Ever since her meteoric rise to fame, Lady Gaga hasn't been one for conventions. Rather, she’s always pledged a commitment to individualism, a refusal to conform that makes her a beacon encouragement for LGBTQ listeners worldwide.
As a bisexual woman, Gaga has spearheaded numerous efforts in the name LGBTQ-rights, founding her own non-prit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, in 2011.
Her music, particularly her second studio album Born This Way — which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart — has been become inseparable from queer culture, with some songs deeply intertwined in the lived experiences LGBTQ youth.
Honoring her impact, we’ve collected ten the artist's most inspiring and energizing tracks, to keep you on the top your (love)game this Pride Month.
One the artist’s three Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits, “Poker Face” is not only an insatiably catchy song but also an allusion to her personal experience with bisexuality, how it feels to fantasize about a woman while being with a man, doubting his ability to see through the facade.
Another track delving into the singer’s sexuality, “Americano” beautifully unravels the complications a lesbian love story roadblocked by institutional preventions. Gaga vows to never quit fighting in pursuit for equality in love: “Mis canciones son de la revolución,” she sings in Spanish, pledging, “My songs are about the revolution.”
“Born This Way”
An instant classic, a landmark in LGBTQ pop cultue, and an absolutely timeless queer anthem — released in a time when not everyone was ready to hear “gay,” “bi,” “lesbian” and “transgender” on mainstream pop radio. An obviously quintessential Pride track.
Often overlooked on an album littered with incredibly queer tracks, this identity-driven song talks about embracing authenticity and welcoming yourself into the absolute freedom vulnerability. Just about every LGBTQ person can relate to a narrative about fighting with parents about personal expression.
“Highway Unicorn (Road To Love)”
“She’s got a rainbow spirit in her heart that she bleeds,” Gaga declares, as she lets loose on this wildly optimistic track about being strong on the (sometimes lonely) journey to finding love.
If the three x’s didn’t give it away, this song is quite promiscuous, Gaga inviting a girl over to play out her nastiest fantasies while her boyfriend is out town. A very explicit song with a sickening beat.
This heart-pumping track about forbidden love sent a shiver down the spine every suburban Christian mother when it debuted in the Hot 100 top 10 in 2011. Coupled with one the artist's most theatrical videos, this Born This Way standout is sacred to Little Monsters.
Produced by Artpop collaborator Zedd, “G.U.Y.” shoots out the gate with an intense electronic beat, over which Gaga proclaims the empowerment role-reversal, teaming up with the Real Housewives Beverly Hills for a high-fashion bank heist in the track’s fantastical music video.
“I take it f, I put it on/I feel alive when I transform,” Gaga confesses on the bridge a song filled with drag-related themes honesty and fearlessness, and a fair share LGBTQ lingo. The singer even welcomed RuPaul to perform a duet the song on her special, Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular.
“Telephone” (feat. Beyoncé)
Gaga teams up with Beyoncé for one the most show-stopping collabs the twenty-first century, on this club-ready, Britney-Spears-rejected banger. Sure, there’s no clear queer imagery, but a song with both Gaga and Bey is just as fabulous as it gets.