Playlist: LGBT History Month

To mark the end of LGBT History Month, we dedicated our 28th February radio show to highlighting some of our favourite LGBTQ+ artists. We’ve put together a LGBT History Month playlist of all the tracks we played, plus some extras we didn’t have time for on the show, because LGBTQ+ history is part of all of our history and should be celebrated every single day!

Read about why we picked some of the tracks here, and then make sure you listen to the full playlist!

Hercules & Love Affair‘Blind’
This track is so important me, taken from Hercules & Love Affairs’ self-titled album released in 2008, which I was obsessed with. Growing up I don’t remember any out famous LGBTQ+ women in music, so seeing Kim Ann Foxman who was part of their line-up on the album -so confident in her sexuality – it made the biggest of impressions on me. The music isn’t bad either. ‘Blind’ is without a doubt the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality, feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life.
– Tash Walker

Shamir‘Straight Boy’
I’ve had a massive love for Shamir since seeing him at Visions Festival a few years ago, and then again last summer at Camden Assembly. A step away from the uptempo playful pop of his debut, ‘Straight Boy’ is a real beauty laying bare a heart-rending raw emotion. Shamir explains: “(it’s) about how frustrating it was for me to have my whole identity picked apart at a young age just to see straight white men use it as an aesthetic choice.”
– 
Mari Lane

Frank Ocean‘Chanel’
Such a great song. As you may or may not know Frank Ocean came out back in 2012 to mixed, but mainly positive, responses. Although he’s not technically a hip-hop artist, he is very much part of the community and this was a positive step for LGBTQ+ artists not only in hip-hop, but also on a much wider scale.
-TW

Syd ‘All About Me’
This is one of my favourite tracks from Syd who is openly LGBTQ+, and you may know from the excellent collective The Internet.
– TW

Blonde Maze‘Awake/Asleep’
Ever since first hearing New York artist Blonde Maze a few years ago, I’ve been completely and utterly addicted to her luscious atmospheric offerings. This beautifully twinkling track is taken from her 2015 Oceans EP – a collection of songs reflecting her long distance relationship with her girlfriend, who at the time lived in England.
– ML

Mykki Blanco (feat. Princess Nokia) – ‘Wish You Would’
This is a song from an artist who I feel needs no introduction, a queer pioneer who is doing amazing things for LGBTQ+ rights as well as being open about their positive HIV status. Mykki Blanco is also such an incredible artist and his music is just oh so gooooood.
– TW

Jackie Shane‘Any Other Way’
I was sad to learn of the recent death of trans rights pioneer and musician Jackie Shane last week. Jackie has remained largely unknown outside of Toronto, where her career flourished in the 1960s, but with the 2017 reissue of Any Other Way – the first approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work featuring highlights from her sessions at the Sapphire Tavern – I think that’s about to change. She lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated towards those who identified as trans. Though she has a classic sound, her obvious talent and her championing of equality will forever remain contemporary.
– Kate Crudgington

King Princess – ‘1950’
Something that I am really proud of here in the UK is the latest generation of LGBTQ+ people, who continually amaze me with their openness and their acceptance of how others identify in their sexuality and gender identity; so different from when I was growing up. ‘1950’ by King Princess is an excellent example of the progression we have made throughout the last 60 years.
– TW

Suggested Friends ‘I Don’t Want To Be A Horcrux For Your Soul’
I can safely say that Suggested Friends are one of my most-listened to, and most thoroughly loved, bands, so I’m super excited to hear that they’re currently working on a new album to follow their self-titled debut. This track in particular showcases their perfect, immensely infectious queer punk-pop to a tee. Filled with racing, catchy hooks and luscious harmonies, Faith Taylor’s witty charm and exquisite vocals fill me with pure joy on each listen.
– ML

Dream Nails ‘DIY’
Collective GIHEs faves Dream Nails are renowned for making women and non-binary people feel safe at their live shows, and they tirelessly campaign on and offstage for LGBT rights too. DIY is an anthem that reminds me time and again that all that’s needed to inspire change is a pro-active attitude, some self belief, and a healthy bit of collaboration. Long live Dream Nails!
– KC

Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something‘Someone Else To Blame’
Non-binary London artist Jemma Freeman creates wonderful psychedelic creations that’ll take your ears on a sonic, spacey journey on each listen. We’ve been wowed by their immensely captivating live show on more than one occasion, and we highly recommend you do the same.
– ML

