Like most stereotypes, the notion that the music in gay clubs is “just better” has some basis in lived experience.
Historically, gay clubs were often the first to play new, up-and-coming artists from the queer underground and alternative playlists. They also filled a need for queer safe spaces, where gay men and women could express themselves without the threat of violence or censure.
The music in these clubs was often anthemic, announcing to the world that “we’re here; we’re queer,” and creating a celebratory environment for guests and staff alike. Here’s my personal “Baker’s Dozen Top Anthems” for your consideration.
“Don’t Leave Me This Way,” Thelma Houston, 1976
“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” Sylvester, 1978
“I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor, 1978
“We Are Family,” Sister Sledge, 1979
“I’m Coming Out,” Diana Ross, 1980
“It’s Raining Men,” The Weather Girls, 1982
“Smalltown Boy,” Bronski Beat, 1984
“True Colors,” Cyndi Lauper, 1986
“A Little Respect,” Erasure, 1988
“Vogue,” Madonna, 1990
“Finally,” CeCe Peniston, 1992
“Firework,” Katy Perry, 2010
“All The Lovers,” Kylie Minogue, 2010
Whether shaking your booty on the dancefloor to these songs or listening to them in the privacy of your room, this music provides me with some of the best vibrations for my many moods. Of course, they also trigger memories of favourite times with friends out partying, sharing emotions and standing up and out at different times in my life.
Perhaps that’s an important part of all the music that we associate with significant events in our lives… music has the power to fire up our vibrations, reminding us of important times, places and relationships in our past. Sometimes, favourite music from our past can provide perspective to present moments. Finally, shared music is a very personal way of connecting with others.
See you on the dancefloor (with pandemic protocols).