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Don’t Wait For June! Sapphic Songs Are Here To Stay.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

It’s June. The sun is shining, the dolls are dolling, and “LUNCH” is at the top of Spotify’s Global Top Songs chart. Pride Month is here and this year, it’s ushering in a summer of sapphic songs like never before. 

Throughout this last year, we’ve watched in awe as queer female artists have reached what feels like their most expansive and diverse audiences yet – both within the music industry and in popular culture. 

In just over six months, boygenius made their SNL musical (and theatrical) debut beside a Troye Sivan’ed version of Timothee Chalamet. The cast of The L Word introduced Reneé Rapp at Coachella, who also brought out her guitarist x girlfriend, Towa Bird. girl in red released a new album, titled “I’M DOING IT AGAIN BABY!”. Elton John and Chappell Roan expressed their mutual admiration on his podcast

And, of course, the 2024 Grammy’s proved to be an absolute showstopper for queer music. Out of the Big Four Grammy categories, queer women won three of them: Miley Cyrus with “Record of The Year”, Billie Eilish with “Song of The Year,” and Victoria Monét with “Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.” We were also blessed with a “Fast Car” performance from Luke Combs and Tracy Chapman: one of the most revered pioneers of queer music. 

While we’ll be going to extra lengths to celebrate queer female artistry this June, the months leading up to Pride have made it ever-clear that sapphic songs are here to stay – this summer, and forever more. 

For those who need some inspiration, here are three artists I’m streaming this summer whom I’m sure I’ll be seeing on my Spotify Wrapped come December. 

chappell roan

Everyone and their mother is talking about Chappell Roan, and for damn good reason; her rise to fame has been nothing short of extraordinary. 

The moment I knew Chappell Roan was going to fundamentally and irreversibly change the music industry, was when videos started circulating online of crowds singing along to “Casual” during her opening set at the GUTS Tour – crowds that are often chalk full of tweens and their parents. To have a young audience engaging with her raw, lyrical depictions of queer sex and love, many of whom probably never having engaged with queerness before, is nothing short of powerful. 

She also has given us the gift of “Good Luck, Babe!” which is still sitting pretty at the top of countless charts after it was released in early April. Nothing could have prepared me for the experience of walking the halls of my sorority house, a historically comphet institution, and hearing this song blaring from multiple rooms at a time. It has proven how people, regardless of their sexual orientation, will always find a way to connect with art.

Not only is she a widely talented musician, but a queer visionary whose voice we desperately needed to hear. In an interview with TIME Magazine, she discusses the value of Midwestern culture, fashion, and music – a region which is often written off as less rich in queer culture or less conducive to the queer experience. She reminds us that “there are gay people everywhere,” just as “there are queens in every town.” 

victoria Monét

One thing the masses might not know about Victoria Monét, is that her lyrics have been living rent free in our heads for years. She co-wrote some of the biggest hits on her dear friend, Ariana Grande’s “thank u next” album, including “7 rings”. 

As a die hard Arianator, the first time I got a taste of Monét’s beautiful voice was when the two released “Monopoly” as a celebratory track included on the Japanese deluxe edition of “thank u next”. As a certified bisexual banger, the string of lyrics that uncoincidentally garnered the most attention were: “I swerve both ways, dichotomy / I like women and men.” 

In an official lyric video with Genius, Victoria Monét dived deeper into these lyrics, highlighting the subversive double entendre of “dyke-chotomy.” She also highlights the importance of making people aware of her sexuality due to the “lack of representation that bisexual, black women have in the music industry.” 

The 2024 Grammy Awards turned out to be both a deserved acknowledgement of her immensely successful music career and as a stunning manifestation of her efforts to increase the visibility of black, bisexual women in music. She received seven nominations, and took home three: “Best New Artist,” “Best R&B Album,” and “Record of The Year.” 

Victoria Monét is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, and I already know “On My Mama” is going to be gracing every playlist I make this summer. 

billie eilish

Last but definitely not least, is Miss Billie Eilish. While she was already a household name, she has recently experienced the joys of becoming a queer-household name. 

In a Variety feature article released in November 2023, Billie Eilish discussed her connections with women, connections that were platonic and also connections that she eventually recognized to be physical attraction. The main takeaway from the rather unwarrantedly extensive discourse online about Billie’s sexuality, is that sexuality is nothing more than an ever-fluid spectrum that takes time to not only interpret, but to voice; especially when the voicing aspect takes place at a global scale. 

Her affection and attraction to women is beautifully captured in her newest album, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, which she released less than a month ago and has taken the charts by storm – nothing new for Billie. 

In “LUNCH,” which was quickly identified as the epitome of a sapphic song, Billie Eilish equates having sex with a girl to eating a meal; to say that the masses have been eating this song up would be an understatement… no pun intended. And while it could very well be just a coincidence, what better timing to have “LUNCH” entering the queue just weeks before Pride Month? 

Billie Eilish, you’ve outdone yourself. 

While we’ve reached a time when queer female music is not just tolerated, but welcomed and widely celebrated, it’s critical to recognize the artists who catalyzed the ability for us to relish in historical moments in queer music history. 

In her TIME interview, Chappell Roan does exactly that, paying tribute to Elton John who “has paved such a way for every queer person in art.” Victoria Monét has too recognized the queer greats that have come before her, specifically Whitney Houston, who had to hide her bisexuality from the public

Chappell Roan, Elton John, Victoria Monét, and Whitney Houston all demonstrate how the commemoration of this liberatory form of art has been a long time coming, and simultaneously represent how queer music will remain salient no matter what month it is. 

So, don’t wait for June! Sapphic Songs Are Here To Stay.

Ellie is a second-year Global Studies major at UCLA, from Charlotte, NC. Her favorite author is Sally Rooney, and she loves re-reading books, playing field hockey, cooking for friends, and photographing them on her camera. In the summer, you can find her in downtown Manhattan peeking into a vintage store or writing in a coffee shop.