Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride With Music

By Leo Backes (he/he), 18 years old, editor

June 13, 2023

Pride Month is about accepting who you are and feeling connected to your LGBTQ+ community. In general, music (often pop!) is a go-to source for queer empowerment and connection.

So, in honor of Pride, I spoke to some fellow LGBTQ+ teens to learn how music fosters queer celebration, self-love, and connectedness.

Queer empowerment through music

When I think about empowerment, a song immediately comes to mind: “Bad Kids” by Lady Gaga. This song is an anthem for anyone who feels like they don’t fit in. Her as she sings “You’re still good to me if you’re a bad boy, baby!” Over an upbeat pop production, this song never fails to boost my confidence. Gaga turns “bad boy” into a term of endearment for anyone who doesn’t fit in, reminding me to accept and celebrate my queerness.

Another example of an empowering melody is “Sofía” by Clairo. “At age 12 I was starting to accept myself as a queer person,” says Eddie (they/them), 15, from Lawrenceville, New Jersey. “And one of my first queer friends at the time showed me [Clairo’s] songs. Her lyrics, especially in her song ‘Sofia,’ were ones I could relate to as a ‘gay baby,’ and I’ve been listening to them ever since.”

With lyrics like “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 big 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 other LGBTQ+ teens! Listening to uplifting pop (Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion comes to mind) during late-night car rides with my queer friends has brought us closer. Within and beyond these car trips, music has helped me find a sense of community and learn that I am not alone.

It’s not just pop, but also other music genres that can help LGBTQ+ people connect. “The Broadway Community [has] the largest network of queer teens coming together for the love of show tunes,” says Madeline (she/her), 18, from Ponte Vedra, FL. “These songs explode with vulnerability, emotionality and connectivity. “They make us feel part of a whole, even in isolated circumstances.”

Connection is a feeling that stays with you, whether you are with friends or alone. Music is not only a vehicle for queer bonding, but also a continuous reminder of the shared pride and joy of being queer.

feeling the pride

So does that mean that finding queer pride through music is the same for everyone?

No! People find empowerment and connection through music in many different ways. To celebrate Pride this month, find music that makes you feel excited and happy to be exactly who you are.

Turn up the music and turn up the self-love!

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