The LGBT Health & Development Program

Youth Blog > Queer Music Artists

Posted on June 27th, 2013 by IMPACT in Featured, Youth Blog. 3 comments

Scrabble board with letters spelling the word "music"

Finding Josephine, “(78/365) Music Star” April 13, 2009 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.

What’s queer music? Does it exist? Sure enough, music of, by, and for queer people is out there and as vibrant as ever [1, 2, 3, 4]. There are incredible talents within our community that too often go undiscovered and unheard.

Artists like homohop duo and Chicago-based Freaky Boiz are quickly gaining fans and YouTube views with catchy songs like “Bounce” [6]. With blogs providing more visibility for queer artists, we can begin to really explore the variety of queer musical expression within our own community.

Just like in our community, there are a wide variety of styles in musical expression and performance [3]. It’s incredibly important to create space – digital and physical – in which queer people can express and be themselves with each other [4]. By doing so, we can affirm each other’s experiences and lives in order to create our own music that promotes LGBTQ people [4].

Any of these styles sound familiar? Lesbian feminist folk. Dykecore. Queercore punk.

vintage RCA turntable with a vinyl record

Ferrari+caballos+fuerza=cerebro Humano, “Musica comprimida – Compressed Music” May 03, 2009 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.

These unique styles of musical expression have been around for quite some time, but it hasn’t been until recently that LGBTQ artists have become more visible. Kokumo, another Chicago-based artist, is a luminary within the queer community [7]. Kokumo is a black transgender woman and a self-described “product of Chicago’s South Side.” She possesses a beautiful voice that stuns audiences wherever she goes.

What queer artists come to mind when you think about your own music library? Rainbow Flava? Glitterlust? Magic Mouth? Joseph Mulhollen? She King?

Check out some of the queer music blogs (listed below) and explore tracks, music videos, and featured artists. Do you have a favorite queer artist not listed here? Who would you recommend?

Queer Music Blogs:
Young Creature
RightOut TV


[1] Du Plessis, M., & Chapman, K. (1997). Queercore: The distinct identities of subculture. College Literature, 24(1), 45-58.

[2] Halberstam, J. (2003). What’s that smell? Queer temporalities and subcultural lives. International journal of cultural studies, 6(3), 313-333.

[3]Taylor, J. (2012). Queerious Youth: An empirical study of a queer youth cultural festival and its participants. Journal of Sociology.

[4]Taylor, J. (2013). Claiming queer territory in the study of subcultures and popular music. Sociology Compass7(3), 194-207.

[5] Peraino, J. A. (2003). Listening to the sirens: Music as queer ethical practice. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 9(4), 433-470.

[6] Freaky Boiz. [Pierre Phipps]. (2012, June 27). Freaky Boiz – Bounce [Video file]. Retrieved from

[7] Kokumo. [Making Out with Wes Perry]. (2013, March). Making Out – Kokumo: There Will Come A Day – February 2013 [Video file]. Retrieved from


This article was written by Gideon Litherland, an IMPACT intern and graduate student at the Family Institute at Northwestern University.

3 thoughts on “Youth Blog > Queer Music Artists

  1. I am in touch with music with quite a long but never heard about such queer music. Your this post is really informative and of course enlightening about music. I also love to read such unique stuff about different music.

  2. I am a gay artist who has spent most of my life trying to fit into an industry that does not allow me to be myself. I feel I have the talent but lack the network. Do you have any suggestions? Where should I begin?

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