This weekend the LGBT community celebrates the tenth edition of Antwerp Pride. With a colorful parade, parties and concerts, the city will become a theme park for gays, lesbians and transgenders.
I'm perfectly ok with that. The only problem is, on average, gay people have a horrible taste in music. Army Of Lovers, Liliane Saint-Pierre, Gloria Gaynor... the cringe goes on and on.
But, do not worry. Merchants Of Air are here with the alternatives. We digged deep into the world of non-cringeworthy music, searching for anything that is somehow connected with the LGBT community.
Judas Priest are widely regarded as one of the most influential bands in the history of heavy metal, and with good reason too. They helped create the sound of generations to come. They also modeled a large part of the heavy metal fashion styles. Leather has become immensely popular among metalheads far and wide. Rob Halford didn't wear those because he was a metalhead, he wore those because he's gay. After years of silence, isolation and depression, Halford finally came out in 1998. He is still considered a metal god, regardless of his sexual preferences.
I know men whose girlfriend left them for another girl. It made them question their own manhood, as in "what have I done wrong?". Peter Steele seemingly thought otherwise, he created one of his greatest tunes based on this love triangle.
Ska punkers Reel Big Fish created this lively tune around the same theme: girlfriends who suddenly become lesbians. No triangle here, just a guy wondering if he really messed up for all the men. He probably did...
Alternative metal band Life Of Agony formed in 1989 and quickly became a well respected band all over the world. Their 1993 album 'River Runs Red' is widely regarded as a classic in the genre. In July 2011, after performing for more than twenty years as a man, front woman Mina Caputo (born Keith) came out as transgender and began referring to herself with female pronouns.
Country legend Willie Nelson covers a song by Latin country musician Ned Sublette, written in 1981. The lyrics satirize the stereotypes associated with cowboys and gay men, such as in the lyrics relating western wear to the leather subculture with the line: "What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?"
Many adolescents struggle with their sexuality. The song "Coming Clean" by American punk rockers Green Day deals with Billie Joe Armstrong's coming to terms with his bisexuality when he was 16 and 17 years old.
One of the greatest britpop songs ever composed was written by (in Brett Anderson's own words) "a bisexual man who never had a homosexual experience." The video was banned for its depiction of two men engaging in a kiss.
You could have seen this one coming, as it features the lyrics 'I Swallow, I Swallow, I Swallow'. Yes, this is a song about a man giving another man a blow job. It's written by keyboardist Roddy Bottum, who came out in 1993.
Into the extreme (Satanic) underground we find a legendary and frightening man. He calls himself Gaahl and he fronts the black metal band Gorgoroth. He is anti-Christian and a Satan worshipper. He spent nine months in prison for torturing a man. He came out as gay in an interview in 2008.
British band The Kinks scored a massive hit with this song, which incidentally describes a young man falling for the charms of an experienced drag queen. Lead guitarist Dave Davies never made his sexual escapades with woman and men a secret, and became an inspiration for many outing artists ever since.