Happy LGBT Pride! This week New York City will be filled with rainbows; and it all started one night in 1969 when police decided to raid The Stonewall Inn. This event ignited The Stonewall riots that lead to the first “Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day March.” This playlist is dedicated to past and present human rights defenders of the LGBT community.

There’s no one anthem for the gay rights movement, instead many famous musicians and songwriters have captured the idea of pride in songs about empowerment, hardship, and acceptance of every person, despite who they decide to love.

Our international song list combines some well known and perhaps new discoveries to help bring ‘pride’ to your work day music listening.

[ Featured image from flickr creative commons ]

Shim El Yasmine by Mashrou’ Leila – They are one of the most popular bands in the ME and most of their songs are about homosexuality (has English subtitles) ~ Raja

Mi Nah Wanna by Abstract Random – Just listen to it! Not only a positive (and rarely heard) message rejecting homophobia in dancehall, but it’s hella good. h/t to DJ Ushka on Feministing ~ Madeleine

Frances and Her Friends by Frances Faye – Frances Faye was an out performer in Hollywood at a time when that was not OK. They banished her, and she went to Las Vegas where her club act was attended by all the Hollywood set. This song displays her humor and courage as someone who wore her gayness ~ Rick

For Today I Am A Boy by Antony & The Johnsons – because pain, joy, ache and survival: lyrics from the song were used as an epigraph in Kim Fu‘s coming of age memoir of the same name as a transgender immigrant in Ontario, Canada ~ Michael

The Welcome Song by Celina Jaitly featuring Neeraj Shridhar – share if you believe everyone should be welcomed into their family’s hearts, regardless of their sexual orientation ~ Sulafa

El Hal Romancy by Mashrou’ Leila – Their lead singer is gay (one of the first openly gay musical artists in the Middle East) ~ Raja

Dancing Queen by ABBA – The vibe of PRIDE for sure, “You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life” ~ Ricky

Behesht by Googoosh – Iran’s reigning queen of pop, Googoosh, made history in the global LGBT rights movement. The artist released a music video that strongly denounces homophobia and sticks up for the freedom of LGBT individuals ~ MJ

The Day After That by Liza Minelli – It was a courageous thing for Liza, during the mid-90s when she was still releasing singles on the national level, to release this one as an anthem for a cure for AIDS ~ Rick

Beautiful by Christina Aguilera – with the lyrics “I am beautiful, no matter what they say”, this popular pop song of the 2000s reinforces the idea that no words are strong enough to break our individual beauty as human beings ~ Kat

I Am What I Am by Gloria Gaynor – The music is always uplifting. No matter how many times I listen to it ~ Rick

Make a Better World by New Nobility – a song all about peace and love ~ Syd

Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert – sometimes considered a pop culture anthem of the LGBT movement because “underneath, it’s all the same love” ~ Kat

Less Talk, More Rock by Propagandhi – This Canadian band has never been shy about expressing their politics, feelings, or sexuality. They wrote this hilarious song as a lesson for the homophobic, overly macho tough guy types who would dance at their shows without paying attention to the content of their lyrics ~ Chris

Somebody to Love by Queen – This soul-searching song about the pain of searching for love in one’s life, ends on a note of hope with the lyrics “Ain’t gonna face no defeat/I just gotta get out of this prison cell/ Someday I’m gonna be free..!” I think this could easily be interpreted to mean finding the freedom to love who you want. ~ Matisse

Fight For… by Heather Peace – She’s an out actress, singer and director. This song is only on YouTube and the video was shot with friends. ~ MJ

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