Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé

4 min read

It’s the second weekend of Pride Month — my favorite time of the year — so we got a whole lotta shaking and celebrating to do before the end of June.

So let’s get this party started with my Pride Realness Playlist:

Diana Ross, “I’m Coming Out”

Diana Ross Getty Images

You know, we gay men, we love our fabulous divas, so we gotta kick this off with the O.G. pop diva Diana Ross — The Boss — and her classic queer anthem “I’m Coming Out.”

Miss Ross was my first crush long before I realized what “coming out” meant in the LGBTQ community. And neither did she when she recorded this back in the post-disco days.

Which makes it even more magical what it has meant to generations of gay men since 1980.

Janet Jackson, “Together Again”

Janet Jackson Getty Images

Speaking of my great diva loves, Janet Jackson is my No. 1.

And her 1997 No. 1 hit “Together Again” somehow turns tragedy into twirling — under that great disco ball in the sky — as we reunite with those lost to the AIDS epidemic.

And when I saw Miss Jackson perform this at the New York Pride Pier Dance 20 years ago in 2004 … it was, quite simply, gay heaven.

Lady Gaga, “Born This Way”

Lady Gaga Getty Images

Let’s take it from one fierce Lady to another — Lady Gaga, that is — with her 2011 smash “Born This Way.”

Hammering it home with the most euphoric beats and empowering message that it’s not a choice y’all, this is — and always be — a natural-born Pride anthem.

Billie Eilish, “Lunch”

Billie Eilish Getty Images

Now we gotta make room on the dance floor for a different kind of diva — my girl Billie Eilish — who opens up about her sexual attraction to women on “Lunch,” a bit of a naughty jam from her new album, “Hit Me Hard and Soft.”

And just like everything she touches, she makes it sound so cool — in this case, to be queer.

Troye Sivan, ‘Rush”

Troye Sivan Getty Images for Live Nation

We gotta get some fierce fellas up in the mix too, right? And Troye Sivan — who came out publicly on YouTube in 2013, when he was just 18 — captures that boy-on-boy chemistry in “Rush,” his Grammy-nominated single that I’ve been addicted to since it came out last summer. 

George Michael, “Freedom! ’90”

George Michael Redferns

Let’s salute — and shimmy with — another gay man who sadly didn’t always get to live so out loud — George Michael — with his 1990 hit “Freedom 90.”

Here’s hoping that, after his death in 2016 at just 53, George is getting all of his gay life in the afterlife.

Beyoncé & Madonna, “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)”

Beyoncé Getty Images

What could possibly be better than one legendary queen like Queen B — that would be Beyoncé — who came to pump Pride all the way up with “Break My Soul” in 2022?

Well, she took it to next-level queen-ness when she paired up with the Queen of Pop — Queen Mother Madonna — for the “Queens Remix” that never fails to get us all striking a pose.

Aretha Franklin, “A Deeper Love (C&C Music Factory Mix)”

Aretha Franklin Rick Diamond

And we’re gonna sashay away with some rainbow realness courtesy of another queen — the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin — who gives her eternal R-E-S-P-E-C-T to the LGBTQ community with “A Deeper Love.”

And all the deep-house, take-you-to-churchness of this 12-minute C&C Music Factory Mix always makes all the queer children feel the “Deeper Love” inside — for themselves.

Happy Pride y’all! Much love.

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