16 Great Rock Songs By LGBTQ Artists

Written by on August 2, 2018

Every couple months, my KPSU radio show Six Degrees of Rockination has a theme. In June 2018, that theme was “LGBTQ,” with every song by an LGBTQ artist. What songs did I play?


Bob Mould – “Star Machine”

Originally part of the seminal punk band Husker Du, Bob’s now middle-aged, but still rocking and still an icon of the gay community.

Partner – “Ambassador To Ecstasy”

A brand-new band out of Canada, these two ladies grew up on AC/DC and are on the shortlist of “World’s Hardest Rocking Lesbians.”

Elton John – “Bad Side of the Moon”

I love discovering lesser-known songs by rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Famers. Sir Elton’s probably on the Mount Rushmore of LGBTQ musicians, don’t you think? In fact, I think he’s the only person this hour who’s been knighted.

Green Day – “J.A.R.”

My favorite song by one of my all-time favorite bands and one of my all-time favorite bisexual frontmen, Billy Joe Armstrong. As with many Green Day songs, this one’s all about that drum and bass.

Against Me! – “I Was a Teenage Anarchist”

Here’s the show’s only transgender artist, Laura Jane Grace. I remember when I heard that she was transitioning and one of my first thoughts was “I wonder if the hormone therapy will change her voice?” Since then, I’ve heard some of the band’s new stuff and, have to admit, I don’t think her voice has changed at all.

Queen – “Stone Cold Crazy”

Freddie Mercury’s another guy who’s definitely on the Mount Rushmore of LGBTQ musicians. Probably the Mount Rushmore of Amazing Singing Voices, too. (These mountains don’t actually exist, do they? Because if they do, I’m totally going there on my next vacation.)

Bloc Party – “I Still Remember”

This is an all-time Top 10 song for me. Just a heavenly taste of young, unrequited, unrealized love.

Ezra Furman – “Restless Year”

Ezra has at times been described as “gender-fluid,” but then at other times has resisted this label. And since she’s said on Twitter that “he, they, or she all work” as pronouns, I think he qualifies for the Q part of LGBTQ. Regardless of labels, the dude really puts out some good music. If you like this one, check out their song “Lousy Connection.”

R.E.M. – “I Believe”

If you like R.E.M., you need to check out their album “Life’s Rich Pageant,” which this song is off of. In my opinion, it’s the peak of their Hall of Fame career.

4 Non Blondes – “Morphine and Chocolate”

Lead singer and lesbian icon Linda Perry should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame solely for what she does at this song’s 2:53 mark. It’s incredible. I think she might have been possessed by demons. Nothing else can explain it.

Frank Ocean – “Bad Religion”

The hip hop world doesn’t have a lot of LGBTQ representation, but Frank’s an exception. This one’s a gorgeous song about unrequited love for another man. Just heavenly.

Le Tigre – “TKO”

This band has been described as a “feminist party band.” With member JD Samson, you could also call them an “LGBTQ party band.” Either way, party hard, my friends. Party hard.

PWR BTTM – “Ugly Cherries”

This is a brand-new band for me, so I don’t know too much about them. I know they’re gay, I know they wear wild makeup, and I know that this song rocks the hell out.

Gaytheist – “Ock of Rages”

I saw this band live and they described this song as “a tribute to Def Leppard and giving head.”

Ke$ha – “Boogie Feet”

If I’m not mistaken, Ke$ha’s the only LGBTQ artist who, one, was on a reality TV show with Paris Hilton, and two, has a dollar sign in her name.

George Michael – “Freedom”

This is another all-time Top 10 song for me, though I’m a little embarrassed by this fact, since I’m a rock guy and this is completely and totally a dance song. And I don’t even like to dance. But hell, how can it not make my Top 10? It’s a perfect song. I love it so much. Well done, George. Rest in peace.


And there you go! 16 great rock songs by LGBTQ artists. And guess what? This isn’t just a list I came up with. This was an actual hour-long radio show. Want to hear it? Here’s the link. A solid hour featuring a whole lot of world-class songs from the LGBTQ community.







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