If you didn’t realize Lady Gaga was a sexual assault survivor until her Oscars performance, you’re not alone. Some of her own family had no idea.
In the days following her stirring performance of “Til It Happens to You” at the 88th Academy Awards on February 28, Gaga has opened up in a big way about her history as a survivor. She explained how nervous she was to appear onstage with 50 other survivors in a performance that specifically addressed sexual assault — and now she’s revealed that her aunt and grandmother didn’t know she was a survivor until they saw her onstage at the Oscars.
"I never told them I was a survivor. I was too ashamed. Too afraid,” Gaga wrote in an Instagram caption. "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."
But her family was more than accepting of what they learned about her past. "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."