While the nature and message of Gay Pride may have changed in recent times, the spectacle that it creates has not.
From inner cities and suburbs around the world to the bright, bold and overtly homosexual entertainment provided by Vegas shows, Gay Pride no longer represents a movement aimed to overcome bigotry and achieve equality for the LGBT community. While there remains a small element of this, modern marches are more about celebrating equality and the subtle differences that make us all unique as individuals.
One of the key aspects of Gay Pride is its music, which defines events around the world and provides a familiar soundtrack to one of the worlds’ most iconic events. But what exactly are the best and most memorable Gay Pride songs of all time? We have compiled a list of the following five examples:
Diana Ross – “I’m Coming Out”
One of the most overt Gay Pride songs in terms of lyrics and messaging, this track gave those in the LGBT community something to aspire to in previous generations. This was especially true for those who faced oppression, as the song offered guidance and encouraged such individuals to be proud about their orientation and make it public knowledge. Subsequently turned into a rap song by P-Diddy and Notorious BIG called ‘Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems; the song remains relevant today and a key feature of modern marches.
Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”
The official Gay Pride anthem for 2012, Lady Gaga’s song has almost every member of the LGBT community dancing in the streets when it was played loud and proud. It is popular largely because of its overt and honest nature, as it eschewed the typical strategy of using symbolism and subtle metaphors to convey a message. Considered as the gay anthem of the noughties, it also reaffirms the fact that homosexuality is an orientation that cannot be altered rather than a lifestyle choice.
Queen – “I Want To Break Free”
Any song involving Queen frontman Freddie Mercury could be described as a gay icon, as the singer himself fought oppression as a bisexual individual. His willingness to be open about his orientation and sexuality earned a cult following of global fans, while his songs were adopted by some of the earliest Gay Pride marches. This song is thought to reflect Mercury’s earlier struggles with his sexuality, which adds a sense of vulnerability that is tear-jerking and heart-warming in equal measure.
George Michael – “Freedom 90”
During his career, George Michael was a sex-symbol for women and seemed to life the archetypal, hetero sexual lifestyle. This was merely a front for Michael’s true nature, however, as he later emerged as a member of the LGBT community who had faced oppression and bigotry in his time. His earlier songs subsequently hint at his inner struggle, with the Freedom 90 hit one of the most overt.
David Bowie – “Rebel, Rebel”
This may seem like a usual inclusion, but Bowie’s dress-sense, mannerisms and androgyny make him the original ‘straight’ gay icon. Not averse to wearing dresses or kissing me, hindsight suggests that Bowie invented metro sexuality and gave hope to members of the LGBT community who were suffering in silence in the 1970’s. Bowie’s hot Rebel, Rebel is still a popular Gay Pride favourite, especially as it underlined the way in which homosexuality was perceived as being wrong or different in previous generations.