Lady Gaga slams transphobic 'degradation' of her photo with Dylan Mulvaney: 'Hatred is violence'

"I hope all women will come together to honor us ALL for International Women’s Day, and may we do that always until THE DAY that all women are celebrated equally."

Nearly 13 years after releasing the first No. 1-charting song in history to feature the word "transgender" in its lyrics, Lady Gaga has taken a firm stance against transphobic hatred after receiving intense criticism from conservative individuals for posing for a photo with trans celebrity Dylan Mulvaney.

The 37-year-old "Born This Way" singer-songwriter called out the "appalling" feedback she and Mulvaney, 27, received for their recent portrait, which was taken at a Feb. 29 Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals event for its Photomedicine Foundation, but incorrectly spread as a photo taken to mark International Women's Day on March 9.

"When I see a newspaper reporting on hatred but calling it 'backlash' I feel it is important to clarify that hatred is hatred, and this kind of hatred is violence. 'Backlash' would imply that people who love or respect Dylan and me didn’t like something we did," Gaga wrote Monday on Instagram, referencing Mulvaney resharing the photo on her profile with the caption "Happy international women’s day."

Gaga continued, telling her followers that there's still "immense work" to be done "to make room for transgender lives to be cherished and upheld by all of us," and that she feels " very protective in this moment, not only of Dylan, but of the trans community who continues to lead the way with their endless grace and inspiration in the face of constant degradation, intolerance, and physical, verbal, and mental violence."

<p>Arturo Holmes/Getty; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Lady Gaga and Dylan Mulvaney

Arturo Holmes/Getty; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Lady Gaga and Dylan Mulvaney

The upcoming Joker: Folie á Deux actress acknowledged that she doesn't speak for the trans community, but expressed hope that "all women will come together to honor us ALL for International Women’s Day," and to eventually see a day "that all women are celebrated equally" in cultlure.

"A day where people of all gender identities are celebrated on whichever holiday speaks to them. Because people of all gender identities and races deserve peace and dignity," she added. "May we all come together and be loving, accepting, warm, welcoming. May we all stand and honor the complexity and challenge of trans life—that we do not know, but can seek to understand and have compassion for. I love people too much to allow hatred to be referred to as 'backlash.' People deserve better."

Though many praised the photo of Gaga and Mulvaney, some took issue with its existence, with one user calling it a "disgrace" that the image had become synonymous with a celebration of International Women's Day.

Mulvaney rose to viral prominence on TikTok, with her Days of Girlhood video series also generating significant traction online. Her fame led to a high-profile partnership with Bud Light for a social media campaign in support of the alcoholic beverage in 2023, though conservative pushback reportedly led to plummeting sales for the company — whose response to the controversy prompted further scrutiny from LGBTQIA+ community members who alleged the organization didn't do enough to defend Mulvaney at the time.

Gaga has long supported the queer community through her art and through activism, including during a 2010 public speech titled "The Prime Rib of America," which targeted the military's homophobic "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and also made a tear-filled speech defending the LGBTQIA+ community following the deadly 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida.

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