Ah, love and rainbows are in the air and Pride is here.

Every year, the LGBTQ community comes together in the month of June to rally, and this year brimming with colorful displays of equality. It’s an opportunity to celebrate diversity and inclusion. It’s a moment to come together in a safe space and feel seen, liberated, and loved. Pride parades and festivals are taking place all over the world and it’s a pretty incredible thing to see as someone who belongs to the LGBTQ community myself. It’s a celebration and movement that gets larger with each passing year. Of course, no pride festival is complete without music pulsating up and down the streets. I mean, did pride even happen if you didn’t hear “Born This Way” at least once? Whether it’s Madonna’s “Material Girl” or Britney’s “Work *****” blasting at your local gay bar or club, one thing is for sure – there is a lineup of pop legends that resonate with the gay community. 

Have you ever wondered what life is about? You could search the world and never figure it out. I have spent years wondering why so many LGBTQ people gravitate towards the same pop divas. While, I want to avoid making vast generalizations here – as obviously everyone has their own unique taste, there is no denying a common thread here that ties the LGBTQ together with some of these pop music legends. Lots of LGBTQ people make-up the core audience for the likes of Madonna, Britney, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Cher, Rihanna, Kylie, Mariah, Taylor Swift and many others. Why is that? And what do most of these reigning women have in common with the LGBTQ community, even if many of them are straight women?

To answer that we will need to peel a very subjective, unscientific onion. I could probably write an entire book trying to dissect this. But for now, let’s keep it high level. 


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I couldn’t be more proud of every single person in that crowd and around the world today. This community inspires me so much. Your courage, your bravery, your relentless pursuit of kindness. Celebrate yourselves today, and hopefully every day. I love you. #PRIDE ? @gr8images @gettyentertainment

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Rebellion

But in rebellion, there’s a sparkle of truth. And it’s no coincidence that many of the pop icons that resonate with the LGBTQ community happen to embody some form of rebellion. One could argue that simply being a queer person you are rebelling against the “norm” that society imposes just for existing. Sometimes being queer means having to go against the very black and white lines that are drawn for us. How people who identify as LGBTQ talk, look, and LOVE can feel like an act of rebellion and it can feel really empowering to see other prominent figures in the media doing something similar. 

The “Rebel Heart” singer Madonna is the perfect example of this. She arguably paved the way for the archetype of the modern-day pop star decades ago by pushing boundaries with her controversial statements, her stance on *** and religion, and of course her manner of performing on stage and in music videos. At the time, nothing like this was in the music scene. The fierce New York native was determined to push boundaries and she most certainly did. 30 years into her career, she is still a staple in the LGBTQ community. Along with embodying rebellion, she has been an outspoken ally and activist for the LGBTQ. In 2019 she received the GLAAD award where she stated, 

“I always felt like an outsider, like I didn’t fit in,” and she went on to say in her moving speech, “For the first time I saw men kissing men, girls dressed like boys, boys wearing hot pants, incredible dancing and a kind of freedom and joy and happiness that I had never seen before. I finally felt like I was not alone, that it was ok to be different. I felt at home, and it gave me hope.”

Just like the Queen of Pop, the Princess of Pop, Ms. Britney Spears is also no stranger to rebellion. From kissing Madonna on stage at the MTV music awards, to locking the door during a Rolling Store cover shoot with David Lachepelle and posing in a bra and telephone, to declaring “the Grammy’s can kiss my ***” – there has always been a little spark in Britney to show defiance and independence. Some might argue that 2007 Britney was one of the most punk rock moments for a pop star. To the untrained eye, Britney might seem like a glossy manufactured pop star, but any stan will tell you there’s an edge and a fire there that has always made Britney standout among the pack and resonate with the LGBTQ audience. 

In 2017, Britney penned a letter to her LGBTQ fans saying, “[…] I have a secret to share with you. You see, it’s actually you that lifts me up. The unwavering loyalty, the lack of judgement, the unapologetic truth. Acceptance! Your stories are what inspire me, bring me joy, and make me and my sons strive to be better people. I love you.”

Camp

LGBTQ culture has a lot of quirks and charm. Drag queens are just one example of an almost cartoon like, over-the-top, caricature we get in real life through comedy, performance, and fashion. While most pop musicians have certainly borrowed from queer culture to some extent, some pop queens have really found a way to take the camp and really embody it. You certainly can’t talk about CAMP without thinking of Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. These women have walked the red carpet and performed on stages around the world wearing some of the wildest outfits. Banana phones and meat dresses, burger suits, and Kermit the frog gowns. It’s fun, it’s playful, and it’s very tongue in cheek. These quirky, campy pop personas have led to some incredibly vivid and memorable performances – and while the masses can find some appeal in them – there’s a special place for campiness in the hearts of the LGBTQ.  

It goes without saying but “Born this Way” singer, Lady Gaga, has been a very powerful advocate for the LGBTQ community. Championing gay rights, speaking at various rallies and events, and even starting the Born this Way Foundation to give back to the community and make a difference.

Fierce Fashion

Pop divas are known for their staple looks. Sequins, fur, feathers, heels and thigh high boots. When you go to a pop concert you typically expect costume changes and in most cases these women deliver. It’s hard to really get into why gay culture and fashion go hand in hand but when you have Beyonce stomping around in Givenchy on stage while whipping her hair around, it’s hard NOT to get your life. These pop icons are constantly serving looks and stunting pretty. Part of the appeal of tuning into a Red Carpet event for a music awards show is seeing what each of the girls are going to wear. Many artists collaborate with major designers prior to kicking off their tour to get custom designer costumes – and it’s a magical moment for fans to see these divas don the fabulous clothing and accessories. But it’s not always about designer and labels. Let’s not forget Kesha rocking a garbage bag dress or Lady Gaga saying that many times she’ll go to **** stores to get costumes and accessories. Regardless of how where they get their fashion, many times they leave us gagged.

The Underdog

Fame and fortune certainly grant celebrities access to certain privileges that aren’t available to everyone –but there are certain things completely out of their control, because at the end of the day we are all human. Britney has had her fair share of very public highs and lows. The media persecution was intense and savage at times. But there are many other instances of famous pop musicians who have gone through difficulty and adversity and risen like a lotus. The infamous Rihanna incident with Chris Brown. Kylie Minogue battle with breast cancer. Kesha’s ongoing battle with Dr. Luke. Lady Gaga’s chronic pain and PTSD struggles. Seeing these larger than life pop stars face adversity and overcome it is incredibly inspiring and above everything else – what truly makes them warriors and kindred spirits with the LGBTQ community.

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