20 Best Songs About Being Gay

Chelsea Cooke

It’s been said that being gay is “the last great taboo.” Though it’s slowly losing its stigma, there are still many people who feel uncomfortable or even threatened by homosexuality. This may be because they don’t understand it, or because they’ve been taught to see it as wrong. But being gay has been a part of human existence since the beginning of time, and whether it’s been seen as a bad thing or not, there have always been songs about the experience.

Songs about being gay can be happy and celebratory, capturing the joy and freedom that comes with living openly. But they can also be sad, reflecting on past heartache, or longing for someone you love but can never be with. No matter what the emotion, though, these songs all reflect the complex reality of being gay in a world that isn’t always accepting.

By the way, if you’re interested in songs about being gay, you may also be interested in songs about being bold, songs about discipline, and songs about endurance.

Here are 20 of the best songs about being gay:

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Kalifa (fka Le1f) - Wut (Official Video)

Born This Way is an iconic pop song by Lady Gaga that explores themes of identity, self-love, and personal expression. Released in 2011, the track quickly became a viral hit and remains one of Gaga’s best-loved songs to this day. With its powerful message about acceptance and self-confidence, Born This Way emphasizes the importance of being true to yourself and taking pride in your individuality. Whether you’re gay or straight, young or old, Gaga’s inspirational anthem is a reminder to embrace who you are and celebrate your differences. So if you need some words of motivation or just want to sing along to an empowering anthem, be sure to check out Born This Way! You’ll be glad you did.

Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe - Q.U.E.E.N. feat. Erykah Badu [Official Video]

Q.U.E.E.N. is a song about being gay, and it highlights the struggles that members of the LGBTQ+ community often face in today’s society. The track is driven by powerful lyrics and a driving beat, which perfectly captures the intensity of the situation. On one hand, we have Janelle Monae’s confident vocals, which radiate strength and resilience in the face of adversity, while on the other hand we have Erykah Badu’s soulful crooning, which offers a soothing counterpoint to all the emotion of Janelle’s performance. 

Grace Kelly – Mika

MIKA - Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly, by Mika, is an iconic pop song that has become a powerful anthem for the LGBTQ+ community. This moving and emotional ballad tells the story of coming to terms with one’s own identity, both as a gay man and as a talented artist who is struggling to find acceptance in a world that often treats minorities unfairly. Through fluid vocals and dramatic instrumentation, Mika communicates the profound emotions he felt while grappling with these issues, conveying both his longing for self-expression and his complex struggle with his own identity. Ultimately, Grace Kelly is an incredibly powerful piece of music that stands as a tribute to the resilience and beauty of being different.​

Take Your Mama – Scissor Sisters

Scissor Sisters - Take Your Mama

Take Your Mama is a song by the band Scissor Sisters that explores themes of identity, sexuality, and family. The lyrics are playful and upbeat, reflecting the joy that comes with self-acceptance and love. Throughout the song, the narrator celebrates their relationships with both their mothers and their partners, singing about how proud they are to be who they are.  Ultimately, Take Your Mama reminds us that love can revolutionize our lives and break down barriers for future generations.

Beautiful – Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera - Beautiful (Official HD Video)

Beautiful is one of Christina Aguilera’s most popular songs, and it tells the story of being gay in a world that can be harsh and unwelcoming for people who don’t conform to society’s norms. This song explores themes of self-acceptance, empowerment, and courage, showcasing the strength and beauty that comes from being true to oneself. Though the track was inspired by Aguilera’s close friend Scott, who is openly gay, many other listeners have been able to draw inspiration from it as well. Through her moving lyrics and powerful vocals, Aguilera reminds us all of the joy and beauty that comes with embracing our true selves. Whether you are struggling with your sexuality or simply seeking a message of hope and inspiration, Beautiful has something for everyone. 