Sleater Kinney ‘Jenny’
A song written by Corin Tucker reflecting on her past relationship with bandmate Carrie Brownstein, ‘Jenny’ is an underrated gem from one of my all time favourites, and pioneers for women in rock, Sleater Kinney.
– ML

ARXX‘Intervention’
Having blown us away with their immense energy at their live shows, and supported bands such as Dream Wife, ARXX are one of our ones to watch for this year. They just keep getting better. This track, ‘Intervention’, taken from last year’s EP Daughters Of Daughters, oozes a ferocious spirit, as vocalist Hannah talks of social injustices, giving a shout out to the LGBT charity Stonewall, exclaiming that “you don’t get to say who we fall in love with”. It’s a perfect, raging anthem for equality. And we cannot wait for ARXX to headline for us at The Finsbury for our special International Women’s Day gig next Friday, 8th March.
– ML

Queen Zee‘Boy’
‘Boy’ by Liverpool’s Queen Zee is an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes. ‘Boy’ is taken from Queen Zee’s debut self-titled album which is available now, and I’m so happy to see Queen Zee doing so well, refusing to be melted in to a “masculine mould”.
– KC

Bugeye ‘Is This Love?’
Fellow Croydonites, Bugeye, have been lifting my spirits with their colourful disco-punk for some time now and this track – a twisted play on the theme of love, taking inspiration from Donna Summer’s ’80s club anthem ‘I Feel Love’ – is a perfect example of what they do best. Having got the whole crowd dancing at last year’s Croydon Pride festival, Bugeye are flying the flag for LGBT women in music south of the river, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
– ML

Le Tigre‘Hot Topic’
I just couldn’t not include total faves and pioneers of queer culture, Le Tigre. An unabashed celebration of (mostly) female and LGBT artists, writers, musicians, and thinkers, ‘Hot Topic’ remains one of my all time favourites, as it never fails to inspire and motivate me to get up and achieve my dreams.
– ML

Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
Robyn is an outspoken ally for LGBTQ+ rights. I think it is important to recognise the role that allies play within LGBTQ+ history and the movement’s continued fight for equality. Being an ally is about educating yourself, it’s about listening, being visible, challenging inequality and helping to educate others. Being an ally isn’t just about LGBTQ+, it applies to any under-represented, marginalised section of society worldwide. As Stonewall says “If we want to live in a world where people are accepted without exception, we all need to be part of the solution.
– TW

Janelle Monae (feat. Grimes) – ‘Pynk’
A brash celebration of creation from the powerhouse that is Janelle Monae. Self love. Sexuality. And p-ssy power! Need I say more.
– TW

Planningtorock ‘Non Binary Femme’
This track summed up 2018 for me, a year that gave with free abundance in good music, in particular Planningtorock’s album Powerhouse. Throughout the whole album, Powerhouse has such an uplifting sound, the music is under the skin catchy and any album that uses the language ‘Non-Binary Femme’ in the title of the song is unarguably paving the way for not only a greater/better understanding of what these words and this sort of language means, but also for it to become a fully accepted part of everyday conversation.
– TW

Shura – ‘2Shy’
I just love this track from London artist Shura, who has been consistently challenging stereotypes since she came out as a lesbian a couple of years ago and helping to ‘queer the mainstream’. Bring on the blurring of gender and sexuality in pop!
– TW

St. Vincent – ‘Fast Slow Disco’
A believer in gender fluidity, pioneering pop artist Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent’s, 2017 Masseducation album was an utter joy from start to finish. With an accompanying video featuring Clark dancing through crowds of men at a gay club, ‘Fast Slow Disco’ is a perfect, uplifting anthem.
– ML

Perfume Genius‘Hood’
At just two minutes long, ‘Hood’ from Perfume Genius is a perfectly heartbreaking song. Taken from his 2012 album Put Ur Back In2 It, which is start to finish heart-string tugging perfection, it’s accompanied by a video featuring Mike Hadreas and gay porn actor Arpad Miklos embracing each other, which was deemed ‘unfit for family viewing’ by YouTube. But it’s actually just truly beautiful and powerfully poignant, and should be viewed by everybody. Of the track Hadreas explains: “The song’s about how if someone knew you 100%, they would go away… So, in the video, I didn’t acknowledge [Miklos] until I was fully done-up in all my gear and my wig. That’s how I feel in general. That freaky shit underneath — that’s kind of who I am, really.
– ML

