Jill Sobule Kisses a Girl
Long before Katy Perry catered to male fantasies by singing "I kissed a girl and I liked it," singer-songwriter Jill Sobule made the same declaration in earnest. Her 1995 hit reached No. 75 on the Hot 100 chart in spite of -- or perhaps because of -- its overt declaration of lesbianism. The subversive song struck a chord as a character-driven narrative, giving voice to sexual exploration in a way rarely touched in pop. -- Jillian Mapes
Tom Robinson is 'Glad to Be Gay'
In 1976, British songwriter Tom Robinson penned the tune "Glad to Be Gay" for a London gay pride rally that year. Inspired by the in-your-face posturing of punk bands like the Sex Pistols, the song's lyrics were bold and brave, especially considering the climate towards homosexuals at the time. Some 40 years later, the song still serves as Britain's national gay anthem. -- M. Tye Comer
Christian Chavez Fights for 'Libertad'
Christian Chavez came out of the closet back in 2007 while he was a member of wildly popular Mexican teen pop group RBD. But in March 2011, Chavez fully demanded his own liberty through song. In the provocative video for "Libertad," the Latin-pop singer uses a sexy narrative about two gay lovers who meet in a club to make a stance for gay rights and sexual freedom. Spliced between flashing images of Harvey Milk, RuPaul, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others, Chavez and his new flame go in for the kill with a kiss that has helped the video garner millions of YouTube hits and wide applause. -- Jillian Mapes