Hayley Kiyoko pines over another young woman on this emotive synth-pop anthem about queer love. While the accompanying music video is equal parts heartbreaking and cinematic, Kiyoko’s lyrics normalizing same-sex romance are mighty powerful: “Girls like girls like boys do/ Nothing new.”
Beth Ditto, “Love in Real Life”
Queer music icon Beth Ditto sings about unconditional, no frills love on this sweeping, synth-assisted Southern rock tune off her album Fake Sugar. “Nothing ever is perfect/ There's the good and the bad/ Though it's never on purpose/ Sometimes I make you sad,” she warbles, celebrating both the ups and downs that come with being in a relationship.
Halsey ft. Lauren Jauregui, “Strangers”
Halsey’s first song to use explicitly female subject pronouns, “Strangers” finds the hopeless fountain kingdom artist and Lauren Jauregui, two of pop’s openly bisexual stars, trading verses over a lush soundscape of pulsating ‘80s new wave beats. Cushioned within the swirling synths, the two women sing of the heartache, frustration, and lust bursting from a seemingly doomed relationship.
Melissa Etheridge, “Come to Window”
The music icon’s first single released after coming out as a lesbian in 1993, for decades “Come to My Window” has been rightfully recognized as a queer anthem. “I don't care what they think/ I don't care what they say/ What do they know about this love,” Melissa Etheridge belts on the rock classic’s bridge, powerfully brushing off anyone who doesn’t recognize her relationship with her girlfriend as valid.