Antony and the Johnsons ‘For Today I Am A Boy’
A stirring and powerful ode to the journey of transitioning. With the immense passion of Anohni’s distinctive, soulful vocals, ‘For Today I Am A Boy’ is a simply exquisite creation.
– ML

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’
Released in 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a heartbreaking story given an empowering beat. Outside of Get In Her Ears I am the Co-Chair for Switchboard – the LGBT+ Helpline which turns 45 years old this year. It is an incredible organisation that is rich with LGBTQ+ history, but it got me thinking and made me look at all the different events that Switchboard’s volunteers have supported people with throughout its 45 years. From the numerous police raids on LGBT+ venues in the 70s, the HIV and AIDS crisis in the 80s, as well as Section 28 which prohibited the promotion of homosexuality (only revoked in 2003). It also went on to support people after the Soho Nail Bomb which it is the 20th anniversary of this year. More recently we’ve seen such events as the Orlando shooting, along with an increase in hate crime towards members of the LGBTQ+ communities specifically targeting transgender people, which is completely unacceptable. But it hasn’t been all bad, there have been a lot of positive changes throughout our recent LGBTQ+ history. Changes in legislation such as equal marriage and educational guidance in schools (hot off the press this week), and changes in societal and cultural views. What we’ve got to keep remembering is that we’re still on that same journey. A journey for equality. A journey for full acceptance… of everyone, no matter how they identify.
– TW

Listen back to last night’s show to hear more about our chosen tracks, or give the full extended playlist a listen on Spotify now:

PLAYLIST: Pride 2018

Pride. What is Pride?  

Pride is a day to celebrate but it’s also a day to remember. Remember the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967, the Stonewall riots of 1969. Remember the first official Pride in London in 1972 and remember it increasing in size during the ’80s to protest Section 28. Remember the first European Trans Pride in Brighton in 2014, and last year Sadiq Khan being the first London Mayor to lead the Pride parade.

Here in the UK we have come so far as a society but still on the streets of London I am shouted at when I kiss my girlfriend. LGBTQ+ people should not be victimised, they should not be judged, they should not be isolated. People should be free to live without fear of judgment or discrimination. LGBTQ+ people should not have to fear for their lives because of their sexuality or gender identity.

Throughout the years so many people have stood up for LGBTQ+ rights and achieved so much in the name of equality and this should be celebrated.

So wherever you are, at whatever Pride you are supporting, spread the word and make it known – equality is for everyone.

Here at GIHE we are supporting Pride Month and will be out supporting Pride in London on 7th July, and because we think everything deserves a soundtrack, here is ours for Pride Month and for all of you, whichever Pride you are supporting across the world.

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’
Their self-titled album released in 2008 was without a doubt the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality, feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life. (Tash Walker)

J.D.Samson / MEN – ‘Who Am I To Feel So Free
As part of my favourite trio Le Tigre, and later MEN, LGBTQ+ activist J.D.Samson holds a pretty special place in my heart. Last year I had the honour of being able to dance the night away to tunes that she hand-picked at M.I.A’s Meltdown Festival. It was a blissfully euphoric experience filled with an immense joy and sense of unity, proving that it’s more important than ever to make time to come together, dance, love, and be united against those who seek to divide us. (Mari Lane)

Peaches – ‘I U She’
Throughout history many people who are bisexual have been criticised by both the LGBTQ+ communities and the non-LGBTQ+ communities. I don’t think people realise how ingrained biphobia is within our society, which makes songs like ‘I U She’ soooo powerful and sooo important. (TW)

Fever Ray – ‘To The Moon and Back’
After seeing Fever Ray live at The Troxy this year – which was breath-taking – the memory of her fans joyfully echoing her explicit lyrics on this track still makes me smile. (Kate Crudgington)

Mykki Blacno – ‘Loner’ 
Rapper and queer pioneer Mykki Blanco delivers powerfully honest and thought-provoking social commentaries with a ferocious, fun-filled spirit. Seeing them live at M.I.A’s Meltdown Festival last year was like witnessing a colourful whirlwind, a beautifully buoyant ray of light. (ML)

Janelle Monae (feat Grimes) – ‘Pynk’
A perfect pop song from Janelle Monae – who spoke about her pansexuality in a recent Rolling Stone interview – which champions female pleasure. What’s not to like? (KC)

Shamir – ‘On The Regular’ 
The frenzied joy of Shamir’s ‘On The Regular’ is a must-have for any celebration, particularly one for Pride. His uptempo, playful pop puts a smile on my face without fail, and a hug from him at Visions Festival a few years ago was a definite life highlight. (ML)

