It’s hard to argue that romance music isn’t heteronormative. There’s even a meme on how weird it is to change gendered song lyrics — most songs are written with heterosexual couples in mind. Covers that inadvertently make a song gay are cool, but what about songs that are written by members of the community, for the community?
While not switching the lyrics is a minute but important detail, supporting actual LGBTQ+ music has lasting impacts on broadening the category and normalizing LGBTQ+ relationships. I’m not a man who loves men, but I am definitely a woman who loves women.
If you’re in that category with me, then check out these bops to get you in the groove to make a move.
“I Didn’t Just Kiss Her” by Jen Foster
Foster’s song emphasizes the secretive nature of lesbian relationships, especially because the girl that Foster has gotten with in the song has a boyfriend. The girl tries to hide this relationship, but there’s a distinct cockiness in Foster’s voice as she talks about how good the sex was, for herself and for the girl she was with, that makes clear that neither of them will be forgetting any time soon.
“He’ll Never Love You” by Hayley Kiyoko
Similar to Foster’s song, Kiyoko’s assertion even in the name of this song is a clear stance on how much better at loving she is in comparison to this elusive “he.” She is certain that this “he” will never satisfy the speaker as well as she can, since he’ll never love the girl as much as she does.
“i wanna be your girlfriend” by girl in red
Where are all my girls whose crushes on their best friends were never realized? This is the song for you. The longing and desire is palpable in the singer’s voice as she sings about this close friend. On top of that, this is a very common experience for those of us closeted in our adolescent years, even beyond.
“Pynk” by Janelle Monáe feat. Grimes
This would not be a proper LGBTQ+ playlist without any mention of Janelle Monáe. This is a gentle bop, soothing and full of love that gives light to both the sexual and sensual sides of a relationship. If you’re looking for something smooth to add to your playlist, something to listen to just before walking into the café on your first date with a girl, then this is the perfect song.
“She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert
For those of us who were closeted during middle school and attended middle school at some point in 2013, Lambert’s hit song may have been your first introduction to LGBTQ+ music. After all these years, it still holds up as a validating and comforting tune to remind even the most scared members of the community that it is OK. For young women just beginning to realize their sexuality, songs and representation through media like this is integral to normalizing LGBTQ+ identities.