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25 LGBTQ+ anthems that will fill you with Pride

We've compiled some of the biggest hits from the past 40+ years that have become mainstays in gay culture.

This Pride Month, we’ve compiled a list of songs from the past few decades that are iconic in their history for the LGBTQ+ community.

From the days of Pride parades in the 1970s to marriage equality to embracing one’s own sexuality, these songs are great tunes to amp up a weekend road trip to Key West Pride. Whether you’re open and proud or straight and unaware, we’ve got a list of tunes you’re going to absolutely love jamming to.

Obviously, there are many, many songs that fall into the role of “anthems” for this community, so this is merely a sample and not meant to be the be-all, end-all list.

“Y.M.C.A.” by Village People (1978)

Best queer lyric: “It's fun to stay at the YMCA / They have everything for you men to enjoy / You can hang out with all the boys”

Tyler’s Take: Is this song about cruising a YMCA for dates/hookups in the 1970s? It depends on who you ask! Regardless, the song became a staple of the gay community for decades.

“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen (1978)

Best queer lyric: “That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit / I'm trav'ling at the speed of light / I wanna make a supersonic man out of you”

Tyler’s Take: Freddie Mercury channels his majestic voice for 3 minutes and 29 seconds of ecstatic ‘70s gold on this track, and regardless of your orientation, this is a fun tune to blast at 11.

“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester (1978)

Best queer lyric: “Still you're hot and you kiss me back and it / Feels real good and I know you love me / Like you should”

Tyler’s Take: While not an overtly gay song, it became a big hit in the gay scene near the end of the of the disco era. Plus it’s super fab with some sick ‘70s synth!

“I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross (1980)

Best queer lyric: “I'm coming out / I want the world to know / I got to let it show”

Tyler’s Take: Inspired by three drag queens dressed as the Supremes lead singer, Diana Ross worked alongside Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards to make what is now one of the biggest gay anthems of the ‘80s. What better way to tell friends and family with a funky R&B ditty!

“It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls (1982)

Best queer lyric: “It's raining men / hallelujah / it's raining men / amen”

Tyler’s Take: Grab your umbrellas because a man storm is coming with zero chance of heteronormativity on this bumpin’ track! It’s so overblown, but who doesn’t love a campy song with weather metaphors?

“True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper (1986)

Best queer lyric: “I see your true colors / And that's why I love you / So don't be afraid to let them show / Your true colors / True colors are beautiful / Like a rainbow”

Tyler’s Take: If you ever needed a song to remind you that it’s OK to be you, this is the song for you. Lauper has become a prominent ally for the LGBTQ+ community since the release of this song.

“Vogue” by Madonna (1990)

Best queer lyric: “Don't just stand there / let's get to it / Strike a pose, there's nothing to it”

Tyler’s Take: It’s great if you need something to dance to at your desk, just make sure to practice vogue-ing with caution. Hard hats and safety vests are recommended!

“Freedom ‘90” by George Michael (1990)

Best queer lyric: “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”

Tyler’s Take: Many at the time thought this was George Michael’s coming out song. It wasn’t, but that hasn’t stopped it from being millions of others song to encapsulate the weight off their shoulders from revealing their biggest secret.

“Come To My Window” by Melissa Etheridge (1993)

Best queer lyric: “I don't care what they think / I don't care what they say / What do they know about this love / Anyway”

Tyler’s Take: Melissa Etheridge had recently came out as a lesbian, named her new album “Yes I Am,” and then dropped this ICONIC rock track that gave a voice to how many gay women were feeling. Get it, sister!

"Supermodel (You Better Work)” by RuPaul (1993)

Best queer lyric: “Work / Turn to the left / Work / Now turn to the right / Work / Sachey chantey”

Tyler’s Take: This song is all about working the runway or the library or wherever you’re getting your paycheck and embracing your fierceness.

“Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” by Shania Twain (1997)

Best queer lyric: “Oh, oh, oh / I want to be free yeah / to feel the way I feel / Man! I feel like a woman!”

Tyler’s Take: OK, so this didn’t originate as a gay anthem, but it’s sorta been co-opted by the gays. Great for drag shows, perfect for embracing your femininity and channels sexiness on a level that transcends orientation.

“Take Your Mama” by Scissor Sisters (2004)

Best queer lyric: “Do it / Take your mama out all night / So she'll have no doubt that we're doing oh the best we can”

Tyler’s Take: Great song inspired by vocalist Jake Shears’ coming out to his mom. It’s a great testament to the bond you can build with your mom while coming out and living your truth!

“Grace Kelly” by Mika (2007)

Best queer lyric: “I try to be like Grace Kelly / But all her looks were too sad / So I try a little Freddie / I've gone identity mad!”

Tyler’s Take: Mika does his best iteration of Freddie Mercury on this colorful tune, where he claims to be a multi-colored music maker. His falsetto swoons in the chorus and will instantly turn you gay (just kidding).

