This June, make sure your Pride playlists includes these classics.

Happy Pride Month, folks! This June, I want to offer insight on queer anthems; I was inspired by the overwhelming joy Spotify’s curated “Pride Classics” playlist makes me feel year-round. While I couldn’t include all, these songs are my top five must-includes (in no particular order).

1. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

No list of classics should exist without this late 1970s disco hit. The song is actually about surviving a break-up, but if art isn’t meant for interpretation, then what is it for? Resonating particularly strong due to its proclamation of perseverance in the face of adversity, “I Will Survive” struck a deeper cord during the U.S. AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 1990s. There is a reason our community has chosen these songs to help celebrate life. But also, it’s a certified bop.


2. “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross

Diana Ross, a legend and her larger-than-life hair made for one of the boldest music releases of the early 1980s. “I’m coming out, I want the world to know, got to let it show.” A little-known fact: songwriter Nile Rodgers and his lyrics were inspired by drag queens impersonating Diana Ross. It’s important to note that “coming out” was a term already used in LGBTQ+ culture before this song hit the mainstream, but there’s no denying the impact this classic has made and been attached to the community ever since.


3. “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by Sylvester

Now for something you may not have heard, but should. Another example of disco excellence, Sylvester was a beloved icon in San Francisco and elsewhere during the late 1970s. Unapologetically gay and constantly toying with gender expression at a time when it was even harder to be oneself, this song is less about survival and more about feeling glorious. Dance and have fun to this tune made by a black gay icon that in 2019, was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.


4. “Vogue” by Madonna

It’s essential to understand how important it was for Madonna to be so unabashedly supportive of the LGBTQ+ community and its culture when she was still forging her legacy. In comes 1990s “Vogue” that is not only a staple Madonna track in a sea of classics, but also directly inspired by the underground queer ballroom scene spearheaded by gay and trans individuals of color. Next time you “strike a pose” like there’s “nothing to it” this Pride Month, remember where this fabulous dance form and entertainment originates.


5. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga

This track does not mince words. Written as an anthem for disenfranchised communities to increase the amount of grace and love we show ourselves, this song is historical in many ways for its poignant themes of having pride in who you are. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this dance-pop hit, which was considered controversial when first released. I should know, I lived through it. And let me tell you, art can help many, but especially young people in finding acceptance they haven’t yet found in life. “I’m on the right track baby, I was born to be brave.”


This Pride Month (and every month), be mindful of the messages of these tracks. And consider how beautiful it is when we send messages, much like these songs do, that empower people to love themselves just a little bit more.

Check out the full Spotify Playlist, "Pride Classics" below:

Jesus Aguilar-Cuevas
Assistant Account Executive