Peter Muhly | AFP
"I traveled all over the world, and every night when the show was over, I would stop outside the arena and take pictures and sign autographs," Gaga remembers. "And sometimes when it was really cold out, I would invite 30 fans on the bus and give them hot chocolate, give them Cheetos. Ask them if they were okay and they would say, 'My dad kicked me out because I'm gay.'"
"I would meet fans who were beat up outside of school or had to move high schools because they were teased for being fat," continues the singer. "I can go on and on about the stories. But it wasn't until they shared their stories with me that I realized how like them I was, and I began to relive all of my struggles as a teenager."
Those late night tour bus confessionals drove Gaga into become the activist for social change that she is today. "It's about society, but it's also about pledging a certain allegiance to your fan base," she says. "It's not like, 'Thanks for buying my record, f--k you;' it's like, 'Thanks for buying my record -- and I will live and die and breath my work and my art to protect your dreams. Because you protect mine.'"
"They're my family," asserts LG during the interview. "They're my whole reason for being."