Our top ten “coming out” songs

Coming out as an LGBT person to anyone, whether it be family, friends, classmates or colleagues, is not always easy. And for some it’s not that hard. However, nearly all LGBT people must take this turning point in their lives and is usually one of their biggest life-defining moments, but it is different for everyone. National Coming Out Day takes place on 11th October and “is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and to help support those who have not yet come out or are wanting to. To celebrate this important day, we have compiled together a list of top ten songs which were written about or can be related to “coming out” or coming to terms with your sexual identity and being proud of who you are:

10) “Aftermath” by Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert was the first major male artist in the US and much of the world who was already openly gay before he began his music career and some of his songs do touch on the topic of being gay. “Aftermath” may not specifically focus on LGBT issues but is a self-empowerment song about self-esteem, with which anyone can relate to.

9) “Freedom” by Wham!

Although “Freedom” is actually a song about two lovers who can’t be together and need time apart, it could also be related to being free and able to enjoy your life without any qualms. And the fact it is sung by one of the world’s most famous gay artists, George Michael, helps earn its title as a good coming out anthem.

8) “Proud” by Heather Small

The title of this song sums everything up perfectly. Heather Small sings about standing up and being proud of yourself no matter what you are or do.

7) “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross

A very obvious choice perhaps, but the lyrics to this song are most definitely relatable to coming out. It’s happy, fun and camp and all about being confident enough to come out and tell the world something you have to say, regardless of what it is.

6) “Glad To Be Gay” by Tom Robinson Band

Released back in 1978, this song was a pioneer in LGBT rights in the music industry and has since been labelled as Britain’s “national gay anthem”. Lead singer Tom Robinson was one of Britain’s first openly gay/bisexual musicians and the song openly addresses the movement of LGBT people and the discrimination they still faced in the country even after homosexuality had been decriminalized since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.

5) “Take Your Mama” by Scissor Sisters

“Take Your Mama” by Scissor Sisters is actually the only song on this list that is directly about coming out. Its lyrics talk about a young gay man (Jake Shears, the lead singer) who is raised in a strict society and family who struggles with the big step of coming out to his mum.

4) “I Am What I Am” by Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor (coincidental name?) seems to be a queen when it comes to gay anthems; we all know her for singing “I Will Survive”, a well-known one, but she also released a version of “I Am What I Am”, a song taken from the musical La Cage aus Folles. The song was also written by Jerry Herman, who was an openly gay man.

3) “Same Thing In Reverse” by Boy George

Taken from his 2002 album – the aptly titled “U Can Never B2 Straight” – this song by gay icon Boy George talks about being proud of your sexuality, particularly in public, and says that a man loving another man is simply as the song suggests “the same thing in reverse” as a heterosexual relationship and shouldn’t be treated any differently.

2) “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper, who has always been a big gay icon and prominent gay rights activist, dedicated “True Colors” to her lesbian sister. The song switches the coming out issue round to the point the view of the person whose family member or friend is the one coming out and about still loving and accepting them for who they are.

1) “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera

Arguably Christina Aguilera’s biggest hit single, “Beautiful” was written by openly lesbian singer-songwriter Linda Perry, but is not a song about being gay specifically, so is universal and relatable to anyone. The message is simple and clear and vocals are tinged with raw emotion about getting over any criticisms. The video was even more iconic, featuring two LGBT scenes – two gay men kissing (a first for a music video) and a drag queen, and both the song and the video have won several awards and topped various polls for its pro-LGBT themes.

What do you think of this list? Is there any we missed out and would you agree with? Which are your favourites?

9 Responses to Our top ten “coming out” songs

  1. Loved your choices and loved that one song in particular was left off the list.
    Scissor Sisters and Adam Lambert are high on my list of favorites so glad they made it. And for anyone who hasn’t heard UNDERNEATH from Adam’s new album TRESPASSING, it will tear your heart out.

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  4. Coming Clean by Green Day.

  5. Spectrum, from boyinaband on youtube gives another perspective. Its a bit more, if its not safe to come out, you don’t have to.

  6. Yrsa Hagström

    How can Queens I Want To Break Free NOT be on this list??!!!!

  7. She Keeps me Warm by Mary Lambert- if you like Macklemore’s Same Love, you’ll like that one to. It’s good

  8. Different Colors by Walk the Moon is also a great Coming Out Day song.

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