June is LGBT—lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender—Pride Month. According to a Library of Congress article about LGBT Pride Month, this month is dedicated to remembering LGBT histories, resisting against normative sexualities and gender identities and celebrating members of the LGBT community and allies.
As a way to get into the spirit of LGBT Pride Month, here is a playlist that will allow you to show all of your colors of the rainbow.
1. “Fashionista” by Jimmie James
This is the song that signaled the beginning of every drag show I saw growing up. “Everybody line up… the show is about to start…” This song is a perfect way to start not only any drag show, but also a playlist celebrating LGBT Pride.
2. “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scissor Sisters
For those unaware of LGBT and other marginalized communities’ slang, a “kiki” is a party one has with their closest friends where you “lock the doors” and share “salacious gossip.” If the previous song did not get you in the spirit for LGBT Pride Month, this song will.
3. “Supermodel (You Better Work)” by RuPaul
This playlist would be incomplete without self-proclaimed supermodel of the world RuPaul. “Work—turn the left…Work—turn to the right.” This song is perfect if you are celebrating LGBT Pride Month in your car, marching in a LGBT Pride parade or anything in between.
4. “Vogue” by Madonna
If you were not feeling “Supermodel (You Better Work)” to get you up and moving with LGBT pride, maybe “Vogue” will. Originally appropriated from the late-1980s New York City ballroom scene, which was created for LGBT community members of color, “voguing” is a series of sharp body movements in a stylized form that can also sometimes insult other performers on the floor. It is important to remember not only where voguing originated, but to also honor all members of the LGBT community, especially LGBT people of color.
5. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
Although Lady Gaga’s sexuality is no one’s business, she wrote and recorded “Born This Way” as an anthem to all individuals to live their lives as their true and authentic selves. No matter if you are a member of the LGBT community or any other marginalized population, this song motivates people to be proud of who they are, where they came from and how they identify.
6. “Brave” by Sara Bareillis
There are times when being a member of the LGBT community or an allied member is challenging. There is oppression and adversity LGBT community members sometimes face. This song reminds all LGBT individuals and allied members to be brave in the face of adversity and be true to who you are.
7. “The Origin of Love” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
The Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch features a lead character who identifies as genderqueer. This song highlights how love comes in all shapes, sizes, genders and sexes. This musical challenges the way audiences and listeners alike in how they understand love.
8. “Seasons of Love” from Rent
Rent, another Broadway musical, features a diverse cast of LGBT and allied characters. This opening number reminds audiences love has no limits, no boundaries and cannot be easily defined.
9. “I Want to Break Free” by Queen
Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, self-identified as bisexual before his untimely death in 1991. “I Want to Break Free” encourages people to break free from the lies of their lives and from the compulsory heteronormative narrative we are all given from birth.
10. “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert
The actual best part of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” is this song, “She Keeps Me Warm.” This song celebrates the love Lambert has with her partner of four years. This song reminds LGBT community members that we cannot change our sexuality or gender identity even if we tried or even if we wanted to.
11. “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge
Members of the LGBT community are reminded how we are all family through this song. No matter your sexuality. No matter your gender identity. The LGBT community must all stand up for and alongside one another, no matter the positive moments and acts of resistance. This community also must remember not to leave out identities within the acronym. All marginalized sexualities and gender identities are a part of one family.
12. “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester
Stepping into an LGBT club for the first time or the first time someone affirms your sexuality and/or gender identity without judgement may be some of the first moments one might remember as an out and/or open member of the LGBT community. These moments make us feel mighty real in who we are as LGBT people.
13. “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
A slow, sad song with a beautiful message and ending. “Beautiful” inspires listeners to believe in their true beauty. Do not change who you are to adhere to social standards. “We’re beautiful. No matter what they say. Yes, words won’t bring us own. We’re beautiful in every single way. Yes, words can’t bring us down.” And if the song itself does not do it for you, just imagine the scene from Mean Girls when Damian, who is too gay to function, is singing this song in the talent show.
14. “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper
There is no better time to show your true colors than during LGBT Pride Month. When members of the LGBT community show their true colors, they are able to resist, march and affect change in more positive ways. Members of the LGBT community can love and affirm others when their true colors are shining bright.
15. “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls
This is a quintessential token song for gay men, or others who are attracted to male-identified people, who may wish it were raining men. When it is not raining men during the other 11 months of the year, June is the perfect time to see men raining into your direct messages, Snapchat or Grindr.
16. “Q.U.E.E.N.” by Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badu
Whether it is in the middle of winter and one is bundled up or in the middle of LGBT Pride month and you are strutting into a LGBT club, serve up as much confidence as Janelle Monae describes in this song. Even if people are going to gossip or be rude, walk in like you own the place.
17. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
An instant classic, “Dancing Queen” will hopefully get LGBT community members and allies of all ages up and dancing. I have seen drag queens of multiple generations perform this song. This piece is timeless and should be a part of every LGBT Pride Month playlist.
18. “Firework” by Katy Perry
In the face of adversity, there are times LGBT community members might feel worthless, like plastic bags blowing in the wind. But this song inspires marginalized people from all backgrounds or simply individuals who feel down about themselves to ignite who they are and be confident in themselves. Sometimes we all need a confidence boost, and this song is perfect for to remind us of that.
19. “Y.M.C.A.” by The Village People
Originally created to target disco’s gay subculture through performing as masculine gay fantasy personas, The Village People’s songs are a staple at LGBT Pride events all across the nation. With simple dance moves and catchy songs, this song in particular will hopefully get more people in the LGBT Pride Month spirit.
20. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
We can all survive. We will all survive. Even if someone was just broken up with before heading to a LGBT Pride parade and/or festival, know there is life after love. And you will survive this break up. The LGBT community is there to support you as you survive that moment in your life.
21. “Believe” by Cher
Similar to the previous song, Cher asks listeners “do you believe in life after love?” Yes. Of course you should believe in life after love. There is always life after love. Do not sit around and wait for someone who does not care about you to return. Instead, find out who you are and love yourself as you move forward.
22. “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross
The metaphorical closet is something almost all LGBT people have to metaphorically come out of once they announce their sexuality as something other than heterosexual. If one gets a coming out party or parade or you are simply wanting to get in the LGBT Pride spirit, this is the perfect song to listen to on repeat. Because Ms. Ross, we are all coming out—loud and proud.
Jakki Forester is a graduate student in communication studies. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to [email protected]