They will be writing about this in the history books: As of 2015, you can now marry someone of your own gender anywhere in America. Marriage equality has come to pass, love has won—bigots and homophobes be damned.
That could only mean field days on end for wedding planners and organizers. Fortunately, the music side of LGBT weddings is well taken care of, as there are plenty of songs about love that transcends gender.
For a more authentic, with-the-times wedding, we have concocted a playlist of songs made by LGBT recording artists in the new millennium. They are:
“What a Beautiful Day,” Brett Every
Brett’s song is fast shaping up to be the must-play song at wedding songs and processionals everywhere. While many songs about same-sex love prefer to be subtle about their import, this one minces no words, as it were, and boldly talks about elevating this love to equal dignity with any hetero-normative relationship out there. Ask your wedding band to swap Van Morrison’s “Days Like This” for this.
“Might Tell You Tonight,” Scissor Sisters
Jake Shears, gay lead singer of the Scissor Sisters, is famous for collaborating with the likes of Cher and Kylie Minogue, who both have incredibly large gay followings. But the material the Sisters kept for themselves are just as worthy of your attention. “Might Tell You Tonight” is a good fit with any gay wedding, an explosive glitter-bomb at straight nuptials. Swoon to these words: “I just might tell you tonight / That I love you / And you should stay all my life.”
“Closer,” Tegan and Sara
Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten Quin, the lesbian twin sisters who make up Tegan & Sara, have been recording music since the 1990s. In a classic case of good things come to those who wait (and persevere), the Canadian twosome finally scored a mainstream hit with 2013’s “Closer,” which was so catchy even Taylor Swift was singing it at her concert. Your gay wedding dance party can’t afford to not have this in the playlist.
“I’m Still Your Fag,” Broken Social Scene
There is no excuse for volleying around the word “fag,” a bruising, derogatory pejorative that has driven many LGBT individuals to self-loathing and suicide. However, when used by someone in the gay community, the word may sound reclaimed, if not innocuous. It could not have a more harmless meaning when it is sung by someone like Broken Social Scene’s openly gay vocalist, in the context of his 2002 song “I’m Still Your Fag.”
“Same Love,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis mark a departure from the hiphop genre in more ways than one. First, they’re white. Second, they made a hit song that dignifies homosexual love, an act of defiance in a genre fraught with homophobia. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis identify as straight, but the hook of the song comes from “She Keeps Me Warm,” a personal composition by out songstress Mary Lambert. The song went on to become a hit, which the trio performed at the 2014 Grammys with gay icon Madonna and out actress Queen Latifah, in front of a mass wedding of 30+ same-sex couples.
“Outlaws of Love,” Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert may have joined American Idol later than Clay Aiken, but he was able to beat him to the tricky act of coming out as a gay celebrity. A track in his second album, “Outlaws of Love,” ostensibly deals with the struggles of being made to feel like second-class citizens as LGBT lovers. An evocative wedding song for couples who have gone through so much to be considered equal in the eyes of the law.
“Oh,” Sleater Kinney
This is a fun love song by riot grrrl rockers Sleater-Kinney, whose members Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker were famously in a Sapphic relationship in the late 1990s.
“Like Me,” Chely Wright
Like hiphop, country music is not exactly the most welcoming of music genres to the notion of equal love. So it was with much uproar when country star Chely Wright came out as a lesbian in 2010. Her Christian, Republican-voting fans have turned their backs on her en masse, but that doesn’t mean her creativity has deteriorated. For her first album since coming out, she asks, on the song “Like Me”: “Who’s gonna end up holdin’ your hand? A beautiful woman or a tall, handsome man? There’s no doubt they’ll love you, but it’s yet to be seen / Will anyone ever know you like me?” Now those lines are something to giddy up to.
“All-American Boy,” Steve Grand
Steve is also an anomaly in country music for the same reasons. He has turned the image of the strapping white straight cowboy on its head to make it more Brokeback Mountain than Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. In 2013, he released a viral music video for “All-American Boy,” which depicted a cowboy pining for the affection of a straight peer. Chely applauded Steve for his courage, putting out such polarizing material at the onset of his music career as opposed to later, like she did.
“End of the World,” Matt Alber
Straight, lesbian, gay—all lovers bleed the same. Gay lovers would go to the ends of the earth to hold on to their love as passionately, as fiercely as any Romeo-and-Juliet would. This folk-pop ballad is an imperative for any gay wedding.
“Origin of Love,” Mika
Lyrically, this is one of Mika’s more adventurous singles yet, which came out after he publicly confirmed his homosexuality. (He previously let slip that he was bisexual.) The song is jam-packed with religious references and love-as-drug metaphors, which all serve to underscore that the narrator’s lover is “the origin of love,” thank God.
JAMIE CONNOR is an Australian author. After spending time as a writer in some of the entertainment industry’s best websites, he now works as an independent researcher and contributor for entertainment and wedding-related websites. In his spare time, he does research work regarding beauty, music, wedding and overall entertainment, which acts as a fuel to his passion for writing. When he is not researching or writing, you can find him staying active, practicing yoga or taking swimming classes.
Jamie lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; and you can follow him on Google+