And that’s how we’ll wrap it up too – like the Oscars, after a mess of a night, the show concluded on love and joy: CODA won Best Picture and Liza Minnelli and Lady Gaga made the announcement. Maybe it’s because I saw the Liza and Gaga moment through my own personal lens – my mother, who is just four years younger than Liza, also has a disability, and has been in and out of the hospital with health struggles over the last 25 years. 


As we have seen through this pandemic, it’s the elderly and the infirm who are often forgotten. And even though Liza is a star, an Oscar-winning star, a legend who was invited to present the night’s biggest award, Hollywood is not immune to our society’s general tendency to ignore our seniors. In fact Hollywood is known to value youth and discard the aging. 

Seeing Gaga’s tenderness toward Liza, her affection, hearing her tell her that “I got you”, that was it for me, because I imagined it was my ma, and someone showing her the kindness that Liza received from Gaga. And it was kindness that could be seen and kindness that was likely unseen. 


Because Lady Gaga, usually one of the most anticipated arrivals on a red carpet, skipped the red carpet at the Oscars. My theory is that she skipped it because she was co-presenting with Liza who was also not going to be doing the red carpet. I’d like to believe that instead of doing the red carpet thing, Gaga went backstage to spend time with Liza instead. Or at least make their moment together much more special, saving her own reveal at the end for when she took the stage alongside an icon. This is thoughtful respect, and while of course I don’t know for sure if that’s the reason, Gaga has done the same through her experiences with Tony Bennett. Her heart is never bigger than when she’s in the presence of her elders.