Music can be incredibly powerful and provoking, it can send a message in its own unique way.
But what do we mean when we talk about gay anthems/LGBTQ songs for pride?
For us, these are the songs that empower, educate and in some cases literally scream pride.
They are the songs from artists who are LGBTQ themselves or that are huge LGBTQ allies.
Throughout the years there have been many classic gay anthems released, for our playlist we have compiled a modern take with a few throwbacks, from pure pop to deep and meaningful – we hope you enjoy!
Best Gay Anthems 2021: LGBTQ Pride Songs Playlist
1. Born this Way – Lady Gaga
Starting our Pride playlist with one of the best gay anthems of all time (and yes an obvious start), Born This Way by Lady Gaga.
The lyrics below tell you everything you need to know, sing it at the top of your lungs and dance away to this epic LGBTQ Pride song!
‘’No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life,
I’m on the right track baby,
I was born to survive.
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made,
I’m on the right track baby,
I was born to be brave’’
2. Call Me By Your Name – Lil Nas X
New to our LGBTQ Pride song list for 2021 is Lil Nas X sliding down a pole in thigh high heels down to hell to give the Devil himself a lapdance.
We love this song because it’s a slap in the face to all those people that told Lil Nas X he was going to hell for being gay, he gave them what they wanted and of course the same people then complained about the video.
3. Secret Love Song – Little Mix
This gay anthem is for all those that feel like they have to hide their relationship or true self from the world.
We watched Little Mix perform this in London complete with a glorious explosion of rainbow confetti.
They are also huge LGBTQ+ allies.
‘’Why can’t you hold me in the street?
Why can’t I kiss you on the dancefloor?
I wish that it could be like that
Why can’t we be like that?
Cause I’m yours’’
4. My Head and My Heart – Ava Max (Bimini Bon Boulash Performance)
Ava Max is smashing it at the moment and quickly becoming a gay icon.
In the version above, Ava stands aside, casts Bimini Bon Boulash (Ru Pauls Drag Race) and uses this version to share their support of Mermaids, a UK-wide charity working to support transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families.
5. Rain on Me – Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande
Do we need to explain this one?
Two of the biggest gay icons and powerhouses in the world right now coming together to create pop magic?
This is going to be on repeat in the gay clubs for many years to come and deserves a place in the gay anthem hall of fame.
6. Confetti – Little Mix
Taking this performance to another level, Little Mix showcase their own Drag King alter egos, cast three of the best Drag Queens in the UK and create an absolute banger.
Expect to see this being played up and down the country at every Pride parade this year.
7. Nails Hair Hips Heels – Todrick Hall
Todrick Hall is pure talent, from performance, to drag, creativity and music, he has it all!
If you are looking for an LGBTQ song this pride season to channel your sass, this is the one.
‘’Nails, hair, hips, heels, ass fat, lips real
Purse full, big bills, bitch I’m a big deal
Legs, legs, face, eyes, thin waist, thick thighs
You, me, you wish, new phone, who this?’’
8. Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
Slowing things down and throwing it back, we had to include Christinas ‘beautiful’.
This was one of the first music videos we both saw that featured a gay couple passionately kissing at a time when this simply did not happen on TV.
The song celebrates that we are all beautiful in different ways, even when the world around says otherwise – something many LGBTQ people can understand all too well.
9. Into You – Ariana Grande
Those first four beats are all you need to play before the gays go wild.
If you know you know.
10. Really Don’t Care – Demi Lovato & Cher Lloyd
This song never really made it in the UK and we think it is massively underated.
Filmed at LA Pride, showing hateful protestors holding ‘Burn in Hell’ poster, Demi opens with ‘You don’t have to hate, because my Jesus loves all!’.
Demi then takes over the Pride parade along with a UK favourite of ours, Cher Lloyd.
11. You Need to Calm Down – Taylor Swift
Giving two fingers up to homophobes all around the world, Taylor recruits some of the best know LGBTQ celebrities and allies for her ‘You Need to Calm Down’ video.
Taylors message to the haters:
‘’You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace
And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate
‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay so’’
12. Cool for the Summer – Demi Lovato
Back over to Demi for this sensual, summer sizzler teasing at sexual curiosity which has now become a long standing gay anthem.
‘’Got my mind on your body and your body on my mind
Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to take a bite
Don’t tell your mother’’
13. Take me to Church – Hozier
This one hits deep with lyrics including “We were born sick”, you heard them say it.
The video is a hard watch showing a gay couple struggle to be together as they are watched, hunted, attacked and murdered. This is one of the many reasons we still have pride and very much a reality for some.
A powerful gay anthem and a metaphor for the frustration or repression that can come with religion and society.
14. Not Myself Tonight – Christina Aguilera
Back over to Christina for her seductive Not Myself Tonight.
Donned in leather, ball gags, whips and lyrics including ‘I’m kissing all the boys and the girls’ its perhaps no surprise this became a big LGBTQ pop song!
15. Believe – Cher
We are getting towards the end and any gay anthem playlist would not be complete without a bit of Cher.
16. Same Love – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Yes, yes and yes – when we heard this song, we felt it was so powerful. Great example of an ally and a well deserved place on any LGBTQ song shortlist.
‘’Call each other f**gots behind the keys of a message board
A word routed in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion’’
17. Little Mix – Power
We clearly love Little Mix, so for our third Little Mix song in our LGBTQ Pride Songs playlist it has to be Power.
A huge empowering belter, with tonnes of sass and attitude, this is one of our all time favorites.
Look our for some of the top US drag queens in the video.
18. Break up Bye Bye – The Frock Destroyers
From US drag queens to UK ones, in 2020 The Frock Destroyers formed on Ru Pauls Drag Race for the music challenge and subsequently took over the charts.
Pure cheesy drag pop that will 100% put a smile on your face.
19. All the Lovers – Kylie Minogue
Would it be a complete LGBTQ songs playlist without a bit of Kylie?
We chose this for the video as well as the song. The video features a diverse mix of couples getting sensual – quite literally all the lovers.
20. This is Me – The Greatest Showman
Strong finish and one to really belt your lungs out to.
From the film The Greatest Showman, this song is all about owning your identity and being unashamedly your raw true self.
‘’I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me’’