Tea Time At Pride Month: LGBTQ+ Women In Music

You know…. It’s not only on the month of June, but definitely more frequently, that there are polls going around asking which is the best Pride anthem, or simply just lists with a couple of songs that could somehow work as an anthem. But sometimes, whoever sings the song isn’t part of the community themselves. And that’s not a problem if the artist is a true ally, but just for good measure, here’s a list with 10 singers who are in fact LGBTQ+! 

PS: we also made a playlist with a couple of their songs for you to listen.

  1. 1. Halsey

    Ashley Nicolette Frangipane is better known under her stage name, Halsey - an anagram of her first name, but also a reference to the name of the place that she spent a lot of her time as a teenager in Brooklyn, New York. She is a singer and songwriter from the US that started her career at 17, in 2012, by posting covers and parody videos. Later in 2014, she posted an original song called “Ghost” on SoundCloud, which has two music videos, one having a male as her love interest and one having a female, and started getting truly recognized on the industry.

    Since then, she uses her songs as a form of therapy, and has been known, not only for her amazing voice, but for her activism. As a bisexual, biracial woman, who lives with bipolar disorder, she writes her lyrics about issues regarding race, sexuality and mental illness, and talks about those subjects during her concerts, interviews, and on her social media accounts.

  2. 2. King Princess

    Born Mikaela Straus, King Princess released her first single, “1950”, in 2018 and has since then gotten a huge fan base and a record deal. She names T. Rex, Led Zeppelin and Jack White as some of her inspirations and her music is a mix of pop and folk. 

    Straus identifies as genderqueer and gay and all her love songs are explicitly gendered. She wants it to be obvious she’s writing about ladies like so many men have done before her. So far she has an EP called “Make My Bed” and a few singles, all worth checking out while we wait for her upcoming album, set to be released in 2019.

  3. 3. Hayley Kiyoko

    Dubbed “Lesbian Jesus” by her fans, the actress, singer, and songwriter started getting successful in the music world with the release of her single “Girls Like Girls” in 2015, as part of her second EP, “This Side Of Paradise”. She always talks about representation, as a biracial and lesbian woman, and is very open about her sexuality, after feeling like she had to hide it for a very long time.

    Hayley works to normalize lesbian relationships, showing them not as something that can be done only for fun and should be hidden, but as something that can be beautiful and filled with love. She’s very honest and shows vulnerability through her lyrics and music videos.

  4. 4. Romy Madley Croft

    Romy is one of the members of The xx, along with Oliver Sim and Jamie xx. She plays the guitar and alternates on the vocals with Oliver. She also writes the lyrics with Oliver and then all three of them compose music together. The band was formed on 2005 and released their third album, “I See You”, in 2017. 

    Acclaimed by their style, it’s hard to classify the band’s work, they’re a mix of pop and electro-rock. The songs are soft ballads and Romy and Oliver’s voices go along wonderfully together. 

    The band openly talks about the LGBTQ+ community, and considers it very important to be open about their sexualities, since Romy and Oliver identify as queer. They feel like it’s important to bring visibility and to inspire their fans to also be open and proud of who they are. 

  5. 5. Kehlani

    In 2013 Kehlani released her first solo track on SoundCloud, “ANTISUMMERLUV” after being on the band PopLyfe from 2009 to 2011. In 2014 her first mixtape, “Cloud 19”, came out and got plenty of recognition. The singer identifies as queer and pansexual, and is quite open about it, specially when it came to people questioning her sexuality after she announced her pregnancy last year. 

    On an interview with Nylon, she said that she has songs about males, and about females, but she doesn’t “always makes it a point to identify pronouns in the music because that isn’t the focal point.” And as a queer, woman of colour, she understands the importance of discussing issues regarding those subjects with “the same bravery that she’s approached her entire life.” 

  6. 6. dodie

    Dorothy Miranda Clark started out as a Youtuber in 2007 when she made a channel with her friend Alice Webb. Her main channel, “doddleoddle”, was created in 2011 and it’s the place where she started posting covers of songs and some original pieces. So far, dodie has released several singles and 3 EPs independently, the most recent is called “Human”, and she’s currently working on an album. Her songs are a mixture of pop and folk.

    The english singer came out as bisexual in 2016 in a video on her vlog channel. And later, on the next year, she also released a single called “I’m bisexual - a coming out song!”. In the lyrics, she sings “Just in case you were wondering, Yes I’m pretty sure it’s not a trend, And though I am all for experiments, I have experimented and I really really really really really really like it”.

  7. 7. Tegan and Sara

    Identical twins Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten Quin started their band in 1998, they both sing, play several instruments and compose their pop songs. In the last 21 years, they’ve released 8 albums, the most recent in 2016, “Love You To Death”. 

    They’ve both been out as queer women since the very beginning and have put out there several songs cherished by the queer community. They’re so iconic that there’s even a list ranking their albums on their level of lesbianism. The canadian sisters have also always been advocates for LGBTQ+ equality and feminism and in 2016, they founded the Tegan and Sara Foundation, which aims to fight for "economic justice, health and representation for LGBTQ+ girls and women”.

  8. 8. Naaz

    From making songs in her bedroom as a way to get the music inside her head out into the world, to recording and performing all around Europe, Naaz released her debut EP, “Bits of Naaz”, in 2018 and is getting some well-deserved recognition. 

    The Netherlands-based kurdish singer, songwriter and producer has, ever since her childhood, dealt with the pressure of going against her parents’ wishes - who are now very supportive - and her community’s expectations, and that translates into her songs.

    When talking about her song “Loving Love” on her Instagram, she said that it was about “making love cool again”, it’s a message that says “let people love whoever and whatever they wanna love. Let’s be busy loving love”. 

  9. 9. Janelle Monáe 

    Janelle’s musical career began in 2003, when she released her first demo. Her work is filled with futuristic themes and “Dirty Computer”, her most recent album, is no different. Using sci-fi elements, the artist also made the record a 48 minutes long film, “Dirty Computer - Emotion Picture”. 

    In 2018, she came out as pansexual in an interview with Rolling Stone, right before releasing her album. The artist had decided to stop hiding that part of her life and just embrace it. Her songs in “Dirty Computer” address not only her sexuality, but also her frustrations with the world as it currently is. “I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you. This album is for you. Be proud”, she said in the interview.

  10. 10. Girl In Red

    Marie Ulven is a singer, songwriter and producer from Norway, who started to make songs in her bedroom in 2017 because, as said in an interview to Complex, she wasn’t about to wait for a random guy to help her, she had tried that before, and it didn’t work. She created the “girl in red” project to be able to develop her own sound, without any outside interference, and has already gained a lot of visibility, her most popular song being “girls”.

    Identifying as lesbian/queer/gay, she’s very open about her sexuality and the lyrics to her songs mostly consist about being in love with a girl. At only 20 years old, the artist posts more produced music videos on her YouTube channel, such as the “we fell in love in october” video, but also does some homemade ones that just show her singing with a guitar, like the “are you happy with her” video.