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25 LGBTQ+ Songs That Aren't Anthems (Yet)

The queer artists more people need to know about and support.

By Kimberly AlvarezPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Graphic by Kimberly Alvarez

Possibly the most exciting time of the year for queer folks is here: Pride Month! All around the globe, the challenge to put on the most wondrous celebration is on. Especially since last year’s festivities were (rudely, but reasonably) interrupted by COVID restrictions. Well, 2021 is seeing brighter rainbows as COVID cases are going down, vaccinations are ongoing, and many states are fixing to open up soon, while others are up and running like normal.

It’s time for the community to come back together and be proud in the way we always have. And what way to celebrate the beauty of being queer than by blasting tunes made by us for us. With that being said, I present to you a 25-track playlist of artists that deserve the spotlight at this year’s gayeties (pun intended).

1. "Between" - Alextbh

You know where it hits right

You know when it feels right

Elevate to the skies

Alex is the gay Southeast Asian representation the music industry needs. The Malaysian pop star sings openly about his relationships and hookups despite the aversions he faces in his country.

2. "Headaches" - Raveena

She's the kind of girl who will fuck you up

I'm the kind of girl who will love too much

Though she has quite a following, Raveena has yet to hit mainstream. A proud pansexual, Indian-American woman, she inspires brown youth through her spiritual lyrics about growth, self-empowerment and feminism.

3. "Bi Fren" - Omar Apollo

He talking 'bout hi friend, I'm talkin' 'bout bi friend

I'm not gon' sit here like I owe you, ain't no mic here

Apollo's recent album embraces his queerness in a bolder way than he previously has, with "Bi Fren" calling out a DL teenage boyfriend. Born to Mexican immigrant parents, the 25-year-old pays homage to his roots in his other work.

4. "Something" - Moaning Lisa

In between great loves, she was there for me

Unabashed and free, she gave me time to breathe

Here's a band I have yet to see on any queer/Pride Spotify playlist. Australian-based quartet, Moaning Lisa, provides the queer rock my 13-year-old emo self would have loved to headbang to in my room.

5. "On Top" - Esteman

Que hablen de pecado/Let them say it's a sin

Me resbala a mí/I couldn't care less

En una sociedad que se miente así/It's a society that lies like that

Esteman, the stage name for Columbian singer Esteban Mateus Williamson, is challenging homophobia in Latin America. Listening to the profound love songs he writes for his boyfriend give hope to other queer Latinxs struggling with their sexuality within society.

6. "Mango (Freestyle/Process)” - Orion Sun

You got a heart of gold, just like your mother

And no matter how angry you get, you'll never be your father

While this track is mellow and no party song, it deserves its spot as the cutest lesbian declaration of love. Orion Sun pours her entire heart and soul into her music and this tune is no different. (Plus, who doesn't love crying to music you wish someone would dedicate to you!)

7. "Cherry" - Rina Sawayama

Even though I'm satisfied I lead my life within a lie

Holding onto feelings I'm not used to feeling

Similar to Raveena, Sawayama has established a fanbase online but has yet to infiltrate the mainstream of queer-represented music. On "Cherry", the British-Japanese musician sings about the queer struggle of catching new and confusing feelings you may have never expected.

8. "Freak" - Jada Michael

The way you dance on me,

Don't take your hands off me,

Girl, you know I'm a freak

The queer music scene constantly needs someone who breaks from the mold and Jada Michael is here to do that. It's not every day that a plus-size, queer, Black woman holds space within the industry but Michael deserves it and so much more.

9. "Powerslide" - Ryan Beatty

His muscles flex when he takes a puff from his cigarette

He's looking tough and so friendly

I'm in love

Beatty's debut album "Boy In Jeans" is a love letter to his sexuality. His soulful vocals and contemporary pop beats make for an experience I hope all queer people find liberating.

10. "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” - Lil Nas X

Oh, call me by your name

Tell me you love me in private

Who would I be if I didn't include Lil Nas X; a literal rising gay icon. This song speaks for itself and although he's not a lowkey artist, I can't leave him out.

To listen to the rest of the tracks, visit my playlist on Spotify below and happy Pride Month to all of us, no matter where we are in our journey of love and acceptance.

Pop Culture

About the Creator

Kimberly Alvarez

21-year-old poet located in Riverside, CA 🌟

Nature and the wonders of the universe are my muses, I write secret poems about the people I love. ♉️🇲🇽

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