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Official Video Remastered)

Bohemian Rhapsody is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was released on 31 October 1975, as the lead single from their fourth studio album, A Night at the Opera. The song was written by Freddie Mercury, and is considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody are based on Mercury’s experience of being gay and living in London in the 1970s. The song has been described as an “examination of what it is like to be different”, and has been celebrated for its inclusivity and positive message. In 2018, Bohemian Rhapsody was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and was also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”.

I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross

I’m Coming Out is an iconic song that was released in 1980 by legendary singer-songwriter Diana Ross. This was a highly important piece of music in the LGBT+ community, as its message of pride and defiance helped to challenge long-held societal taboos around homosexuality. The track opens with a powerful bass line that quickly gets the listener’s attention, followed by Ross’s melodic vocals and emotive lyrics about being gay. Throughout the song, Ross urges listeners to break free from anything holding them back, demonstrating immense strength and self-confidence. In this way, I’m Coming Out continues to be an inspirational anthem for anyone who feels marginalized or oppressed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper - True Colors (Official HD Video)

True Colors is a song about self-acceptance and tolerance. It was written by singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper and first released in 1986. Over the course of the song, Lauper makes a powerful statement about the importance of loving ourselves and embracing our true selves, no matter what others may think or say. Ultimately, True Colors serves as a powerful reminder that it’s possible to be true to oneself while still being accepted by society as a whole. Standing in solidarity with each other’s struggles and triumphs has the power to change attitudes and build bridges across cultural divides. As Lauper herself has said: “True colors is your soul…It’s something we all have inside us.” So let your true colors shine bright

Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) [Official Video]

The song “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson is about being gay. The lyrics of this powerful and emotional song explore the challenges faced by those who identify as LGBTQ, highlighting the discrimination, hurtful comments, and judgment that they often encounter in their daily lives. Clarkson sings about feeling different from others, having to hide part of who she is from those around her, and struggling to find acceptance within herself and amongst those in her community. 

I Am What I Am – Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor - I Am What I Am (Bambi Awards, 20.12.1984)

“I Am What I Am” is a song performed by Gloria Gaynor. The song was released in 1978 as a single, and it later appeared on her album I’ve Got You. “I Am What I Am” is considered to be an anthem for the gay community. The lyrics talk about being proud of who you are, and not allowing anyone to change you. The song has been covered by many other artists, including Barbra Streisand, Cher, and Linda Ronstadt. “I Am What I Am” has become a staple of gay pride events, and it is widely considered to be one of the most important songs in the LGBT rights movement.

Proud – Heather Small

Heather Small - Proud (Official video)

Heather Small’s song “Proud” is an anthem for the gay community. The song celebrates individuality and self-acceptance, and its positive message has resonated with many people. In the lyrics, Small declares that she is proud to be who she is, and she encourages others to do the same. The song has been used in a number of pride marches and other events, and it has become an unofficial anthem for the LGBT community. Small herself is openly gay, and she has said that she wrote the song to inspire others to be proud of their own identities. “Proud” is a celebration of diversity and a call for acceptance, and it is widely considered to be one of the most important songs in the LGBT rights movement.

Freedom ’90 – George Michael

George Michael - Freedom! ’90 (Official Video)

Freedom ’90 is a powerful and iconic song from George Michael’s celebrated album, Faith. With its evocative lyrics and soaring chorus, this song has become a modern-day anthem for the gay rights movement. The lyrics explore themes of empowerment, freedom, and breaking free from oppression, while evoking the struggles faced by members of the LGBTQ community both then and now. Ultimately, though, Freedom ’90 is a message of hope – an inspiring reminder that everyone should have the freedom to express themselves without fear or judgment. 

She Keeps Me Warm – Mary Lambert

Mary Lambert - She Keeps Me Warm (2013 Version)

“She Keeps Me Warm” is a song by Mary Lambert that was released in 2013. The song is about being gay and the struggles that come with it. Lambert has said that the song is about her experience growing up and feeling like she didn’t fit in because she was attracted to women. The song talks about how love is love, regardless of who you are attracted to. Lambert also touches on the subject of bullying and how it can make people feel like they are not good enough. “She Keeps Me Warm” is an empowering song that speaks to everyone, regardless of their sexuality. It is a song about learning to love yourself and being proud of who you are.

