Billboard has compiled a list of "25 Great Gay Moments in Music" to celebrate the beginning of Pride month. Click through for the full list, and check out some notable moments below:
Madonna took the stage at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York in a Boy Scouts uniform as part of GLAAD's year-long campaign to end the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) ban on gay scouts and leaders. "I think they should change their stupid rules, don't you?," she said. The BSA have since voted to allow gay youth and GLAAD will continue to call for full inclusion of gay parents and leaders. Watch Madonna's speech below:
Pop star and GLAAD Davidson/Valentini Award honoree Adam Lambert made history last year when he became the first openly gay man to claim the number one spot on the US Billboard 200 chart with his album Trespassing. Watch Lambert accepting the Davidson/Valentini Award as well as the Outstanding Music Artist Award (which he co-received in a tie with Frank Ocean's Channel Orange) at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards below:
Frank Ocean revealed that his first love was a man in an emotional letter posted to his Tumblr account last July before the release of his debut album Channel Orange. Ocean received support from some of the biggest names in music including Beyonce, Jay-Z and GLAAD Media Award honoree Russell Simmons. He co-received the Outstanding Music Artist Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco in a tie with Lambert's Trespassing.
Laura Jane Grace, lead singer of Against Me!, came out as transgender in a May 2012 interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Earlier this year she penned a piece for Cosmo about her experience transitioning in the public eye which touched on coming out to her family and friends, fan support (overwhelmingly positive), and her joy at performing for the first time in a skirt.
Award-winning country singer Chely Wright came out as a lesbian in 2010 during an interview with People.com and the documentary Chely Wright: Wish Me Away chronicling her coming out process and release of her book received a nomination for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Documentary category. Wright and wife Lauren Blitzer welcomed twins last month.
GLAAD Media Awards honoree Ricky Martin came out in an intimate letter to his fans in 2010, saying, "At this moment I'm feeling the same freedom I usually feel only on stage…it fills me with strength and courage." Martin received a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Artist (Spanish Language) at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards and dedicated his honor to Chilean hate crime victim Daniel Zamudio.
Other notable musicians whose coming out statements made the Billboard list include Judas Priest's Rob Halford, Melissa Etheridge, Rufus Wainwright, Lance Bass and Elton John.
Grammy Award-winning rapper Jay-Z spoke out in favor of marriage equality last year in an interview with CNN, during which he praised President Obama’s support. He described the President's stance on marriage equality as “the right thing to do as a human being,” and said that to deny marriage to same-sex couples is “discrimination, plain and simple.” Speaking about the fact that marriage for gay and lesbian couples is not currently recognized nationwide, he said, “I’ve always thought it as something that's still holding the country back.” His wife, Beyonce, also spoke out in favor of marriage equality earlier this year.
Indie rock band FUN., who appeared at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco last year; launched The Ally Coalition this past October, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring people to take action in the movement for equality. They also went on the 10-stop Campus Consciousness Tour focused on mobilizing college students to actively support equality; guitarist Jack Antonoff wrote a Huffington Post op-ed about the importance of being an ally. Watch FUN. at the GLAAD Media Awards below.
Rapper and Seattle native Macklemore and creative partner Ryan Lewis released the marriage equality anthem "Same Love," in time for his home state to pass marriage equality. Check out the video for "Same Love," which has garnered over 45 million YouTube views, below:
Mana, one of the biggest rock acts in Latin music expressed their support for marriage equality to their 8 million Facebook followers in April of 2012. Lead singer Fher Olvera wrote "Full recognition for same-sex couples is not just a question of equality, it is also a matter of justice. In a chaotic world where there is still too much hatred, all expressions of love are important so that we do not forget that, even in spite of our imperfections, we are called to be angels. Because the only sin is the absence of love."