June is a special month for the queer community. Between it being pride month and home to the anniversary of both the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationally and the historic Stonewall riots, there is undeniably much to celebrate. And what’s a good celebration without a boppin’ playlist to match?
Luckily, our readers won’t have to find out.
Last time TMH brought you a queer playlist, it was one by a queer woman for queer women. This time around, it was only right we provide a pride playlist for the gays. Below, you’ll find a 40-track playlist curated by Senior Culture Writer Jarrod Houseknecht. Enjoy.
“How Do You Sleep?” – Sam Smith
One of Smith’s best ballads, “How Do You Sleep?” is a gorgeous dance-pop song where Smith really finds their inner self. Smith made major news this past year for being one of the first major, mainstream musicians to announce that they were gender fluid and non-binary, making them a definite icon for the LGBTQ+ community for years to come.
“Rain on Me”/”Judas” – Lady Gaga
A gay playlist is never complete without the likes of Lady Gaga. She is THE gay icon of the early 2010s, and her lasting impact can be spotted on every pop girl in the industry today. She’s a prideful activist for the gay community, and tracks like “Rain on Me” and “Judas” exude the qualities that attracted gay men to her in the first place.
“Feeling Myself (feat. Beyonce)” – Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj is the ultimate femme rapper, and many gay men are prepared to fight ’till the death for her reputation. A powerful, sex-positive female figure, Minaj was one of the first rappers to really empower a queer fan base. She is a gay rights activist who has canceled tours due to homophobic politics, and she has repeatedly spoken out about how hip-hip and rap as genres need to destigmatize homosexuality.
“Motivation” – Normani
One of the biggest breakout stars of 2019, Normani is just one of the amazing Black women breaking barriers in the music industry, and “Motivation” was her powerful breakout hit. This song earned the attention of gay men across the country, making it the perfect song to pump up any queer club.
“Bloom” – Troye Sivan
A powerful anthem about sexuality, Sivan finds himself bottoming for a much older man, detailing his experience with it through his lyrics. Sivan is one of the few queer men in our generation to actually break into mainstream music, and the gays appreciate him for it.
“On a Roll” – Ashley O (Miley Cyrus)
Straight out of her “Black Mirror” episode, Cyrus found herself on a synth-beat pop track that captivated gay men across the globe for an entire week this past year. In fact, there was moment in time when every gay man’s tweets and Instagram captions derived from this bop, and, well, I’m not mad about it.
“Want You in My Room” – Carly Rae Jepsen
Mainstream audiences gave up on Jepsen after her breakout hit, “Call Me Maybe,” but the gays never will. “Want You in My Room” uses the same 70s and 80s disco that historically made gay the epitome of freedom and fun.
“Break Free (feat. Zedd)”/”Break Your Heart Right Back (feat. Childish Gambino)”/”Into You” – Ariana Grande
Gay men have and always will eat up everything Miss Grande does. “Break Free” is her well-known queer anthem, during which she “breaks free” in a way very similar to Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out.”
Coincidentally, the second track above samples that exact song by Ross while simultaneously following Grande’s past intimate relationship with a gay man.
Lastly, gay men have never felt more powerful than when the first four beats of “Into You” drops. Nicki Minaj said it best: “Ariana run pop.”
“Chosen Family” – Rina Sawayama
A sentimental ode to the family that you get to choose in your life, this cut from Sawayama’s discography is especially touching for queer men who value the friends that have become more like family than their blood relatives ever were.
“Physical” – Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa is everything gay men want in a pop star. She’s cute, classy and a fashion icon. She’s one of the newest crazes for gay men everywhere, and “Physical” shows off the disco-pop side of the star’s discography.
“Little League” – Conan Gray
On this deep cut from Gray’s album “Kid Krow,” the singer ponders why it’s not okay to wear your heart on your sleeve. Gray is one of the more recent gay men to achieve success in the music industry, and beautiful songs like this one prove why he’s so popular within the community.
“Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves
Musgraves solidified her spot as one of the largest stars in country music when her LP “Golden Hour” snatched the Album of the Year Grammy Award. The closing track on the album, “Rainbow,” is a stunning, reassuring ballad about knowing things will be alright. Just like she says in the lyrics, “there’s always been a rainbow hanging over your head.”
“Yo Perreo Sola” – Bad Bunny
In the world of hip-hop, queerness still holds an unfortunate negative stigma. Bad Bunny is one of the men fighting to change that. The music video shows him dressed in drag, an effort that many fans note shows his solidarity with the Latin LGBTQ+ community.
“Girls in the Hood” – Megan Thee Stallion
She’s boisterous. She embraces her sexuality. And she loves her girls and gays. What gay man doesn’t want to be a part of the “hot girl” community? None that I know of.
“Track 10″/”Flash Pose (with Pabllo Vittar)” – Charli XCX
This playlist would not be complete without including one of the most critically acclaimed, experimental pop musicians of our time. Her mainstream hits like “Boom Clap” and “Fancy” were alright, but her current efforts are undeniably, groundbreaking earworms. Period.
For the full playlist, click here.