With queer visibility and acceptance on steady rise, pressure for LGBTQ musicians to maintain a "universally relatable" (aka straight) image in order to appeal to a mainstream audience remains. Luckily, an increasing number of artists are starting their careers by actively avoiding that trap.
The impact this has on fans, particularly young, LGBTQ fans, cannot be overstated. These six artists may create music that's hard to compare, but they share a fearlessness to harness their passions to challenge heteronormativity in their careers. And they're making it that much easier for the next wave of artists to follow suit.
Scroll through to meet the Pride50 music honorees...
This synth-pop trio found widespread success with their 2016 single “I Know a Place,” and have been queering up the pop scene ever since. Group members Katie Gavin (vocals), Naomi McPherson (guitar, vocals), and Josette Maskin (guitar, vocals) all identify as queer, and make us wish they’d been around when we were coming of age. But we’re just as happy they’re here now. In their lyrics, MUNA purposefully opts to avoid gendered pronouns, giving the listener the opportunity to do the same and focus on the shared emotions that connect us.
Here’s “Stayaway” off their sophomore album “Saves the World” that looks at the age old game of “what if…”: