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Music & LGBT

Music & LGBT

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When Music Came Out

Music has been about expressions, revolutions, cultures, the unifying factor in a divided world, has represented and embraced both the traditions and the new. Music went through its own history and what we will talk about here is the era when music came out in a big way through some of the famous LGBT artists who did the same.



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Lelf

Though Lelf was naturally shy about his coming out in what was a prominently queer phobic hip hop music community, he finally did so with a bang in 2014. Apart from being a rapper he used his penchant (as well as degree) in dance to make music that was about rejoicing, fun and celebration. His lyrics were peppered with LGBT references and he actually used braggadocio, a very male component of hip hop music, to talk about the LGBT community.

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Sam Smith

In one year Sam Smith went from being an unknown artist to being nominated for six Grammys! He came out about his sexual preferences in order to explain what his album The Lonely Hour was all about. It is about unrequited love. He made his music a talking point about how coming out has been good for him and could be great for others who were still in the closet. He speaks not only to the gay community but also to their parents so the coming out of their children would be a happier process.

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Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks was never afraid to her identity of being a bisexual rapper. She sent her message out strongly and created a lot of constructive controversy through her music and social media as well. Her music style is an explosive mix of house, pop, disco, Caribbean music, coupled with her gritty New York sound. She through social media and every other medium called people out for their conservative views in no uncertain terms.

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Mary Lambert

Mary Lambert is a staunch Christian, a lesbian, and the owner of one of the most beautiful voices in the industry. Her songs speak of her orientation, her spirituality, her body image issues as well as the bipolar disorder she is struggling with. She feels that when you tell people your deepest darkest secrets, breaking down social stigmas becomes that much easier. Crying to heal oneself is something that she encourages and is a common practice in her concerts.

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Conchita Wurst

Conchita Wurst was not only selected to represent her nation at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014, but was also crowned the winner by the very people who vehemently opposed a drag being chosen to represent their nation! But, as is often the case with good music, her superb rendition of Rise Like a Phoenix broke all conventional boundaries and was adored. She used her platform of success and her celebrity status to take the cause of the queers through little things like making her fans make a statement on solidarity by wearing knitted beards to actively participating in the It Gets Better Project that tells the LGBT community know they are not alone through celebrity figures.

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Kele Okereke

Kele Okereke of Bloc Party used his music as well as wrote articles not only to talk about what it is like being a gay musician, but also to racism and homophobia in the music industry. He moved from rock music to dance music in order to be able to freely express and celebrate his sexuality and race.

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Sia

While she has gone about collaborating and writing for various artists and made her own niche in radio, not to mention her solo performance Chandelier which shot her to fame, she has not gone all out to prove what she calls her fluid sexuality, but at the same time never held back when asked about it. But she has come further out in her album 1000 Forms of Fear and talked about not only her sexuality but also her long time affairs with drugs, depression and alcohol. All of it rendered in her signature compelling vocal style.

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Lowell

Lowell, who was once a stripper and now openly bisexual, sought to drive away the taboo against sex in any form. She spoke, through her music about the LGBT community as a whole and one of her contributions to music is aptly called LGBT and has as such been embraced as an anthem of sorts. While her messages are deep her tone and renditions are upbeat and fun.

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Andy Butler

Andy Butler can be described through his own hugely popular song Blind. It is about himself. It talks about growing up knowing he was gay, the rejection he faced from family, friends and society, and how he waited to attain adulthood so he could escape. But when he did so he saw only others like him who had just escaped into another world of confusion and depression arising from social stigma. This made him feel blind and helpless.

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Against Me!

Against Me!'s album Transgender Dysphoria Blues is the result and musical manifestation of her years of pain, alienation and depression arising from battling gender dysphoria all her life. The instruments are heavy rock and the mood is constructively aggressive. Against Me! takes her life forward not only through music but also through a web series called True Trans in order to connect with the alienated community.

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Hurray for the Riff Raff

Hurray for the Riff Raff are a band of transgenders and queers who have been fiddling, banjoing and drumming their way through multiple hugely successful albums through the years. Their message, apart from being about loving and accepting those who think different, has a political undertone that takes on violence because of the same while also addressing racism and anti women woes. They can best be described as American folk turned American protest art.

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Angel Haze

Angel Haze is pansexual, meaning she identifies people as people and not by their gender. Her lyrics are about dealing with pain caused by years of social oppression and stigma. Her lyrics also actively take on rampant issues like rape culture, racism and intolerance towards queers. She is about reshaping and rewriting. Whether it be pop culture reshaped to LGBT standards or rewriting love songs to include the love of queers. She says part of her music is for music's sake while the rest is to reach out to fans to let them know they are not alone.

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