King Princess – ‘1950’
The latest generation of LGBTQ+ people continually amaze me with their openness and their acceptance of how others identify in their sexuality and gender identity. King Princess’ ‘1950’ is an excellent example of the progression we have made throughout the last 60 years.(TW)

St Vincent – ‘Birth In Reverse’
A believer in gender fluidity, Annie Clark seems incapable of creating a song that isn’t completely wonderful. A particular favourite of mine, ‘Birth In Reverse’ is a vibrant example of her ability to make even the most mundane of subjects utterly intoxicating. (ML)

Partner – ‘Woman Of Dreams’ 
Canadian duo Partner are queens of jangly guitar fuzz, sparkling harmonies and witty lyrics. Seeing them live at The Victoria (with Suggested Friends and Charmpit) recently was a night of pure queer-pop perfection. (ML)

Ms Mohammed – ‘Pandora’
As a champion of cross-cultural tolerance and an out queer artist who advocates for LGBT rights and visibility, Ms Mohammed challenges prejudice through her music. Her video for ‘Pandora’ is another superb example of this. (KC)

Suggested Friends – ‘I Don’t Want To Be A Horcrux For Your Soul’
I just can’t get enough of the perfect, immensely infectious ‘tweemo’ punk-pop of Suggested Friends. Filled with racing, catchy hooks and luscious harmonies, Faith Taylor’s witty charm and exquisite vocals fill me with joy on each listen. (ML)

Bikini Kill – ‘Rebel Girl’
A personal choice for me, this song made me feel a lot less isolated when I was growing up, not quite knowing who I was or where I fitted in. (TW)

Dream Nails – ‘Bully Girl’ 
An uplifting queer anthem from our favourite Punk Witches. Yet another sparkling creation from the formidable force that is Dream Nails. (ML)

Gossip – ‘Where The Girls Are’ 
Beth Ditto, what a legend. (TW)

Sleater Kinney – ‘Dig Me Out’
Sleater Kinney’s third album Dig Me Out is filled with explosive emotion. Following the break up of Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein (and Brownstein then being famously outed by Spin Magazine), it’s a defiant and important collection – with anger and frustration used to fuel something wonderful. A necessary and motivating listen. (ML)

Madonna – ‘Vogue’
Inspired by the iconic Paris Is Burning documentary and recorded at the height of America’s AIDS crisis, this song has become an essential to any LGBTQ+ playlist. (TW)

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’ 
Released in 1984 at the height of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, Smalltown Boy is a heartbreaking story given an empowering beat. (TW)

Princess Nokia – ‘Tomboy’ 
A feel-good body image anthem and general all-round banger, Princess Nokia’s ‘Tomboy’ asserts that we should be proud of our bodies (“my little titties and my fat belly”) whatever shape they may be. A snarling ode to her small frame and ‘masculine’ ways, it’s a perfect celebratory playlist must-have. (ML)

Kim Ann Foxman – ‘Creature’
Growing up I don’t remember any out famous LGBT+ women in music, so when I discovered Kim Ann Foxman who was so confident in her sexuality, it made the biggest of impressions on me. The music isn’t bad either. (TW)

Ultra Nate – ‘Free’
This song’s chorus speaks for itself, “Cause you’re free to do what you want to do / You’ve go to live your life / Do what you want to do.” (TW)

Perfume Genius – ‘Queen’
I don’t really have the words to describe my love of Perfume Genius. The first time I saw the video for ‘Queen’ it broke me. Filled with the emotion-filled power of Mike Hadreas’ heartbreaking vocals alongside luscious pop melodies, it’s a song inspired by “gay panic”, and the power one can derive from knowing their mere being is making everyone around them extremely uncomfortable. A powerfully poignant offering from this unique and truly beautiful artist. (ML)

Antony and the Johnsons – ‘For Today I Am A Boy’ 
A stirring and powerful ode to the journey of transitioning. With the immense passion of Anohni’s distinctive, soulful vocals, ‘For Today I Am A Boy’ is a simply exquisite creation. (ML)

Listen to our ‘Pride 2018’ playlist here:

If you have any questions or would like to discuss issues around sexuality and/or gender identity Switchboard – the LGBT+ Helpine is available to listen and support.

You can contact Switchboard via the telephone, instant messenger and email.

Open from 10am to 10pm, 365 days a year.

0300 330 0630

 

Tash Walker / @maudeandtrevor
Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut