The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter!
* indicates required

From 90’s Synth-Pop to Mexican Rancheras — a Pride Month Playlist Spanning Generations and Genres

Tab Obuchowski

This article includes songs with explicit content.

With Pride month starting in just three days on June 1, kick off your summer with this extensive playlist featuring LGBTQIA+ artists from all different ages, eras, and genres of music. 

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” — Elton John (1973)

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” is a song that many consider a strong contender for John’s finest song ever. It speaks of a longing to return to one’s roots, with a nostalgic yet sweet feeling. John’s soft, melodic vocals blend beautifully with the background instruments, waltzing through the song hand in hand.

John has been openly gay for decades, using his celebrity status to raise millions for AIDS research and care through the Elton John AIDS Foundation. In 1994, he won his first Oscar for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King.”

“Somebody to Love” — Queen (1976)

During his time as frontman for the well-known rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury won the hearts of fans around the world for his incredible stage presence, flamboyant personality, and pure skill on the mic. Mercury was openly gay, a rare thing in the conservative musical environment of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

In “Somebody to Love,” Mercury sings about a longing for love, displaying the powerful range of his vocals and his infectious energy. Dramatic and dynamic, it’s a perfect song to belt out in karaoke or just in the private stage of your room.

“Go or Go Ahead” — Rufus Wainwright (2003)

Beginning with sleepy vocals and a strumming guitar, “Go or Go Ahead” soon blossoms into a dramatic, powerful song that showcases Wainwright’s wide vocal range, with him belting out high notes and swinging through low notes.

Wainwright never intended to hide his sexuality when he signed with his record label in 1996. Being openly gay from the start, Wainwright struggled with feelings of alienation in the industry because of his sexuality, but it only served as an motivation to further hone his craft.

The song explores the difficulty Wainwright experienced with severe past drug addictions, for which he entered rehab in 2002. Impressively, Wainwright has been sober for the past 14 years, since January of 2010.

“Un Mundo Raro” — Chavela Vargas (1961)

With her rich, crooning vocals, in “Un Mundo Raro,” Vargas pulls her listener into a love story described as a “sueño dorado” (golden dream). The passion in Vargas’ versatile, memorable voice and the raw emotion she sings with expresses the emotional meaning of her songs to the listener even if they don’t speak Spanish.

A Costa Rican-born Mexican singer, Vargas built her fame through her skillful and unique interpretations of Mexican rancheras. She created for herself the public persona of a free-spirited, rebellious rabble-rouser, and officially “came out” as a lesbian at the age of 81.

“Cherry Bomb” — Joan Jett (1976)

Exuding defiance and bravado, Jett’s hoarse vocals and rebellious energy make “Cherry Bomb” an electrifying song to sing along to. This is the kind of song to sing on full blast in the car with the windows down as you drive along the highway.

Considered one of the biggest contributors to the riot grrrl movement of the 1990s, Jett has been called the Godmother of Punk, the Queen of Noise, and the original riot grrrl, titles that speak to her tendency to break the traditional mold of female roles. This includes her open bisexuality, an identity that wasn’t very widely accepted in her time.

“Good Luck, Babe!” — Chappell Roan (2024)

Energetic and upbeat, in “Good Luck, Babe!” Roan examines the experience of being in a relationship with someone who is avoidant of their true feelings. Its painfully catchy chorus and reaching melodies make it perfect for a summer party.

With humble Missouri beginnings, Roan quickly picked up this year as one of this year’s most recognizable queer artists. Roan has credited drag queens as her biggest inspiration since “Pink Pony Club,” her first breakout song, and even considers her signature red curls and white-painted face a drag persona as well.

“Swim Good” — Frank Ocean (2011)

Despite its rather heavy meaning, “Swim Good” proves that Ocean’s voice is as good as his ability to write thoughtful lyrics and music. The song was received very well by music critics and was widely considered to be one of the best tracks off “nostalgia, ULTRA,” a previous mixtape of Ocean’s.

Ocean began his career ghostwriting for artists such as Justin Bieber and Beyoncé before signing with the label Def Jam. Without Def Jam’s knowledge, he released “nostalgia, ULTRA” in 2011, which was widely acclaimed and received enthusiastic reviews from NPR, Rolling Stone and the BBC, among many others. While he was writing his next album, “channel ORANGE,” Ocean posted an open letter to Tumblr, elegantly describing his first love — a man. Succeeding his two previous albums, Ocean dropped the visual album “Endless” and “Blonde” back-to-back in 2016.

“Piece of My Heart” — Janis Joplin (1968)

Widely thought to be one of the most iconic and successful rock performers of her era, Joplin was known for her unrestrained and bohemian lifestyle. She was openly bisexual, one of the first female rock stars to embrace her sexual orientation. 

A power-packed piece, Joplin’s unique vocals rock the track as she sings a distinctive rendition of “Piece of My Heart.” The chill, yet lively vibes of this song bring the perfect energy for a warm summer day relaxing by the pool or taking a drive.

“West End Girls” — The Pet Shop Boys (1986)

Inspired in part by T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Waste Land,” “West End Girls” is concerned with class distinctions and the pressures of London’s inner-city life. With a flowing beat and a calm, soft voice, “West End Girls” is perfect for a chill day outside in the sun.

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe — the synth-pop duo that is The Pet Shop Boys — have been active since 1981, making music and participating in politics and activism for four decades. Their music was iconic for the LGBTQIA+ community back in the 80’s and 90’s, a reputation that echoes both of their identities as gay men.

This is just a small selection of the songs on the playlist! If you’d like to give it a listen, the full playlist is linked below.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Let us know what you think about this story by submitting a comment below. We welcome respectful comments that engage in conversations.

Comments are moderated, and won't appear until they are approved. An email address is required, but won't be publicly displayed. The Falconer's complete comment policy can be viewed on our policies page.
All The La Salle Falconer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *