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Are Pop Songs Pushing Pro-Gay Messages About Acceptance, Or Marketing Vapid Artists?

Katy Perry, Adam Lambert, Pink, Ke$ha, and Lady Gaga are all making “songs of survival,” declares the New York Times, epicenter of trend spotting. This is actually not a new trend! “I Will Survive,” anyone? What is new, however, is that with The Gays having gone mainstream, it’s completely kosher for pop stars to include messages for homos — and even feature them in the music videos — as part of their branding strategy. You think Katy Perry gives a bigger shit about fostering an environment of acceptance for gays, or about selling the hell out of that “Firework” single? And while there’s some evidence the pro-gay lyrics are coming from more than the pop genre (see: Mista Majah P’s anti-gay bashing tune), call me when Korn records a gay anthem.

Katy Perry: I’m A Joke, Feel Free To Ignore Me And My Anti-Gay Taunts

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  • Kev C

    Yeah see, all the cool kids are pro-gay and stuff because like homophobia sucks and all and it gets better. Doesn’t mean we’re gay or nuthin ok? So yeah, ya see.. we support you gay people for being gay. It gets better. Ok?

  • Dollie

    Yes, Adam Lambert is a vapid artist who cares more about selling records than gay folks. What a marketed, phony ally who couldn’t possibly understand the importance of a “gay survival anthem!!!!” ???? I don’t necessarily think he should have been grouped up there. He’s something different… A pop artist who has been pretty open from the start. He’s arguably a first, and that sends a powerful message.

    As for the straight ladies, some of them are certainly tried and true friends of “the gays” (Pink), while others definitely seem more wrapped up in the publicity it gets them (Katy, in particular).

  • san

    When celebrities do something anti-gay, you bitch about it, when they do nothing for the gays, you bitch about it and when they do something pro-gay you’re still bitching! pick one that you like or stfu

  • Steve

    Katy Perry, Kesha, Pink, and Lady Gaga especially are some of the best selling pop stars. Kesha’s latest single is the the 17th song in history to debut at No. 1 and her initial single Tik Tok sat at No. 1 for an unprecedented amount of time. Lady Gaga is listed by Forbe’s as one of the world’s most powerful and influential women.

    So if these extremely powerful people supporting our community through something that actually appeals to a vast majority of people (unlike Congressional debates? Do teenagers even know what channel is the local news? CSPAN?) isn’t enough for you asswipes, go the fuck somewehre else that is backasswards retarded about gay rights. No one is forcing you to stay America, and if you’re pissed with it, get the fuck out, or make the best of it.

  • SKOC211

    When Katy Perry, Ke$ha, and Adam Lambert hold rallies to repeal DADT, speak at the Equality March, and raise awareness about the plight of LGBT homeless youth at every one of their concerts (including a $20,000 donation to a foundation that works with said youth) then we’ll talk. Until then, Gaga is actually doing something while they’re just trying to make a buck. Good for them for sending out a positive message, but they haven’t done shit.

  • Dollie

    @SKOC211: Katy Perry and Ke$ha haven’t done much other than throw some gay kisses in music videos and give the trans community backhanded compliments. They are on the right path (though remain unlistenable), but need some more educating.

    It’s no secret that I don’t like Gaga, but I applaud her efforts. Though I find myself shocked that she has done jackshit in light of the suicides (in my opinion, safe spaces for and the well-being of youth > DADT). Correct me if I’m wrong, I hope I am.

    As far as Lambert goes, he’s done quite a lot in his own right. He released a great “It Gets Better” video and traveled to gay-hostile countries, despite threats , to dedicate shows to “love.” Plus, he’s artist who has pleaded with the media to look at all artist’s contributions to the music world and talent before their sexuality. That’s great.

  • Kev C

    @Steve: SteveO, no one in their right mind thinks that some coked up, narcisist, attention whore is doing anything for altruistic reasons. They’re doing it for their careers.

    @SKOC211: Lady Gaga’s donation went to a Virgin-Mobile fund for homeless youth. Not LGBT homeless youth, but homeless youth (95% hetero). It’s a minor investment for all the publicity mileage she’s gotten from it.

  • afrolito

    I don’t think any of these people are homophoboc, and their hearts are certainly in the right place, but their main goal and focus in life is their own careers (as it should be). Anyone who thinks any of them is a serious gay rights activist, is a complete fucking moron.

  • Yuki

    Who gives a shit if they’re trying to sell records? It’s their job. Clearly none of them are homophobic, and hell, even if they do include gay themes in order to sell albums, a side-effect of that is that it /is/ becoming more socially acceptable. It’s a good thing: accept it.

  • BjBien1010

    Queerty, you are so full of shit.

    I bet if KORN did make an anti-gay album, you’d call it a ploy or cash grab.

    So Vince Vaugh says ELECTRIC CARS ARE GAY and now everyone hates him and we want to censor the film BUT when artist make pro-gay songs, we want them to go above and beyond and prove their love for the LGBT community?

    You guys also HATE The A-LIST yet report on it and you poke gayness into a straight photo of 50 Cent and Solja Boy.

    This site is getting worse then PEREZ HILTON

  • DR

    Korn already recorded a song about what it was like to be teased about being perceived as gay.

    Do your homework next time, Queerty.

  • Jake

    If it raises awarness and makes it more mainstream/acceptable to small town America by seeing gays in videos so what? Queerty needs to STFU once in awhile. We can thank Madonna and Janet for doing this 25 years ago when it actually was taboo and mattered, now it just seems like the norm and isn’t groundbreaking in the music world.

    We need our politicans to say stop discrimination through their actions, not more pop stars as allies.

