Four years ago today, California became the second state in the nation to legalize same sex marriage. Today, same sex marriages are performed in seven states and recognized in three additional states. Last week was a big week for same sex marriages with North Carolina banning it just a day before Obama became the first sitting president to come out in favor of it. To show StGA’s solidarity with the same sex marriage movement, here are our top 10 favorite pro-gay songs.
10. Pink “Raise Your Glass”
There is nothing specific in “Raise Your Glass” that is pro-gay but the track’s video definitely is. The myth behind the song says that the song was written for Pink‘s gay best friend; whether or not that is true, I can not confirm but the fact is that the song is part of a modern movement of songs pushing an agenda of acceptance.
MP3: Pink “Raise Your Glass”
09. Blur “Girls & Boys”
“Girls & Boys” was Blur‘s biggest single in America, reaching number 5 on the charts. The track became an anthem for sexual freedom but the chorus of “girls who are boys who like boys to be girls who do boys like they’re girls who do girls like they’re boys always should be someone you really love” lead many to believe that the song was also a call for an end to sexual labels. Either way with the fun disco beat, I am not sure why this song never became known as a gay anthem.
MP3: Blur “Girls & Boys”
08. David Bowie “Boys Keep Swinging”
David Bowie became a gay icon by spending most of his career being androgynous while still being incredibly sexual. In the midst of its drag-queen-featuring video and sly lyrics like “when your a boy, other boys check you out,” “Boys Keep Swinging” became Bowie’s biggest gay anthem.
MP3: David Bowie “Boys Keep Swinging”
07. Scissor Sisters “Take Your Mama Out”
Scissor Sisters are one of the premier gay bands in the country. I mean, they are named after a sexual position between two women. Their track “Take Your Mama Out” is their most powerful “gay anthem.” The track is about a young boy coming out to his mother who does not seem to understand. His response is to take his mama out and show her what it is all about. A perfectly normal reaction.
MP3: Scissor Sisters “Take Your Mama Out”
06. Christina Aguilera “Beautiful”
Although not exclusive to gay rights, Christina Aguilera‘s 2002 single “Beautiful” was a song of acceptance. The music video for the song definitely pushed its gay agenda with plenty of men and women in drag. It was not exactly a rallying cry but you will not find many in the LGBT community that did not feel supported by the song.
MP3: Christina Aguilera “Beautiful (Live at the 46th Grammys)”
05. Mista Majah P “Love and Tolerance”
Oakland’s Mista Majah P released what was called “the world’s first pro-gay reggae album” last year. The named Tolerance includes songs in support of same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples, as well as attacks on homophobic bullying and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The album’s lead single was “Love and Tolerance.”
04. Ke$ha “We R Who We R”
Ke$ha seems so distinctly vapid with her constant text spelling and drunk party girl image, that I hate to give her props but “We R Who We R” is one of the highest charting pro-gay songs in recent memory. The song is a response to a rash of gay suicides. Of the song, Ke$ha said it is a calling for “people being themselves unapologetically.”
MP3: Ke$ha “We R Who We R”
03. Atom and His Package “Hats Off to Halford”
Everything Atom and His Package did was a little tongue-in-cheek but I think because of his non-traditional voice and quirky musical accompaniment, he was taken a lot less seriously than he should have been. Atom dealt with a lot of social and political issues that other artists might not have touched. Take “Hats Off to Helford,” an ode to the bravery of Rob Halford to be outwardly gay in the metal community. Sure the track is tongue-in-cheek but at the same time, it is extremely pro-gay.
MP3: Atom and His Package “Hats Off to Halford”
02. Tom Robinson “Glad To Be Gay”
In the litany of gay anthems, Tom Robinson‘s 1978 single “Glad to Be” has to be one of the firsts. The song never gained traction in the US but rose to number 18 on the UK singles chart.
MP3: Tom Robinson “Glad To Be Gay”
01. Lady Gaga “Born This Way”
Upon hearing “Born This Way,” Elton John said that the song would replace “I Will Survive” as the defacto gay anthem. I am not sure if it quite to that level but it is Lady Gaga‘s most powerful statement of “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.”
MP3: Lady Gaga “Born This Way”