Silent Legacy – Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge is one of the most successful mainstream lesbian musicians of all time. In her 1993 song, “Silent Legacy,” Etheridge tackles the topic of being gay in a society that often considers it taboo. Its lyrics set the tone for the rest of the song, which is a powerful anthem for anyone who has ever felt marginalized because of their sexuality. “Silent Legacy” speaks to the importance of visibility and authenticity, and it is a reminder that every person has a valuable story to tell. In a world that often tries to silence minorities, “Silent Legacy” stands as a powerful reminder that everyone deserves to be heard.

Constant Craving – k.d. Lang

k.d. lang - Constant Craving (Official Music Video) | Warner Vault

Constant Craving is a song performed by k.d. Lang and composed by Ben Mink. The song was released in 1992 as part of lang’s album Ingénue and became one of her signature songs. The lyrics to Constant Craving arecoded, with the titular “craving” being a metaphor for the protagonist’s desire for a romantic relationship with someone of the same gender. While the lyrics can be read asasexual, they are more likely about a homosexual relationship, given that lang is a lesbian. 

Supermodel (You Better Work) – RuPaul

RuPaul - Supermodel (You Better Work) [Official Music Video]

Supermodel (You Better Work) is a song about being gay, written and performed by RuPaul. The song was released in 1993 as part of RuPaul’s album Supermodel of the World. The song became an underground hit, and helped to launch RuPaul’s career. The song is an anthem for the gay community, and its message of acceptance and self-love has resonated with many people. The lyrics encourage listeners to be proud of who they are, no matter what anyone else says. The song is also a celebration of the fabulousness of being gay, and it has become one of the most popular anthems in the LGBT community.

Glad To Be Gay – Tom Robinson Band

Glad To Be Gay is a powerful anthem celebrating the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ community. This empowering song speaks to the enduring struggles that many queer people face in their daily lives, while also calling attention to the incredible resilience and confidence of those who identify as LGBTQ. With its driving beat and distinctly defiant lyrics, Glad To Be Gay lays down a bold declaration not just of pride, but also of power and strength.

I Go To Rio – Peter Allen

“I Go to Rio” is a song written by Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen. The song was first released in 1974 and became a hit in 1976, reaching the top 10 in Australia and the United States. “I Go to Rio” is about a man who leaves his home in Sydney to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The song is widely seen as a gay anthem and has been covered by many artists, including Melissa Etheridge, the B-52s, and Duran Duran. In recent years, “I Go to Rio” has been used in advertising campaigns for tourism in Rio de Janeiro.

I Love The Nightlife – Alicia Bridges

I Love The Nightlife (Disco 'Round)

While the lyrics of “I Love the Nightlife” by Alicia Bridges are light and fun, the song actually carries a significant message about inclusivity and acceptance. The song is about being gay, and it is clear from the outset that the narrator is enjoying herself immensely. She talks about going to the club and dancing the night away, surrounded by people who are “free to love who they want to love.” This sense of freedom is critical, as it allows everyone to be their true selves without judgement or fear. In a world that often feels hostile to LGBTQIA+ people, “I Love the Nightlife” provides a much-needed message of hope and acceptance. Whether you’re at the club or simply singing along at home, this song is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat

Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy (Official Video)

Released in 1984, “Smalltown Boy” is a synth-pop song by the British group Bronski Beat. The song is sung from the perspective of a gay man who is leaving his small town to move to the city. The lyrics describe the fear and isolation that he feels in his hometown, as well as his hope for a better life in the city. “Smalltown Boy” was one of the first mainstream pop songs to deal with the subject of being gay, and it helped to raise awareness of the challenges that LGBT people face. The song was a huge commercial success, reaching number one in several countries, and it remains an anthem for the LGBT community.