Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride With Music
June 13, 2023
So, in honor of Pride, I spoke with some fellow LGBTQ+ teens to learn about how music fosters queer celebration, self-love and connectivity!
Queer Empowerment Through Music
When I think of empowerment, one song immediately comes to mind: “Bad Kids,” by Lady Gaga. This track is an anthem for anyone who feels like they don’t fit in. As she sings “You’re still good to me if you’re a bad kid, baby!” over an upbeat pop production, this song never fails to lift my confidence. Gaga turns “bad kid” into a term of endearment for anyone who doesn’t fit in, reminding me to embrace and celebrate my queerness.
Another example of an empowering tune is “Sofia” by Clairo. “I was just starting to accept myself as a queer person at the age of 12,” says Eddie (they/them), 15, of Lawrenceville, NJ. “And one of my first queer friends at the time showed me [Clairo’s] songs. Her lyrics, especially in her song ‘Sofia,’ were ones that I could relate to as a ‘baby gay,’ and I’ve been listening to her ever since.”
With lyrics such as “You and I shouldn’t feel like a crime,” the song tells the story of falling in love as a queer person, despite heteronormative expectations. This is an experience that many queer teens can relate to, and a huge part of feeling empowered is seeing yourself represented in media like music.
Queer Community Through Music
Music is also a great way to connect with fellow LGBTQ+ teens! Listening to uplifting pop (“Emotion” by Carly Rae Jepsen comes to mind) on evening car rides with my queer friends has brought us closer. Within and beyond these car rides, music has helped me find a sense of community and learn that I’m not alone.
It’s not just pop but also other genres of music that can help LGBTQ+ folks connect. “The Broadway community [has] the biggest network of queer teens bonding over a love of show tunes,” says Madeline (she/her), 18, of Ponte Vedra, FL. “These songs explode with vulnerability, emotionality and connectivity. They make us feel like a part of a whole, even in isolated circumstances.”
Connectedness is a feeling that sticks with you, whether you’re with friends or on your own. Music is not only a vehicle for queer bonding, but also an ongoing reminder of shared pride and joy in being queer.
Feeling the Pride
So, does that mean finding queer pride through music is the same for everyone?
Nope! People find empowerment and connection through music in many different ways. To celebrate Pride this month, seek out music that makes you feel excited and glad to be exactly who you are.
Turn up the music, and turn up the self-love!