Gay anthem  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A gay anthem is a song that has become widely popular among, or has become identified with, the gay community; usually with gay men. The lyrics of gay anthems are often marked with hope against the odds, pride, unity, or defiance.

Contents

General examples

The most notable "Over the Rainbow", performed by Judy Garland; "I'm Coming Out", performed by Diana Ross; "Smalltown Boy", performed by Bronski Beat; "My Funny Valentine", performed by Frank Sinatra; "I Will Survive", performed by Gloria Gaynor; "It's Raining Men", performed by The Weather Girls, and "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)", performed by Crystal Waters. Anecdotally, the works of ABBA and Cher are often cited.

Many gay anthems are in the dance music genre, though the seminal gay anthem, "Over the Rainbow", gained notoriety because it was sung by early gay icon, Judy Garland.

Many Eurovision Song Contest songs have become gay anthems.

Less common, but still notable, are gay garage rock, punk and hardcore anthems, including songs by artists such as Jayne County such as "Man Enough To be A Woman", t.A.T.u.'s "All the Things She Said", Buzzcocks' "Orgasm Addict".

Examples in disdo and dance music

Not exclusively, but there are some notable gay people in disco, such as Sylvester, Giorgio Moroder and Patrick Cowley.

Singers/performers who were/are popular with a gay audience: Barry Manilow, Barbara Streisand, Ann Christy.

"The music was getting better all the time, and somehow, imperceptibly, the music we heard in gay bars seemed to be becoming "our music." Black people played it in their clubs as well, for it sprang forth from both of our communities. Perhaps in urban areas it was also a straight white phenomenon - there are those who nowadays maintain this - but in the Midwest, near as I could tell, it was not the music of straight white people."[1]

Gay themed disco songs

1. South Shore Commission - Free Man 2. Carl Bean - I Was Born This Way

Gay hip hop

gay hip hop
"[...] What hasn't changed is the gap between rap and house, an antipathy which exists between these two forms of soul music. [...] According to Frankie Knuckles, this goes to the core of attitudes towards gays, especially amongst the black community. "The fact that house got started in the gay clubs makes it tough for some of them to deal with it." This is about more than musical taste; for Frankie, it goes to the core of the future of minority groups in the US. And, ironically, it's rap, with all of its violence and too-frequent lapses into intolerance and homophobia, that has pushed things along. "--Frankie Knuckles

Themes

Although every song is individual, the criteria for what makes a gay anthem does show a pattern among the songs. In the book, Queer, the following ten main themes were listed that are common among many, if not all gay anthems; they are:

Some Eurovision Song Contest songs become gay anthems such as the Eurovision 1998 winning song "Diva" by transsexual Israeli Dana International, Croatian 1999 entry "Marija Magdalena" by Doris Dragović and Danish 2007 entry "Drama Queen" by drag DQ. Eurovision 2006 hopefuls drag Queentastic's "Absolutely Fabulous" is also a case in point. Claudette Pace who represented Malta in 2000 issued a gay-anthem entitled "Power of Pink". She performed it at the UK's Gay Pride in 2001.

Less common, but still notable, are gay garage rock, punk and hardcore anthems, including songs by artists such as Jayne County such as "Man Enough To be A Woman", t.A.T.u.'s "All the Things She Said", Buzzcocks' "Orgasm Addict", "Ti Voglio Bene" by Italian star Tiziano Ferro, a number of singles by Pansy Division and songs by Team Dresch and Tribe 8. (See also Queercore). A new gay anthem is Heather Small and her performance of "Proud", released in the Proud album in 2000, and featured in the Showtime original show Queer As Folk. Latin examples are "¿A Quién le Importa?" by Alaska y Dinarama and "Todos Me Miran" by Gloria Trevi.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gay anthem" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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