To say it's been a tough year and a half for the world would be a colossal understatement. Between a pandemic, extremist politics, widespread environmental breakdowns and more, the last 18 months have been, to put it mildly, nightmarish.
But the LGBTQ community has always had a penchant for fueling hope, inspiration and change in moments of adversity. Our music is no different — even the Wikipedia entry for the phrase "gay anthem" notes how LGBTQ artists revel in the themes of "perseverance, inner strength, acceptance, pride, and unity." So, in a year marked by the slow shift back to whatever normal means, queer artists have been providing music to soundtrack our march into a brighter, better future.
To celebrate those artists, check out Billboard's picks for the 15 best albums released by LGBTQ artists in 2021 so far below.