A gay anthem (or LGBT anthem) is a song that has become widely popular among, or has become identified with, the LGBT community; usually with gay men. The lyrics of gay anthems are often marked with hope against the odds, pride, unity, or defiance. UK LGBT rights charity Stonewall named Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" the most empowering song of the 2000s decade for LGBT people.
Although every song is individual, the criteria for what makes a gay anthem has shown a trend among the years. In the book Queer, the following ten main themes were listed that are common among many, if not all gay anthems:
- Big-voiced divas
Rather than particular songs, this area of gay anthems is more akin to a cult of personality of a large gay male following for some particular diva-style pop music vocalists who are almost always female gay icons. Modern examples include Liza Minnelli, Cher, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Adele, and Lady Gaga.
- Overcoming hardship in love
Usually a narrative of a wronged lover who comes back stronger than before.
- You are not alone
Songs about coming together as a community or reassurance to the lonely that there are others like them out there.
- Throw your cares away
A carefree narrative about putting your troubles aside and partying.
- Hard-won self esteem
Here, the theme involves fighting through oppression, darkness or fear to gain freedom, beauty or self esteem.
- Celebrating unashamed sexuality
The theme here is of transcending cultural shame to celebrate one's sexual nature.
- Search for acceptance
Songs about a welcoming promised land where the dream of acceptance and belonging and hope lives.
- Torch song for the world weary
A narrative about being used, abused and surviving to tell the tale of lament.
- Love conquers all
Tales of not giving up on love despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
- No apologies
Here, the theme revolves around defiantly living one's life despite what others may want.
|"Love Into the Light" |Kesha
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See also