Lady Gaga's commanding performance of "Till It Happens To You" at the Oscars, accompanied by dozens of sexual assault survivors onstage, was nothing short of breathtaking. But it was also a deeply personal moment for the singer, because although she went public with it in 2014, it marked the first time some of her family members heard that she had been raped. In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Lady Gaga shared the emotional exchange with her grandmother and aunt the day after her Oscars performance, and how their response is everything that she could have hoped for.
Gaga wrote that her grandmother and Aunt Sheri both called her the day after the Oscars because she had never told them she was a survivor of sexual assault:
I was too ashamed. Too afraid. And it took me a long time to even admit it to myself because I'm Catholic and I knew it was evil but I thought it was my fault. I thought it was my fault for ten years. The morning after the Oscars when I talked to my grandmother Ronnie, with tears in her eyes I could hear them welling through the phone she said to me "My darling granddaughter, I've never been more proud of you than I am today." Something I have kept a secret for so long that I was more ashamed of than anything — became the thing the women in my life were the most proud of. And not just any women, the ones I look up to the most.
Though the song, co-written by Dianne Warren, didn't win an Oscar for best original song for the documentary The Hunting Ground, Lady Gaga's performance received a standing ovation and thunderous applause.
And it has made an impact beyond the Academy Awards, too — days later, actress Jamie King decided to speak out about being sexually abused as a child, as did former Bachelor contestant Jade Roper about being raped.
Cover image via Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com.