#ComingOutAnthem: 5 college students share the songs that changed their lives

the voice and vision of a new generation

#ComingOutAnthem: 5 college students share the songs that changed their lives

October 11, 2017

What's your #ComingOutAnthem ?!

In honor of National Coming Out Day, GLAAD is teaming up with our Campus Ambassadors to share their ‘coming out anthems’ and the stories behind the songs that empower them.

  • Is there a song that describes your coming out experience?
  • What’s that one jam you play while getting ready for a night out with your LGBTQ crew?
  • Was there a tune playing on the radio when you came out as queer to your best friend?

Let us know! Join the GLAAD Campus Ambassadors and share your #ComingOutAnthem on social media.

Whether you are busting a move dancing to your favorite Beyoncé song, crying to (literally all of) Frank Ocean’s album, or pretending you can sing all of the parts to Bohemian Rhapsody (at the same time), everyone has that one anthem that makes them feel all the feelings.

Music has always been and will continue to be important to LGBTQ people and the way we express ourselves. Authentic expression through song has the power to transform individuals, even influence a movement, and change culture. Post the name and artist of your #ComingOutAnthem and tell us how the song relates to your experience.

Not everyone can claim “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross… so what’s yours? For inspiration, check out some of our favorites from our Campus Ambassadors below.

Julian Turner

USC '19

#ComingOutAnthem: ***Flawless by Beyoncé

I admit it may come off a bit stereotypical that a gay man would choose a Beyoncé song as his “coming out anthem.” That said, this song honestly saved my life. After years of depression, I had prepared to do what I couldn’t do before. On the night that I was going to finalize the act, I absentmindedly checked social media. To my surprise, Queen B had released an album. And on that album was “***Flawless,” a song about declaring your power and claiming your throne. Yes, it comes off as excessive at times and maybe too arrogant. But that confidence was what I needed on that cold night in December so I blasted it for hours. The following morning, I finally decided to start living for no one's approval but my own. Now, nearly four years later on the other side of depression, I'm happy to say that both I and the love I share are flawless.

Nicole Gemmiti

Berklee College of Music ’19

#ComingOutAnthem: Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

This song is always the first that comes to mind when I remember the struggle of coming to terms with my sexuality. I remember listening to it with fondness when I was a child, and how the song became my own personal coming-of-age soundtrack around the age of 13. I was having such difficulty understanding what I was feeling, so I would sit alone in my room, play my guitar and sing Landslide, tearfully repeating lyrics about being afraid of changing and getting older. I actually feel as though I owe my coming out at such a young age to this song in particular. While coming of age and discovering my sexuality at the same time, it often felt like an overflowing landslide of emotions that I had no idea what to do with or how to approach in the slightest. This song gave me solace, and performing it over and over helped me to purge this onslaught of feeling in a way that gave me closure and confidence. Being a lesbian musician, music has always played an integral part in my acceptance of my queerness, and Landslide exemplifies that in the realest possible way.

 Devin Outten

University of Maryland Eastern Shore ‘18

#ComingOutAnthem: I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry

Oddly enough a song about kissing girls is what made me realize I was gay. I was at home alone messing around on the computer when I came across a video on YouTube that piqued my interest. Being the curious kid I was I clicked on it, the content of the video fascinated me and made me feel a way I had never felt before. I kissed a girl which was one of my favorite songs at the time and the main reason I clicked, was the song playing in the video. Me being only 11-12 I didn’t really know what to call what I was feeling but I knew what I was feeling and I knew that it was right. A couple years later I would find out the correct term for what I was and the rest is history.

Ren Lane Gresbach

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee ‘20

#ComingOutAnthem: Let's Hear It For The Boy by Deniece Williams

If you couldn't tell from my name, I'm a pretty big fan of 80's movies, especially "Footloose", so "Let's Hear It For The Boy" is definitely one of my all-time favorites. It's pretty much impossible to not sing/dance along to this song, and it always brings me up when I'm feeling low. As a trans dude, the lyrics have always been super affirming too, especially back when I was closeted and first coming out, and was regularly misgendered. Hearing this song would always make me feel seen and a little more confident to go about my day. When I hear it now I remember coming to terms with my identity, and the joy I felt when I found one that fit. I hope you listen to this and feel valid, feel seen, and most importantly, feel like dancing. Let's hear it for the (trans) boys!

Harold Daniel

Florida International University '18

#ComingOutAnthem: Marry The Night by Lady Gaga

The emancipation of coming out was a celebration of dignity that I cherish. “Marry The Night” represents marrying my dark past, insecurities and what was difficult about being lost in identity; having to portray two personas – at home and in school. I hold those struggles with me close to my heart. The church bells in the beginning of the song are my realization to break free from the weight of society. Once that dance beat hits, that 16-year-old builds the courage and bravery to take the world by storm. The song has this electric energy that pushes me to fight off all the negativity from the world. A representation of my ‘coming out’ era that made me out and proud.

Post your own #ComingOutAnthem by using the hashtag and tagging @glaad on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr!

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