While many musicians are recognized for their allyship, this list recognizes queer musicians that are carving out a place for themselves and creating music that helps the LGBTQIA+ community feel seen and heard in an industry that frequently overlooks them. These are the queer musicians to keep a keen eye on long after Pride Month is through, from those creating future pop anthems to a new generation of singer-songwriters establishing a new canon of love songs.
As more musicians join the march for equality, we spotlight ten of the best trans musicians who are giving their best to make this world a better place.
Here are Some of the Best Queer Musicians
1. Shea Diamond
ShaGasyia “Shea” Diamond is an American singer, songwriter, and transgender rights activist. Her music is primarily soul and R&B, with hints of blues, rock, hip-hop, and folk thrown in for good measure. She stole a convenience store with a revolver to pay for gender affirmation surgery when she was 20 years old.
Her song “I Am Her” was written when she was detained. The song began as a protest a world that told her she shouldn’t exist and has since evolved into an anthem “for all those who felt outcast for simply being who they were.”
Anohni is an English singer, songwriter, and visual artist. She was the lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons’. In an interview, she said, “I’ve been talking about myself as transgender for as long as I can remember.”
Anohni refers to herself as she/her. Her new album, “Hopelessness”, tackles topics as diverse as climate change and Guantanamo Bay. In an interview, Anohni said, “I wanted to do something that was gonna go down fighting”. She is one of the best trans artists.
3. Skylar Kergill
One of the best lgbt artists, Skylar Kergil is a Boston-based transgender singer-songwriter, activist, educator, writer. He began filming his transition on YouTube in 2009, when he began hormone therapy, using the pseudonym “Skylark” or “Skylarkeleven.”
His initiative “Re-humanizing the Transmasculine Community,” which began as his senior thesis but has since continued, was described as “beyond sustainable. It collapses borders, ideologies, and hopefully produces some very good art.” He is an inspiration to aspiring trans music artists.
4. AH MER AH SU
Our lives and worth are sometimes minimized or erased, but there is so much to be thankful for in our existence. Ah Mer Ah Su, an Oakland-based lgbt music artist, is doing just that with her debut album, STAR, which is filled with words of wisdom as well as danceable beats.
As she sings about her experience as a trans woman of color in a culture that is “hell-bent on erasing people like (her).” She is one of the inspiring queer musicians. She sings of self-acceptance, personal progress, and the rare moments of freedom she is given.
5. Laith Ashley
Looking for an inspiration to be a queer musician? Here is one. Laith Ashley is one of the best queer artists you have ever seen. Laith Ashley De La Cruz is a Dominican-American model, actor, activist, singer, composer, and entertainer.
In January 2014, Laith began medically transitioning with the use of masculinizing hormone therapy. His voice grew deeper, and he began to grow a beard. He went on to serve as a social worker at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, where he worked with LGBT homeless youth. He is an inspiration to young queer music artists.
6. Laura Jane Grace- Against Me!
Laura Jane Grace, one of the best queer musicians founded the band ‘Against Me!’ in 1997 in Naples, Florida. Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! narrates the story of gender dysphoria in “Transgender Dysphoria Blues.” This song is an inspiration for aspiring trans musicians.
Grace sings, “You want them to see you / Like they see every other girl,” Grace sings. “They just see a faggot / They’ll hold their breath not to catch the sick.” The punk rock song captures the misery and frustration felt by many transsexual people.
Shawnee rose to attention as the winner of a music competition, while being unexplored in the musical world. Her music incorporates influences from the soul and pop genres, as well as her own Mohawk ancestry. An inspiration to many queer musicians.
Shawnee sings in “Warrior Heart,” “Stay/And show them what you’re made of.” The Canadian Mohawk songstress is a strong supporter for indigenous youngsters as a two-spirit person. Shawnee will donate revenues from the sale of “Warrior Heart” to the We Matter Campaign, which aims to prevent adolescent suicide and empower indigenous youth.
8. Ryan Cassata
When all else seems hopeless, Ryan Cassata’s “We’re the Cool Kids” is the song to listen to. “We’re changing things and we’re leading this movement/ We’re gonna prove it/ That we’re the cool kids.” This song is one of the best deliverables from a queer musician.
The song, according to Cassata, is about coming together, fighting ignorance, and “hopefully beating it.” He talks about gender dysphoria, being transgender, bullying, and his own personal transition from female to male, which included top surgery in January 2012.
9. Joy Oladokun
“When you listen to me, I want you to feel like you’ve taken an emotional shower..” says singer-songwriter Joy. “Having trouble giving grace, to every one of my mistakes,” she confides on “someone that I used to be,” she confides in “someone that I used to be,” backed by a soothing piano and the sweet tone of Oladokun’s voice.
Oladokun is building a reputation for herself in Nashville and beyond, open about her queerness, mental health, and mission to be thoughtful with the music she creates. She is an inspiration to every queer song artist.
10. The Cliks
Known as ‘The front man of The Cliks’, Lucas Silveria, was one of the first transgender males to sign a big label recording contract. ‘Snakehouse’ was released by the Cliks in 2006 through Warner Music Canada.
Silveria said that he needed to change his sound after transitioning. “Savanna’s” Motown swing is something to be influenced by. She is an inspiration to many lgbt music artists.
So, these are some of the best queer musicians. If you are looking for an inspiration, these famous lgbt artists will help you a lot. Thanks for reading!