  • UMB

    Allies! Quick, alienate them!

  • abercrombie

    Excellent blog! I actually love how it is easy on my eyes and also the details are well written.

  • Fault Lines and Broken Mirrors

    Hmm. The end justifies the means. Even if they’re doing it for their careers (which nobody could ever truly answer, because nobody but themselves knows what is in their hearts), at least they’re doing something.

    The alternative is to be like Queerty: doing nothing, accomplishing nothing, creating nothing, just generally being nothing and complaining when someone for whatever reason does something positive.

    If an artist did nothing, they’re evil and homophobic.
    If an artist did something perceived as wrong, they’re evil and homophic.
    If an artist does something, they’re greedy and evil.

  • jason

    Note how it’s predominantly female artists who are doing this, not male artists. Moreover, these female artists are not gay. They put on this fake bisexual act to supposedly connect with our community but it’s actually very insulting in addition to being disingenuous. Their bisexual act is more of a sop to the sleazy straight guy fantasy for girl-girl action than a tribute to GLBT rights.

    Don’t let yourselves be manipulated again by these females and the music industry in general. It’s been happening for decades now. The music industry execs will put out these female singers and then construct a pro-gay illusion designed to get us to think that they agree with us.

    Until male musicians – whether gay or straight – start singing pro-gay songs and putting male-male images in their videos, we really can’t say that we’ve progressed. Don’t fall for the progress illusion that’s been constructed by the sleazy music industry execs and the females they are marketing.

  • jason


    Madonna never put male-male erotic images in her music videos. If she did put same-sex images in, they were female-female, not male-male. It’s an important distinction because it suggests that Madonna’s dedication to gay rights may not have been genuine.

    Whenever any artist puts female-female images into their videos, 99% of the time they are doing it to satisfy the masturbatory fetishes of grubby men. It’s serving patriarchy, not the GLBT cause.

    By the way, what sort of “awareness” does girl-girl action raise? It aligns with the content of the adult porn movies of sleazy straight guys. It’s hardly “awareness”.

  • Dickie

    Way to reach back more than 10 years ago for the korn reference. I was a huge Korn fan back in the day, never fealt they were anti-gay. In fact, I always felt that of the aggressive rock sound that was popular at the time, they were pretty progressive. But ok, they haven’t made out with boys on stage, so they must not be supportive.

    Rock has long had it’s pro-gay advocates. Rob Thomas is one the more vocal marriage equality supporters in the rock celebrity arena. Check your own archives for that information. Green Day have also been very pro-gay throughout their career. Hell, on their first major-label, headlining tour they brought Pansy Division as their opening act! We’re talking about giving a hardcore queer band an National audience back in 1994!

    Just saying, there are supporters outside of the pop genre, and big name ones at that.

  • Kev C

    Korn were kinda artsy and had gay fans I know of. But metal doesn’t have the exposure of mainstream pop, who only discovered the existance of gays 12 months ago.

  • swarm

    LIAR. Adam Lambert? Once again Queerty has a LYING blogger misrepresent what the link to the NYT piece ACTUALLY SAYS.

    IT DOESN’T MENTION ADAM LAMBERT AT ALL AS PUSHING A PRO GAY SONG like the other pop stars are allegedly doing.

    In fact, it states that unfortunately for LGBT, Gaga would “probably” have more success with a gay anthem than Adam.

    What idiot wrote this blog? I asked it before and I’ll ask it again who are these bloggers here on Queerty? Why are you anonymous since you’re all so high and mighty, condescending and judgmental? What is YOUR life and what are YOUR credentials? Especially considering the spin here.

    But lets humor the liar and pretend Adam DID release singles “pushing a pro gay message”.

    An ACTUAL gay man, living an ACTUAL gay life since age 18 is categorized with Perry, Kesha and Pink as somehow disingenuous for being “pro gay”?

    Newsflash, none of Adam Lambert’s US singles have a single “pro gay message” anyway. wtaf.

    From the album:

    His song Fever was written years ago by Gaga about a boy and he took the demo and made it his own. What’s so disingenuous about a gay man singing to a man? (get a clue, it’s not released here because of it being an ACTUAL gay song).

    His song Master Plan is an anthem about the new generation dismissing the old way of thinking and mentions DADT. It wasn’t even released as a single. So its a ~branding strategy?

    “Your skin is burning at the sight of me
    Your mask can’t hide what yer thinkin’
    Don’t ask (Don’t tell)
    Just take whatcha need
    I’m an open book
    So go on and take a look”

    His song Aftermath is an anthem song that he wrote that would be perfect for the It Gets Better campaign. Not released as a single but managed to reach number one in Finland. Tsk Tsk how dare he talk about “just remember you are not alone in the aftermath”, since after all..he’s lived it. What a poser.

    Morons. Who is this author? I bet a dollar it’s a straight person. Considering the constant bullying & harassment Adam Lambert gets FOR BEING GAY including HERE, what a pathetic effort to diminish the ONE GAY PERSON who’s out and proud from the start of his career…by actually LYING about what someone else wrote that mentions him.

  • yaoi415

    I honestly don’t care about whether or not it has already been done. “I will Survive” is too general, it could mean anything, while Lady Gaga’s “No matter, Gay, Straight, or Bi, Lesbian, Transgender life…I was born to survive.” Does bring awareness to the world and overall brings hope for a more tolerable tomorrow. I don’t care if Katy Perry or Ke$ha or Pink have thrown in gay kisses here and there as long as the public and mainstream media sees it and knows that we are tired of being ignored and generalized so that “normal” society is spared the contemplation of gay rights. Classic songs like Madonna’s “Express Yourself” are too general and just don’t cut it anymore.

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