We love Pride Month! The sun is brighter, people are happier, rainbow flags everywhere, and best of all, the music! Some of my best memories from past Prides are dancing with friends to gay classics and modern anthems. We here at Instinct got to talking about our favorite Pride anthems and wanted to share them with you! How many of these are on your Pride Playlist? Here’s our staff’s picks.
Denny, “Born This Way” – Lady Gaga
We are starting the list off with a bang. Pride anthems don’t come bigger than this one.
“It’s my Pride anthem because this song came out when I was in college, and it was the first song I ever really heard that was truly dedicated to the LGBTQ community. Born This Way was also at its peak when a lot of LGBTQ youth suicides were being reported in the news, so I feel like the song was needed.”
Randy, “Boys Who Like Boys” – Eli Lieb
Randy is choosing a soon-to-be-classic Pride Anthem by singer songwriter Eli Lieb. He chose this particular song because:
“Eli finds his way to the center of his songs with uncluttered focus and gives voice to what I think of as the ‘every gay’ (as opposed to the ‘everyman’). Not only do his lyrics swagger like a boss, but Eli knows his way around a strong hook and when to drop those stadium drums for maximum effect. The result – total Pride anthem.”
Robert (me!), “Free” – Ultra Nate
I went old school with my choice. A classic club banger from the late ’90s there are so many great memories for me associated with this song. I was also lucky enough to meet Ultra Nate at the NYC Gay Pride Parade. She was performing on the float that I was on. She could not have been sweeter and we had the best day. [Side note Ultra Nate had to perform this song all day every 20 blocks or so as the float moved down 5th Avenue, let’s just say after that day I did need to take a break from hearing this song lol.]
Adam, “Try It on my Own” – Whitney Houston
You knew there was gonna be a Whitney song on this list, you can’t have Pride without Whitney Houston. Adam chose this 2002 gem. The lyrics alone, “And I am not afraid. To try it on my own. I don’t care If I’m right or wrong. I’ll live my life the way I feel. No matter what I’ll keep it real, you know. Time for me to do it on my own,” speak to the journey so many of our LBGTQ brothers and sisters went through.
“How can you not just belt that out and stand 10 feet taller. It is just a powerful f-you all. This is me, it’s my way and damn, I am so better for doing it my way, not yours. And recently, with all of Whitney’s song, since the revelation that she was either bisexual or a lesbian, all of her lyrics are very empowering to the member of the LGBTQ community.”
Just like with most of the dance mixed in the early 2000’s, there’s like one or two minutes of mixing before it gets good. Just enough time to finish your drink and get to the middle of the dance floor under the disco ball and get your lungs ands legs ready for a work out.
Gerald, “Freedom 90!” – George Michael
THE CLASSIC PRIDE ANTHEM! If you don’t love this song, turn in your Gay card. lol. Gerald chose this song and also wrote a post “Sometimes the Clothes Do Not Make The Man: George Michael’s Iconic “Freedom ’90” Thirty Years Later“
It’s George Michael at his finest. The lyrics assert the independence he was seeking from his record label. Plus, the music video remains to be one of the most iconic to date.
Corey, “My Love is Your Love” – Whitney Houston/Johnatan Peters club mix
We can’t just have one Whitney song, that would be criminal! Corey went with the title song from Whitney’s fourth album. Released in 1999, it was a worldwide smash hit as we entered a new century.
“My Love Is Your Love” by the incomparable Whitney Houston will always be a Pride anthem among my favorites. I’ll never forget being at the Roxy and Twilo in NYC during massive circuit Pride events, dancing shirtless with thousands of my brethren, living our best lives, happy, on the dance floor, and singing along. “My Love Is Your Love” has a powerful message of bonding together to endure our time on this planet as one. And more nostalgically, it represents that magical era of Whitney when she was in top form and the reigning musical voice of her generation. Happy Pride!
Robert, “Kings and Queens” – Ava Max
No there are not two people named Robert writing here at Instinct. I figured since I am writing the article I get two picks. That sounds fair, right? For my second pick I went a little newer. Ava Max has been turning it out (‘Sweet but Psycho’, ‘Who’s Laughing Now’, ‘My Hand and My Heart’) but this anthem to the Activist in all of us takes the crown for me – “To all of the queens who are fighting alone Baby, you’re not dancin’ on your own.”
There you have them. Did you favorite make the list? Don’t worry if you did not see your number one Pride Anthem above. The Chicago Tribune published “The Top 25 Pride Anthems of All Time” and here they are.
25. “Aint No Stopping Us Now” McFadden & Whitehead (1979)
24. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” Whitney Houston (1987)
23. “Strong Enough,” Cher (1999)
22. “I Feel Love,” Donna Summer (1977)
21. “I’m Every Woman,” Chaka Khan (1978)
20. “It’s Raining Men,” Weather Girls (1982)
19. “We Shall Be Free,” Garth Brooks (1992)
18. “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good),” Rozalla (1991)
17. “Free to Be,” RuPaul (1995)
16. “I Want To Break Free,” Queen (1984)
15. “Free,” Ultra Nate (1997)
14. “Break Free,” Ariana Grande & Zedd (2014)
13, “I Am What I Am,” Gloria Gaynor (1983)
12. “Freedom ’90,” George Michael (1990)
11. “Proud,” Heather Small (2000)
10. “Take Your Mama,” Scissor Sisters (2004)
9. “Chains Of Love,” Erasure (1988)
8. “Smalltown Boy,” Bronski Beat (1984)
7. “Born This Way,” Lady Gaga (2011)
6. “Express Yourself,” Madonna (1989)
5. “Dancing Queen,” ABBA (1976)
4. “We Are Family,” Sister Sledge (1979)
3. “I’m Coming Out,” Diana Ross (1980)
2. “Pride (A Deeper Love),” Aretha Franklin (1994)
1. “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” Sylvester (1978)
Wherever you are this Pride month, listen to your Pride playlist loudly and proudly! We leave you with RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9 winner Bob the Drag Queen absolutely slaying his lip sync to the #1 Pride Anthem, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”
Sources: The Chicago Tribune