26 Notable LGBTQ Songs Since 2010 | Playlist
This playlist contains 26 notable LGBTQ-related songs released 2010. The selected songs construct the new brand of socially-conscious music.
Music is a powerful force that is utilitarian with numerous purposes. The impact it has politically and socially is elephantine. It can be the catalyst for unification as well as a source for the utmost polarization. Sometimes, the biggest impact comes from artists who push the envelope – break barriers – or strive to be transcendent and meaningful in the music they share with the world.
The 26 songs that grace this list look beyond trends, eschewing conformity. The artists who “parent” these records have “the bigger picture” in mind, spreading a message of acceptance, tolerance, and unity. Here, 26 LGBTQ-related songs released after 2010 are examined, detailing their message and impact socially. This article and playlist is an examination into subject-matter that has progressively gained more traction in the mainstream. The selected songs construct the new brand of socially-conscious music.
1. Logic Ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid, “1-800-273-8255”
Album: Everybody, 2017
“I don’t wanna be alive…/ I just wanna die today…/ I want you to be alive…/ You don’t gotta die today /…I finally wanna be alive…/ I don’t wanna die today.”
With the release of “1-800-273-8255,” Logic released the biggest, heaviest, and most meaningful song of his career. What makes “1-800-273-8255” so heavy? The title is the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Logic approaches the song as a progression, starting from the suicidal perspective, encouraging the suicidal person to embrace life, and the suicidal person coming to the desire to live. He’s assisted by an angelic Alessia Cara (I know that you’ll thank God you did”) and Khalid, who provides the punctuation mark, as the suicidal person who’s seen the light.
So, a lot has been mentioned about suicide. What’s the significance of the song, and suicide itself to the LGBTQ community? Suicide is a major issue. While the song doesn’t explicitly mention homosexuality, it’s a key component of the accompanying music video, which focuses on a black gay teen struggling with his sexuality. He contemplates suicide, but gets the proper help, as well as acceptance, a driving factor in his suicidal endeavors.
2. Halsey ft. Lauren Jauregui, “Strangers”
Album: hopeless fountain kingdom, 2017
Alternative-pop artist Halsey is “kind of a big deal.” After a breakthrough album (Badlands), a ubiquitous, no. 1 single with The Chainsmokers (“Closer”), and a no. 1 album (Hopeless Fountain Kingdom), she seems untouchable. “Strangers” serves one of the singles from her sophomore album. Its content is clearly different from most of Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. Early on, it establishes itself as an LGBTQ song. On the first verse, Halsey sings:
“She doesn’t kiss me on the mouth anymore / ‘Cause it’s more intimate, than she thinks we should…”
The chorus confirms the LGBTQ tilt:
“Said that we’re not lovers, we’re just strangers / With the same damn hunger / To be touched, to be loved, to feel anything at all.”
Lauren Jauregui, a member of Fifth Harmony, similarly shares her side of the story on the second verse. Both unite on the bridge:
“I miss the mornings with you laying in my bed / I miss the memories replaying in my head / I miss the thought of a forever, you and me / But all you’re missing is my body.”
3. Superfruit, “GUY.exe”
Album: Future Friends, 2017
Both members of Superfruit, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying – also members of Pentatonix – are openly gay. Notably on “GUY.exe.,” Mitch and Scott fearlessly lay out what they look for in the perfect MAN. More and more, pop music has become more open-minded, exploring beyond exclusively heterosexual love scenarios. What stands out about “GUY.exe.” is that essentially, Superfruit looks for some of the same characteristics as the heterosexual crowd.
“Oh I, wish I could synthesize / A picture perfect guy / Oh I, oh I / Six feet tall and super strong / We’d always get along / Alright, alright / Oh, he’d pick me up at eight / And not a minute late / Cause I don’t like to wait, no / Kind and ain’t afraid to cry / Or treat his momma right / That’s right, that’s what I like.”
4. Young M.A., “OOOUUU”
Album: Herstory, 2017
Normally, a rap song titled “OOOUUU” doesn’t seem fitting to appear on a serious, socially-conscious playlist. However, when the respective rapper is a member of the LGBT community and is unafraid to show it, it amplifies the significance of said song. Young M.A., who is openly gay, raps about sexual endeavors numerous times throughout the course of this banger. She’s as bold with sexual references directed towards women, as her male counterparts are.
“Baby gave me head, that’s a low blow / Damn she make me weak when she deep throat / I need a rich bitch not a cheap ho / They be on that hate shit, I peep though.”
There’s also this:
“If that’s your chick, then why she texting me? / Why she keep calling my phone speaking sexually / Every time I’m out, why she stressing me? / You call her Stephanie? I call her Head-phanie (OOOUUU).”
5. Tyler Glenn, “G.D.M.M.L. GRLS”
Album: Excommunication, 2016
“G.D.M.M.L. GRLS” definitely sounds like something that Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn needed to get out of his system. He gets personal about his sexuality and the hurdles associated with it. This heavily produced, intense record, showcases Glenn’s disillusionment with the Mormon church, who denounce homosexuality. On the chorus, he asserts inability to change his sexual preference:
“I keep on hearing evil voices, voices / … They keep on messing with my choices, choices / … God didn’t give me alternative, no / when she put me on the earth / God didn’t make me like girls…”
Numerous churches and religions denounce homosexuality. Many cite Biblical text as the source, with Sodom and Gomorrah leading the charge. Swap out Mormonism for various religions or communities, and homophobia occurs. His message resonates with numerous members of the LGBT community, and others.