I asked a friend, Kayla Rose - a bisexual member of the LGBTQ+ community to assist me in writing about Pride Month and the amazing pride music it blessed us with in 2018. I felt that posts about the LGBTQ+ community would be best expressed by a member of the community itself since I only consider myself an ally. I hope you enjoy!
LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual/transgender, queer/questioning and others) Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, New York. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation movement in the United States. Pride Month is also said to exist to encourage people who are not openly part of the LGBTQ+ community to be more comfortable with who they are, who they feel they should be and/or who they choose to have sexual or romantic relations with.
Music plays an instrumental part in how people can express themselves within and how they relate to society. Therefore, having openly LGBTQ+ musicians address themselves and their partners with appropriate pronouns and talk about relevant topics encountered by the community creates a shift in how the LGBTQ+ community is viewed and initiates change for queerness to become normalised.
Here are a few music LGBTQ+ favourites from Pride Month 2018:
Troye is the absolute love of my life. He's queer. His music and music videos are unashamedly queer. He represents the LGBTQ+ community and unapologetically at that. He has released three singles off his latest album, Bloom so far including My! My! My!, Bloom and Dance to This. For Pride Month, he dropped the incredibly creative music video for Bloom which was directed by Bardia Zeinali who is renowned and recent work consists of shooting visuals of the fashion at the 2018 Met Gala. The video expresses Troye's gayness in a stunning light with him challenging gender normative roles by wearing make up and a skirt.
She is openly bisexual which she integrates into her work often. In songs like Strangers and Bad at Love, Halsey sings about both males and females in a romantic light. This may seem like a very minor point but it can be very reassuring to her LGBTQ+ fans and lets them know that they are not alone. There's a certain type of peace that comes over you when you realise you're not alone in feeling something; you begin to accept yourself. Recently, Halsey released the visuals for Strangers with Lauren Jauregui (former Fifth Harmony member and bisexual singer) as their contribution to Pride Month.
Hayley has become a pop symbol for lesbians as her music reflects her very raw experiences of being lesbian. She released the music video for her song, What I Need with pansexual singer, Kehlani. The video follows the singers as a couple that wants to run away together, and moreover Kehlani wanting to escape her homophobic mother. The video expresses overcoming hardship as LGBTQ+ youth and letting love win in the end.
LGBTQ+ songs and music videos that weren't released this month but are definitely worth a mention:
There is usually a lot of judgement and controversy around the LGBTQ+ community and religion. That's why Trey Pearson is such a game changer. As a Christian singer, he has the attention of a lot of the Christian community and was still brave enough to publically come out as gay. Even better, he is now an advocate for gay Christians which, like I mentioned before, let's people realise they aren't completely alone in how they choose to live. He is an example of being a believer of God while still staying true to his own sexuality. His song Love is Love is a must-listen!
Bisexual singer, Frank Ocean, is widely acclaimed for his artistic expression and honest songs. His song, Seigfried is special because it captures a particular duality in the human experience. The thing about being human is that, regardless of your sexuality, humans are complicated. We can never conform to one thing. Seigfried is bare-bone emotion. It strips back politics and ideology. It's simply about loving someone, wanting them so much that you yourself don't understand it. You feel so isolated by this love, but in that love, is an element of freedom.
To every single one of you reading this who is part of the LGBTQ+ community: bless you 100 times over! You are so brave and never alone. Please never lose hope and remember that you are fantastic just as you are - even when you feel like you're not. To all LGBTQ+ community supporters/allies: thank you, thank you, thank you! For loving and accepting community members when, in some cases, not even the people closest to them would. We see you, we appreciate you and we love you.
Written by: Kayla Rose
Contributed by: Mikail Jassat
Edited by: Vidal Thaver