Another Pride month has come and (almost) gone. With most of the world out protesting the systemic police brutality against Black people, or stuck at home due to the pandemic that never really went away, this year’s Pride was perhaps one of the least felt in decades. That’s okay. We don’t need more rainbow-colored Svedka bottles and street parties for straight allies. Pride month is due for a major overhaul, and that starts with addressing how LGBTQ culture has never been as monolithic as capitalist structures would like to assume it is.
It’s a mentality that trickles into our music, too. What typically gets to qualify as a gay anthem, and why does it have to involve a pop diva delivering big-budget empowerment? Don’t get it twisted, I love Chromatica as much as the rest of you, but this year especially, it feels like we could be pushing deeper into the spectrum of the queer experience. It feels like we could ask for more from the messages we establish as anthemic. Below, we’ve gathered 20 songs that fit the bill.