Gaga accepted the “hero” award from the family of Jamey Rodemeyer, the bullied Little Monster who committed suicide in September.
“I appreciate this award so much. But truthfully, I am not the hero. The hero is Jamey,” Gaga said in her emotional acceptance speech (found on YouTube).
“I want my fans and people all over the world to know that there’s always somebody that’s listening. But I want them to know they’re listening before it gets too late.”
Gaga vowed to make bullying a crime in the wake of Rodemeyer’s death. The singer tweeted that she spent the days after his passing “reflecting, crying and yelling. I have so much anger.” She announced the creation of the youth empowerment Born This Way Foundation in November. It will formally launch next year.
“I know [the Rodemeyer family] will continue to work in Jamey’s name ... to end discrimination, to end fear,” Gaga said during her acceptance speech. “And to, as much as we can, come together, as it will take a village and an army, [some] countries and continents to make bullying a hate crime.”
While no formal charges will be brought in Rodemeyer’s death, an undisclosed number of students were suspended from the Williamsville, N.Y. high school where he was a student, BuffaloNews.com reported.
“I learned very long ago that my time here on this Earth would not just be for pop singing because I was very blessed to have beautiful fans, like I have in Jamey, like I will always have in Jamey,” Gaga said Sunday. “Thank you so much this award tonight. This means more to me than any Grammy I could ever win.”