Pride is a global celebration of the LGBTQIA+ identity, the freedom and courage that comes from loving who you are and who you want to love, regardless of your birth gender. As a festivity, Pride is honouring the dignity of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as those who don’t identify themselves with heteronormative standards, while the term “pride” is used to fight back the stigma and the feelings of shame and guilt assigned to these individuals. Parades, marches and live on-street events have defined Pride around the world since the event’s official launch in 1970, showcasing a wealth of talent ranging from singers, performers, actors, comedians and dancers that all came together to celebrate one thing: Love.
However, things played out differently last year when the Covid-19 pandemic started and social distancing measures were imposed as a means to flatten the pandemic curve. Celebrations had to take place virtually or cancelled altogether, which only makes this year’s Pride more thrilling than ever. We might have been physically isolated from live performances for over one year, but the invisible thread that unites us as human beings tied us all closer than ever. Some say that to get your point across, you don't need to raise your voice but improve your argument. We feel that the arguments presented by the LGBTQIA+ community are already good enough and have always been. People are the creators, not the identity we attach to them. For this reason, we choose to stand by the LGBTQIA+ crowd and be vocal about all the things that make us human.
Several of the world's most beloved music has been made by gay people. We simply cannot thank them enough for it. Let's take a short trip down memory lane to see how some of the most popular music genres have been heavily influenced by the LGBTQIA+ scene.
The Disco Mania
The ‘70s witnessed the birth of disco music, which soon became one of the most popular musical genres around. And that was, for most of it, because of the black American gay bars and nightclubs that played it until it became the coolest thing to listen to for all sexualities and races out there.
Another genre that originates from the LGBTQIA+ nightlife, house music was first heard on the black gay dance floors of the late 1970s, in Chicago. Frankie Knuckles, one of house music’s pioneers, was openly homosexual and put most of his personal feelings and experiences into the beats of his music.
Songs turned into all-time-favourite hits made by the LGBTQ+ were already well-known in the UK pop charts of the early ‘80s. Soft Cell, Buzzcocks, Erasure, and Culture Club, to name a few, initiated listeners to an alternative perspective of sexuality and refreshed the sound of pop music that we know today.
Soon after, Madonna stepped in and became what we now know to be one of the worlds biggest gay icons. Her song, Express Yourself, was adorned for its feminist themes, while the music video portrayed her through a multi-faceted gender identity where her feminine side blends with a masculine, crotch-grabbing alter-ego.
Talent comes in every form and shape, and we couldn’t be enjoying the music we love so much if it weren’t for people like Sir Elton John, George Michael, Prince, Freddie Mercury, Frank Ocean, and Sam Smith to liven up our everyday existence. For that, we thank them infinitely and we choose to celebrate pride throughout the year, not just for a few weeks in June. And this is why we are #Proud Every Day.