Ten years of Born This Way

Reflections on ten years of a song that changed everything

I’ve seen a lot of tweets from people being like “wow. ten years, it doesn’t feel like that long ago” but for me, it feels exactly like ten years.

Ten years ago I just graduated high school. I was still living at home in a small town, and working at a cell phone dealership slinging Blackberries.

I did not have a lot of bravery. I was paralyzed. I didn’t know how to dream, I didn’t even know that allowing myself to have any sort of big dreams was even an option. I was having fun, but I knew the time was coming for me to lace up my boots and begin to take the first steps towards my future.

I just didn’t really know how.

In comes Born This Way

The song, I mean. The song literally changed everything. Mostly, it helped put me in a state of mind unlike a lot of pop music up until that point. It was profound how Born This Way didn’t beat around the bush.

The lyrics *specifically* called out to gay people. That was powerful for me because it was subversive in it’s directness. So many other pop songs alluded their support for minority communities in the most subtle ways (Beautiful by Christina Aguleira comes to mind). It was transcendent to to be able to hear someone call out to me using the thing I was most ashamed of and say “no, this part of you is like it or not, one of your biggest strengths”.

It gave me the words I needed to hear to help me look at the world and shout “I am brave. I can do this. I am special. I have what it takes, and I can dream!”

Born This Way helped me take the first step I needed to take to start my journey.

Ten years passes by in a flash, but also, it’s a hell of a long time. A lot of things happen in ten years, especially your first ten years on your own in the world.

The journey from that moment to this day has been a slow, one foot in front of the other type journey. Every day, you do your thing, try and be a good person, work hard, and nurture relationships with the ones you love.

Every single thing you do builds on the last thing you did, and slowly but surely, the next thing you know… everything is new. Ten years have passed, you’ve realized dreams, climbed mountains, and lived lives you didn’t even fathom before that first step was taken.

And so I sit here writing this, I find myself wondering… where will I be at twenty years of Born This Way?

Once again, thank you for reading. Happy Pride. 🏳️‍🌈

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