Why LGBTQ Artists Are Important to LGBTQ Youth
Plus some recommendations on who you should be listening to
Representation matters. You’ve probably heard someone say that or at least read about it on the internet, but what does it really mean?
Well frankly, it means something a little different to everyone, but in simple terms, it means having someone that you can relate to who has made something of themselves.
There’s a comfort in knowing that someone like you can make it in your given field. It gives you hope that you can too. This could mean finding someone with the same race, religion, family dynamic, disease/disorder, or nearly anything else, but a particularly strong category in the representation debate is sexual orientation.
There’s been a long history of people being shamed into hiding their sexuality, especially aspiring celebrities. Until recently, something as “taboo” as being gay could ruin your career before it even started. Even today there is a stigma and an artist is almost guaranteed to lose fans after coming out, but more musicians are finally willing to take the risk.
So why is it so important for these artists to embrace who they are? Well, besides the obvious answer of how detrimentally unhealthy and stressful it can be when you’re not honest with yourself and the people around you, they’re giving LGBTQ youth hope.
It’s getting easier and easier to find artists with wide ranges of orientations. When you turn on the radio, you might hear a man openly singing about loving another man. Our favorite artists can be in relationships without having to be ashamed. All this tells young LGBTQ people that they can make it in the industry without having to sacrifice such a big part of who they are.
Moreover, representation in music is even more important than you may think. Sure, it’s wonderful for aspiring artists to have people like them who’ve made it in their field, but aspiring artists are not the only ones who listen to music.
Nearly everyone wants to chill out or party to some tunes sometimes. Music is simply something that connects us all, so even if you don’t necessarily ever see yourself in the industry, chances are you still have your favorite songs.
The increase in out queer artists is important for young queer people. They need to be able to listen to a songs that they relate to. Thanks to artists like Hayley Kiyoko, Mika, Troye Sivan, Sam Smith, and so many more, kids are finally having that chance.
The best songs are songs that sound like they could be about you
Want to see what all the fuss is about? Check out this playlist of songs catered specifically for a LGBTQ audience, featuring songs by Dodie Clark, Adam Lambert, Joey Graceffa, A Great Big World, and more!