2022 hasn’t been an easy year for the LGBTQ community, and in a time where our rights are under attack, Pride is more important than ever. With that in mind, here at GLAAD we believe this June is all about celebrating queer joy! Fortunately, there are countless LGBTQ artists living their truth and uplifting the community while doing so.
To help kick off Pride Month here are 10 LGBTQ women in music you need to be listening to!
The artist lovingly known in the community as “Lesbian Jesus” is back with new music just in time for Pride Month. Singles from her upcoming album Panorama include “chance,” “found my friends,” and the sapphic song of the summer “for the girls,” proclaiming “Summer’s for the girls, the girls who like girls.”
The former Disney star changed the landscape for the wlw (women loving women) community when she dropped “Girls Like Girls” back in 2015. To date, this music video has nearly 150 million views on YouTube and helped open up the world’s eyes to the fact that “Girls like girls like boys do.”
Kioyoko’s second studio album Panorama will be released on July 29th and she can be seen on her North American tour this summer with Lauv.
The GLAAD Media Award winner for Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist, who got her start on Tik Tok, is changing the country scene one song at a time. Lily Rose’s debut album Stronger Than I Am, proudly tells her stories of love and loss as a lesbian, something country fans may not be used to hearing.
Rose’s song “Stronger Than I Am” reminds fans that some days are harder than others especially for members of the LGBTQ community, with lyrics saying “Sometimes I pick myself up and I shake the dust off, but tonight I don’t feel like I can.” She then goes on to say, “Even the worst things get better with time”
Rose’s latest single “I’d Be You” dropped on June 10th and she is touring this summer with country music star Sam Hunt.
Up and coming queer pop-star Jade LeMac also kickstarted her music career using Tik Tok. With over 1.2 million followers on the app, the 18-year old is making waves with songs like “Aimed to Kill” and “Constellations.”
Queer music fans can get excited about romantic lyrics from “Same Place” like “My mind has a place where it goes when I don’t feel safe, it pictures us two at the altar, saying I do,” sung proudly by a woman, to a woman.
Early this June, Australian singer-songwriter Betty Who released her latest single “Blow Out My Candle.” This song came just in time for Pride Month with lyrics of resilience like “You can blow out my candle, but you’ll never put out my fire.” Along with the song, fans can purchase The Betty Who Candle, a percentage of proceeds from which will go to GLAAD. Betty Who is partnering with GLAAD and using her song as a vehicle for change as a part of GLAAD’s Vote With Pride program, in hopes of increasing voter turnout.
Who has been a longtime advocate for the LGBTQ community and she came out as queer publicly in 2018. In an interview with GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos, Who revealed that the pandemic allowed her the opportunity to self-reflect. She said that “One of the positives about being away from the world in this really crazy way that we were all experiencing, meant that I was experiencing myself for the first time away from people’s perceptions of me… So, a lot of self-acceptance was occuring during quarantine, a lot of coming to terms with my own queer identity and how I think I’ve always been really afraid to take up space.”
This summer Who is entering the reality television scene, hosting Amazon Studios’ new dating show The One That Got Away which premieres on June 24th.
You know her from Pose, but have you heard Angelica Ross’s debut single “Only You?” With lyrics like, “Only you can heal my heart and turn these tears to dust,” one might think this is a song about finding her one true love. But as Ross reaches her hand out to herself in the song’s stunning desert themed music video, it becomes clear that “Only You” is a song about self love.
“‘Only You’ is really about understanding that Only You must be the love you’re seeking before you can truly love anyone else.” Ross said about the song. This is the perfect message to keep in mind during Pride Month!
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez
Also of Pose fame, Golden Globe award winning actress, model, singer, and GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award recipient Michaela Jaé Rodriguez’s song “Something to Say” is the ultimate Pride anthem. With lyrics like “Speak up, stand out, wake up” and “take the walls down, break the ceiling,” this song is sure to get you in the Pride spirit!
Rodriguez performed this hit live at Los Angeles Pride on June 12th alongside huge names in music like Christina Aguilera and Anita. She has teased that new music is soon to come!
Watch Michaela Jaé Rodriguez accept the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
girl in red
Do you listen to girl in red? This question blew up on Tik Tok in 2020 as a way to subtly ask someone if they are a lesbian or attracted to girls. Songs like “We Fell in Love in October” and “i wanna be your girlfriend” quickly went viral during the early months of the pandemic, making girl in red the lesbian icon she is today.
Our favorite queer lyric from girl in red has to be “they’re so pretty it hurts, I’m not talking about boys I’m talking about girls,” from her 2018 song “girls.”
girl in red is headlining her “World in Red” world tour this summer!
The singer, songwriter, and mother released their 3rd studio album blue water road in April of this year. This openly queer album contains some of Kehlani’s most mature and powerful songs to date. Featuring artists like Justin Bieber and Jessie Reyes, blue water road tells Kehlani’s stories of love and heartbreak in their first musical release since coming out publicly as a lesbian.
This album contains uplifting and romantic lyrics like “Being this close isn’t close enough… wish you could build me a cute apartment, one bedroom right where your heart is” about girlfriend Dani Moon, who Kehlani is clearly crazy about. Songs like “Melt” give wlw fans hope that a love story like theirs is waiting for them too.
Kehlani and Rico Nasty will be on tour across the globe for the rest of 2022!
This queer-female led alt-pop band made waves when they performed at the season finale of Saturday Night Live on May 21st. On top of her band’s musical success, lead singer Michelle Zauner recently became a New York Times Best Selling author with her memoir Crying in H-Mart. Songs like “Be Sweet” and “Savage Good Boy” from their 2021 album Jubilee are staples in every Pride playlist.
Zauner destroys traditional gender norms in this critically acclaimed album with lyrics like “I want to be your man… I want to make the money ‘til there’s no more to be made.”
Japanese Breakfast can be seen on their world tour for the remainder of 2022!
Actress, model, and singer Kat Graham kicked off Pride Month by releasing her newest album Long Hot Summer in partnership with GLAAD! Songs like “Girls,” “Oprah Rich,” and “Do Your Do” are perfect for getting in the spirit of summer and Pride!
The album opens with a track called “The Intro.” It starts with an old news recording of a reporter stating that “We discovered that Americans consider homosexuality more harmful to society than adultery, abortion, or prosititution.” Brave protestestors and sirens can be heard as the music starts. “Well guess what honey, I’m here to stay. And I deserve to get everything that I want.” Graham says defiantly and this iconic album begins.
Graham will be performing songs from this album and more on her Global Pride Tour at Pride events around the globe from New York City to Shanghai and beyond. Proceeds from this 80s inspired dance-pop album are being donated to GLAAD and it’s available now wherever you stream music.
These are just a handful of the incredible LGBTQ artists changing the scape of music right now. Each year, GLAAD honors these talented musicians with the Oustanding Music Artist category at the GLAAD Media Awards. These individuals deserve to be celebrated this Pride Month and beyond, for sharing their art and creating a positive impact for the community while doing so.