In light of the events of last week, I thought it’d be nice to have at least something to be proud of. So wave the rainbow banner high and proud, because here’s to us.
1. “Same Love” – Macklemore
A far cry from “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore’s criticism of homophobia in the media and pop culture was an unexpected sequel to the joking send-up about buying clothes secondhand. “Same Love” doesn’t sugar coat its call for change, and that’s why it’s the perfect song to kick off this playlist (Also check out Mary Lambert’s song “She Keeps Me Warm,” a warm lil’ lesbian love letter she wrote using her chorus from “Same Love”)
2. “First Time He Kissed a Boy” – Kadie Elder
A brilliant and fun electropop piece about realizing your sexuality, it’s simple and complex all at the same time. Although the lyrics and beats are simplistic in nature, they perfectly capture the poignant subject matter, creating a beautifully evocative song that’ll have you both tapping your feet and lost in childhood memories all at the same time.
3. “We Can’t Stop” – Miley Cyrus
Whether you love her or hate her, there’s no denying that “We Can’t Stop” is about being unapologetically you, earning it a place on this playlist.
4. “Girls Like Girls” – Hayley Kiyoko
Hayley Kiyoko wrote this song as a female anthem for a girl stealing a boy’s girl, and with the hook “Girls like girls like boys do, nothing new,” it’s one heck of an anthem. (Psst! Also check out the music video! 10/10)
5. “Firework” – Katy Perry
Perry dedicated this song to the It Gets Better campaign, an online project dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBT youth. Addressed to anyone who’s ever felt unloved or worthless, “Firework” is a bold and bright celebration of the spark inside that makes each and every one of us beautiful.
6. “We R Who We R” – Ke$ha
See #3. Following a sudden surge in suicide rates among gay teens in America in 2010, Ke$ha wrote “We R Who We R” with the intention of it being a loud and proud gay anthem.
7. “Everyone is Gay” – A Great Big World
Reminiscent of a Broadway show tune, “Everyone is Gay” is fun ditty about embracing the gay in all of us.
8. “for him.” – Troye Sivan feat. Allday
Though the title really speaks for itself, as an openly gay singer, Troye Sivan penned a perfectly open song about being in love. Lyrics to listen for: “I’ll squeeze your booty real hard like I’m kneading dough/ Pizza boy, I’m speeding for ya.”
9. “Girls/Girls/Boys” – Panic! at the Disco
Speaking of Panic! at the Disco (Get it? Because “for him.” has the lyric “I’m about to bring emo back […] I’d panic at the disco” Ha.), lead singer Brendon Urie sings about his experiences with bisexuality, proudly proclaiming that “Love is not a choice.”
10. “Born This Way” – Lady Gaga
An ode to being yourself and loving yourself for you, “Born This Way” is a staple in any pride playlists. I remember being a troubled teen in high school finding comfort in Gaga’s anthem, because “no matter gay, straight, or bi/ lesbian, transgendered life,” I was fine being me, because after all, I was born this way.
Stay proud, friends, and stay safe.
The Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386
GLBT National Youth Hotline: 1-800-246-7743
GLBT National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-886