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Iconic Gay Anthems from Judy Garland, Bowie, Sister Sledge, Declared National Treasures

Iconic Gay Anthems from Judy Garland, Bowie, Sister Sledge, Declared National Treasures

Judy Garland

Garland's "Over the Rainbow," Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust," and Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" are named to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. 

aaronhicklin

The world may be falling about our ears, but news today that the Library of Congress has deemed a 1939 recording of Judy Garland singing her seminal number from The Wizard of Oz, "Over the Rainbow" as an "aural treasure" is a welcome respite in a week of shittiness.

Additional luster comes by way of David Bowie's legendary 1972 concept album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which also joins the Library of Congress today. As does Barbra Streisand's "People," a song that Streisand today described as touching on "our common desire to relate to others with love and caring." Who says this stuff isn't political? Did we say that N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton also joined the list? Bowie, who died on January 10 last year, was a seminal influence on queer artists of today. Streisand is just, well, Streisand, and we love her.

And there's more: Garland, Bowie, and Streisand are joined by another iconic gay anthem, "We Are Family," by Sister Sledge, a song that literally propelled gay liberation in the late 70s when it was stuck on repeat at Studio 54. Disco opened the door for many of those marginalized in American society--black, Hispanic, queer--and when the backlash came (much like today) it was fierce. Groups of straight white men made a show of burning their disco records, and disco was soon reviled as synthetic and unpure--just like those sissy men who danced to it. Last May, Gloria Gaynor's disco classic, "I Will Survive," was also added to the National Recording Registry.

Disco, after all, will have the last laugh.

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