Brittany Omondi celebrates four classic pop songs that have defined gay pride over the years, and helped rally people together.
Last year saw the world achieve some tremendous milestones within the LGBTQ+ community. This was best manifested by the legalisation of gay marriages across multiple states in America and other prominent nations like Australia; ending years of wait and setting a precedent for similar future legislation.
There has been quite a number of musicians who have released club anthems that have faithfully been adopted by the community as a form of solidarity, pride, and just generally for anyone with good music taste. As we kick-start the new year, we thought we’d look at some of the most remarkable gay songs that gained significance in the earlier years, and still mean something to the community.
These songs are the constant template for LGBTQ+ artists in pop music who want to create something with an impact and plenty of longevity.
‘Vogue’ by Madonna
The queen of pop may not be gay herself, but her popularity among members of the gay community is undeniable. This song was released when America was experiencing the height of the AIDS crisis back in the early 90’s.
In writing this song and, consequently, the music video as well, Madonna was inspired by New York’s underground gay ball scene. The message in the song advises you to put aside the heavy stuff weighing in your mind and salvage yourself by dancing it off on the dance floor. A true classic.
‘I’m Coming Out’ by Diana Ross
This hit song from one of Motown’s greatest was truly referring to the famous phrase “coming out of the closet”. Diana Ross was inspired to write this song after coming across numerous drag queens dressed like her that were entertaining revellers in a gay disco in New York.
The song has remained relevant in encouraging people in the LGBTQ+ community to embrace their nature and not to cower from proclaiming it to the world.
‘Born This Way’ by Lady Gaga
This 2011 hit is the most modern hit of the four, and it was declared a precious gift to Lady Gaga’s gay fan base that she has so much campaigned for over the years.
Its moving message of self-acceptance got a warm reception from the LGBTQ+ demographic, and the song was quite a success. Though not completely original in its melody, as the song pays a lot of respect to Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself’, it has remained a constant in Gay Pride parades ever since.
‘Freedom’ by George Michael
George Michael was known for quite the scandal during which he was outed and forced to admit to being gay.
Whilst the song itself shows a more cynical side to George, and was actually released eight years before his coming out, the track was adopted by the community due to its message of letting go of the past-tense and embracing yourself. The lyrics say it for themselves:
“I think there’s something you should know, I think it’s time I told you so, there’s something deep inside of me, there’s someone else I’ve got to be.”
These songs lay the important groundwork for being proud to be who you are are, and empower us to continue our advocacy for equality around the world.
For artists only just setting the world alight with their music and who want to make an important statement within the LGBTQ+ community, the challenge is to create a track which can be just as iconic as the four above.