenagers Need!

  4. I love her so much! Her words are so real! People should be kind to each other always!! And whoever is reading this no matter what your going through, everything will be ok, even though it may be tough and you may not see how but just stay strong! You are unique and beautiful in your own special way! Never forget that!💖 Lady Gaga is a queen! And I love everything she says! I can't explain how much I admire her!

  5. condolences for stress relief best thing that hasever happened to ladies a nd girls on this planet is transcendental meditation

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