"Raise Your Glass” by P!nk (2010)

Disclaimer: This song contains some explicit language that may not be suitable for all ages.

Best queer lyric: “So raise your glass if you are wrong / In all the right ways / All my underdogs”

Tyler’s Take: While not specifically for the gays, it touches upon the marginalization of people based on being “weird” or “too school for cool,” and acts as a great banger for a party.

“We R Who We R” by Kesha (2010)

Best queer lyric: “Got that glitter on my eyes / Stockings ripped all up the side / Looking sick and sexified”

Tyler’s Take: Some are team Gaga. Others are team Kesha. This club bop relies heavily on the message the title conveys, but it’s enough to warrant a mention on this list.

“Dancing On My Own” by Robyn (2010)

Best queer lyric: “I'm giving it my all / but I'm not the guy you're taking home, ooh / I keep dancing on my own”

Tyler’s Take: It’s a great track to bump at the club when you’ve just gone through a breakup and you’re also low-key stalking your ex.

“Born This Way” by Lady Gaga (2011)

Best queer lyric: “I'm beautiful in my way / 'Cause God makes no mistakes / I'm on the right track, baby / I was born this way”

Tyler’s Take: Mother Monster creates an anthem many LGBTQ+ millennials have embraced, channeling her Catholic faith with her acceptance of the community she is also a part of. It’s become one of her defining singles and helped move the thought forward that being gay or transgender isn’t a choice.

“Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert (2012)

Best queer lyric: “And I can't change / Even if I tried / Even if I wanted to”

Tyler’s Take: Both an anthem for the community and its allies and was a big deal upon its release since rap music has a rough relationship with the LGBTQ+ community. The song tackles stereotypes, conversion therapy, homophobia and marriage equality.

“Forrest Gump” by Frank Ocean (2012)

Best queer lyric: “Forrest Gump / You run my mind boy / Running on my mind boy / Forrest Gump”

Tyler’s Take: I wanted to include “Thinkin Bout You,” but Ocean’s tale of fawning over Forrest Gump marks a shift in acceptance in the R&B community for gay/bisexual men. It’s also just a really cute tune.

“Brave” by Sara Bareilles (2013)

Best queer lyric: “Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live / Maybe one of these days you can let the light in / Show me how big your brave is”

Tyler’s Take: The “Love Song” songstress was inspired by a close friend who struggled with coming out as gay. She wrote this song with Jack Antonoff and ultimately helped a lot of listeners gain the courage to own their truth. This goes to show you that allies can make a difference.

“Closer” by Tegan and Sara (2013)

Best queer lyric: “Here comes the breath before we get / A little bit closer / Here comes the rush before we touch / Come a little closer”

Tyler’s Take: When Tegan and Sara transitioned into a new pop sound on the excellent album “Heartthrob,” the twin sisters debuted this as their lead single and opened themselves up to an entirely new fanbase. It’s a perfect queer woman song about finding love and getting closer to a significant other. Plus, it’s so incredibly catchy!

“Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves (2013)

Best queer lyric: “Make lots of noise / Kiss lots of boys / Or kiss lots of girls / If that's something you're into”

Tyler’s Take: Country music hasn’t always been the most inclusive genre for the LGBTQ+, but then-newcomer Kacey Musgraves became a country music ally with this ode to freedom of sexual expression.

“True Trans Soul Rebel” by Against Me! (2014)

Best queer lyric: “Who’s gonna take you home tonight? / Who’s gonna take you home? / Does God bless your transsexual heart / True Trans Soul Rebel?”

Tyler’s Take: Laura Jane Grace broke ground as one of the first transgender women in the punk rock scene to come out in 2012. Representation matters and sharing of her story has been an inspiration to a new generation of music listeners with gender dysphoria.

“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae (2018)

Disclaimer: This song contains explicit language that may not be suitable for all ages.

Best queer lyric: “You know I love it so please don't stop it / You got me right here in your jean pocket / Laying your body on a shag carpet (oh) / You know I love it so please don't stop it”

Tyler’s Take: Janelle Monae came out publicly as pansexual this year and helped create the funkiest anthem about loving people regardless of gender that we never knew we needed. It’s could easily be mistaken for a song by Prince, with its subtle synth accents, funk-tinged electric guitar and bombastic drum solos.

“Bloom” by Troye Sivan (2018)

Best queer lyric: “I guess it's something like a fun fair / Put gas into the motor / And, boy, I'll meet you right there / We'll ride the roller coaster”

Tyler’s Take: Pop star Troye Sivan quickly deleted a tweet regarding what this song is actually about, but word spread like wildfire. It’s definitely NOT about a flower, but moreso about opening up to someone sexually for the first time. Nice use of metaphors, Troye. I see what you did there.

Tyler White is a digital reporter/producer for First Coast News. You can follow Tyler on Twitter at @tylerlwhite or email him at twhite@firstcoastnews.com.

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