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Reader’s Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Anthems

Reader's Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Anthems

June is Pride Month, commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots and asking all of us to remember how we got where we are today. So we thought it might be fun to start up an annual Pride Month poll here at /bent, asking our readers to tell us the films, television shows, songs and people (both fictional and real) that have been important to them in the past 45 years. 

Check out all the results for every poll here.

Seventy-two people responded, and we’ll be sharing the results over the next few weeks, with the fifth poll up today: The most important LGBT anthems of the last 45 years. “I’m Coming Out”? “I Will Survive”? “It’s Raining Men”? They are all there, but so are a few new classics.

Now, before we get to the results: We do realize doing this kind of thing is highly subjective, which is why we’re going with “most important” and not “best.” We hoped that what resulted was eclectic mix of songs that have helped shape the queer cultural landscape. And we think it really is, overall… Though sometimes “important” is definitely a bit of a strong word.

Here are some interesting things to note before you go through the list: 

  • The “points” listed next to each film refers to the way we tabulated things. People voted in top 10 lists, so if the person was #1, it got 10 points, #2 got 9 points, etc. 
  • For the first time in this series of polls, women led the overall count with 14 of the songs sung by women (though roughly half of them  straight women, not that there’s anything wrong with that).
  • Newer artists did represent, with Lady Gaga, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Frank Ocean and yes, a song from “Frozen” all in the top 20. Though that said, the list was generally dominated by older songs. The 1970s (disco lives!), 1980s and 1990s each had 6 songs on this list, totalling 18. Only 7 songs came out after 2000.  
  • And in case you’re curious, the 10 runner-ups, in order of votes, were: “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” (Culture Club); “Finally” (CeCe Peniston); “Beautiful” (Christina Aguilera); “Handsome Devil” (The Smiths); “Express Yourself” (Madonna); “Closer To Fine” (Indigo Girls); “Glad To Be Gay” (Tom Robinson Band); “Rise Like a Phoenix” (Conchita Wurst); “Running Up That Hill” (Kate Bush); “Fuck The Pain Away” (Peaches) 

So without further ado, we present the 25 most important LGBT anthems, according to you. Definitely use the comments section to discuss your thoughts and/or your own choices, but remember – these were your picks – do don’t blame us if your offended about their quality or lack of diversity through the LGBT spectrum. And watch the clips!

25. “Relax” (Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 1983) – 43 points

23 (tie). “Let’s Have a Kiki” (Scissor Sisters, 2012) – 44
23 (tie). “Hope There’s Someone” (Antony & The Johnsons, 2005) – 44

22. “It’s Raining Men” (The Weather Girls, 1982) – 45

21. “Bad Religion” (Frank Ocean, 2012)  – 46

Check out all the results for every poll here.

20. “Let It Go” (Idina Menzel/Demi Lovato, 2013) – 49

18 (tie). “Your Disco Needs You” (Kylie Minogue, 2001) – 52

18 (tie). “Supermodel”  (RuPaul, 1992) – 52

17. “New York City Boy” (Pet Shop Boys, 1999) – 53

16. “We Are Family” (Sister Sledge, 1979) – 55

15. “Come To My Window” (Melissa Etheridge, 1994) – 66

14. “I Love The Nightlife” (Alicia Bridges, 1978) – 69

12 (tie). “Y.M.C.A.” (Village People, 1978) – 72

12 (tie). “Constant Craving” (kd lang, 1992) – 73
11. “Dancing Queen” (ABBA, 1976) – 76

Check out all the results for every poll here.

10. “Small Town Boy” (Bronski Beat, 1984) – 78

9. “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” (Sylvester, 1977) – 79

8. “I Am What I Am” (Gloria Gaynor, 1983) – 82

6 (tie). “Same Love” (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert, 2012) – 85

6 (tie). “I Want To Break Free” (Queen, 1984) – 85
5. “Vogue” (Madonna, 1990) – 99

4. “Go West” (Pet Shop Boys, 1993)  – 105

Note: This is the cover of the 1979 Village People song, which itself got 13 votes. But the Pet Shop Boys popularized it and made it a true gay anthem.

3. “Born This Way” (Lady Gaga, 2011) – 124
2. “I Will Survive” (Gloria Gaynor, 1978) – 127
1. “I’m Coming Out” (Diana Ross, 1980)  – 143

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