Updated: Jun 16
I came across this article from them. and it sparked such a flooding of nostalgia that I knew I had to write something about it for Pride month. You can find the article here.
"Music shapes us. For many LGBTQ+ people, songs are the soundtrack to a first kiss, a tearful coming out, or the powerful realization that we can no longer hide who we are. Music can be a refuge — a fluid medium through which we share and receive revelations about queer experiences that are often hard to define in concrete terms. But still, we try to put them in words."
The article goes on to list nine songs that helped forge the queer identities of them. editors and contributors. They each reflect on how the song impacted their lives, whether through its message, or imagery. I highly recommend giving the article a read! The list spans tracks by Book of Love, Tegan and Sara, Ciara, Idina Menzel, The Magnetic Fields, Scissor Sisters, Kate Bush, The Drums, and Hole. Solid playlist material!
I knew I had to get the rest of the Pride leadership involved -- so I surveyed them to list the songs that brought it all back for them -- the songs of the (queer) soundtrack of their lives. They did not disappoint :) Hope this brings you down your own path of reflection and nostalgia for Pride month!
For me, music has been a refuge and a constant throughout my life. But perhaps what has been most impactful to my queer journey has been seeing live music. I love the energy and the community of it. Nothing compares to the unapologetically queer spaces I've been in when seeing Brandi Carlile, Indigo Girls and Tegan and Sara live. I distinctly remember going to Wolf Trap to see the Indigo Girls in the early 2000s and being both terrified and joyful because I had never been around so many queer people in my life. These days, I'd gladly spend double to recreate those spaces and those memories.
A song that takes me back to being a young gay is "Follow Your Arrow" or "I Miss You" by Kacey Musgraves. Recently, I've been really obsessed with "Roses are Falling" by Orville Peck. A soundtrack of my life would probably be "Like Real People Do" by Hozier. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with being queer, but it has always made me think about being gay and has just felt very personal to my experience.
"Come to My Window" by Melissa Etheridge. One of the things my dad loved the most was that Melissa Etheridge was an out lesbian with a top 40 hit. He would giggle with glee. Memories like that helped me know growing up that no matter who I was or who I loved, my parents would love and support me. Lately Demi Lovato's new album has been my soundtrack. Their music just speaks to my love hard and kick ass soul.
"For Your Entertainment" and "Whataya Want From Me" from Adam Lambert are the first to come to mind! But also...
"Killing My Time" G Flip
"Feeding the Fire" Hayley Kiyoko
"My My My!" and "Bloom" Troye Sivan
"I'm the Only One" by Melissa Etheridge Forever and ever amen. She's a big root for me.
"This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman 🙌
"Better than I Was" by Mal Blum (who's nonbinary!) was really influential for me when I was going through the process of starting hormones.
"Black Tie" by Grace Petrie - This is a really great song about gender nonconformity and she describes it as being about "shrugging off whatever expectations society has of you to wear or look or be anything at all."
Both songs have been really comforting to me as a gnc person and have inspired me to embrace my true self.
"Go Your Own Way" will ALWAYS and forever be a personal favorite. Fleetwood Mac Rumours was the soundtrack of my young adult life, 17-21.
I'd say for my formative years, it was definitely Melissa Etheridge and early Tegan and Sara. But while I was in the Navy, it was "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. "Hold On" by Alabama Shakes definitely saved my life though (which is why I have it tattooed on me!).
"The Bitch is Back" by Elton John 🙌 This made me understand fem/dom male/female characteristics in a different way. And it gave me confidence!
"Freedom! '90" by George Michael -- the attitude, the message, his look and that video! A very gay awakening!
What songs are part of the soundtrack to your life? What songs make you feel queer AF? If you need a little inspiration, Kevin put together a Pride Party playlist -- 'Celebrating over 50 years of PRIDE! Dance tracks and classic tunes to enjoy with your chosen family!' Keep honing those dance moves -- we'll be together very soon. Happy Pride Month!