Songs in the Key of Life: Straight Singers Reach Out to their Gay Fans
By Max Berlinger
While the recent string of tragic gay suicides prompted writer Dan Savage to produce the internet fueled "It Gets Better" project -- encouraging young disenfranchised people that life after bullying does, in fact, get much, much better -- it seems that some of the biggest names in popular music are finding other ways to convey the same message. The New York Times' Alex Hawgood published a story on Friday exploring the recent uptick in songs or music videos that are tapping into GLBT issues. He cites the likes of Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Pink and Taylor Swift (of course Lady Gaga's name comes in to play as well) as being at the forefront of this anti-bullying anthem trend. Hawgood does a good job at both commending the ladies for their support while also questioning their sincerity, acknowledging that appealing to gay audiences could just another way to rack in more dough for the pop princesses.
As we all know though, this recent smattering of positivity-infused aural medicine is by no means the first time that the gay community has taken a song and appropriated it for them selves (read: "We Are Family", "I'm Coming Out", "Beautiful", etc.) but it sure is a well-timed spin for certain songstresses to make a statement to the public and their gay fans regarding their stance on gay rights' issues while simultaneously promoting supportive messages -- all the while watching their dividends grow. Our feeling is that regardless of what the ultimate motivating factor is, any public outcry from a relevant pop culture figure to focus on these issues is helpful and aids to us feed the greater good, especially in having our straight allies come to our side for support. An added bonus to the new gay anthem revival? Some killer songs to boogie to.