Some of the greatest and most influential artists today identify as LGBTQIA+, and in honor of June being Pride month, we’re going to break down some of the best in no particular order.
The artist that has arguably had the most modern impact on the LGBTQIA+ community is Lady Gaga. Since first talking publicly about her bisexuality, Gaga has been strong in her position as a beloved member of the community. In 2011, she released her song “Born this Way,” a power anthem about feeling comfortable in your own skin and being proud of who you are.
Many members of the LGBTQIA+ community have coined “Born this Way” as the “gay anthem” for its lyrics that specifically mention accepting your sexuality and the powerful message that comes along with that. Gaga has continuously shown her pride and support through her clothing, lyrics and advocacy on social media.
Sam Smith is a non-binary British singer who rose to fame around 2012 with their song “Latch.” Since then, they have been a role model for the LGBTQIA+ community, using male pronouns in reference to love interests in their songs and being open and proud of their sexuality on social media.
Smith came out as gay in 2014 following the release of their debut album “In the Lonely Hour.” They later came out as non-binary in 2019, announcing that they “feel like a woman sometimes” and have considered transitioning.
“American Idol” 2009 runner-up Adam Lambert came out as gay after photos of him kissing another man surfaced during the run on the show. Lambert admitted he had “nothing to hide” about his sexuality and was always open about his life.
Lambert is flamboyant and bold in his appearance, typically seen wearing dark eyeliner and other makeup. Although he didn’t win “American Idol,” he still made it big with hit songs like “Whataya Want From Me” and “Ghost Town.” In 2020, Lambert teamed up with Queen to record a cover of their song “Somebody to Love.”
Frank Ocean released a statement about his sexuality on Tumblr in 2012, not long after the debut of his first solo album “Channel Orange.” Since then, Ocean has mentioned his gay relationships in many of his songs.
Some have called Ocean an “LGBTQIA+ icon” for his openness about his sexuality in his lyrics, something that isn’t seen much in mainstream music. This openness has gained him a large group of LGBTQIA+ fans who find Ocean relatable and inspiring.
YouTube star and musician Troye Sivan has been a general gay icon since he came out as gay in 2013. Sivan is an Australian singer-songwriter who is best known for his 2015 album “Blue Neighbourhood.”
Sivan came out publicly on YouTube after being out to his close friends and family for about three years. His music videos, most famously “Blue Neighborhood Trilogy,” a short film comprised of the videos for the songs, “WILD,” “FOOLS” and “TALK ME DOWN,” feature different images and tell stories of young gay couples. These videos are meant to embrace the LGBTQIA+ community, who doesn’t often see much representation in mainstream media.
Last, but certainly not least, is the queen herself: Jojo Siwa. Siwa got her start on the show “Dance Moms” and later became an icon for young kids online. She came out in a TikTok video of her lip-syncing to Gaga’s “Born this Way” earlier this year.
Siwa coming out quite literally shocked the internet, her videos overflowing with positive messages and love. While her target audience is a bit younger than college students, I’m including her on this list because she herself is a member of Gen Z, and who doesn’t love Jojo.
These talented individuals remind us every day to be ourselves, embrace who we are and spread love to all people, so let’s all do that this pride month.