This month has given us of not one, but two Christmas offerings from queer musicians. First, Queen of Bounce and “Formation” guest star Big Freedia dropped her new EP, A Very Big Freedia Christmazz, the highlight of which is “Santa Is a Gay Man,” a raunchy reworking of “Mr. Sandman” that contains the line “I’d love to grab ahold of that belly / And make it jiggle like a bowl of K-Y Jelly.” (Wow.) Then, just last week, Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos unveiled Merry Christmas, Mr. Fields, a dreamy video album that features swooning, 1940s-inspired songs like “Christmas In Your Arms.”
Which you’ll prefer depends on whether you like your Christmas tunes twerky or twinkling, but these records make one thing clear: Christmas music doesn’t have to suck. It can be cool and modern and original (and filthy AF). The holidays continue to inspire artists of every genre, beckoning them to reinvent the standards and create some future classics of their own.
In light of that, we’ve strung together some of our festive favorites. In this three-and-a-half-hour playlist, you’ll find a wildly eclectic mix that spans seven decades, with tracks ranging from the ridiculous (Pansy Division’s “Homo Christmas,” an ode to gay sex under the tree) to the sublime (Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” perhaps the greatest unintentional Christmas song of all time). At this holiday party, tinsel-covered toe-tappers mingle with ballads as delicate as a snowflake, with a guest list that includes everyone from David Bowie, Mariah Carey, Dolly Parton, and Destiny’s Child to the Ramones, Cat Power, Sufjan Stevens, and the Vandals (the band responsible for the first transgender Christmas anthem).
So pour yourself a glass of ’nog and hit play. Happy holidays, y’all.