I hope you’re doing good and that you’re well rested for the week ahead. For this particular blog post I wanted to talk music. Music has always been so important to me, and has always been a way for me to understand and express my feelings. Listening to music was particularly important to me when I was a teenager and trying to figure out who I was in terms of my sexuality. Music helped me feel less alone in my struggles with self-acceptance, and gave me a bit of an outlet in order to deal with so many confusing and frustrating emotions. Perhaps it’s a little cringy, but back in my teenage years I felt that music ‘understood me.’ When dealing with feelings of fear and confusion about sexuality and love, I would find a song that I felt described exactly how I was feeling and I wrote it everywhere. I doodled lyrics on notebooks and on my arms. I would post random lines from songs on social media so everyone would know just how ‘emo’ I was feeling that day. And I wondered why I was never one of the popular kids at school…. Music was always there for me throughout my journey of coming out and accepting who I was, and so today I wanted to share some of that music with you all. Music can certainly help to explain how you’re feeling when you don’t know what to say, right? There may be some of you out there still trying to figure out if you’re not straight, if you’re dealing with an intense, all consuming infatuation with someone who’ll never be able to reciprocate, or you’re happy and in love and want to celebrate who you are! There’s a song in this post for every one of those situations. So without further ado, here is what I would call my soundtrack to self- acceptance….
When you get the hint that you might not be straight, and you’re struggling to be 100% okay with that.
I briefly touched on this in My Coming Out Story, but I struggled to accept my feelings for anyone who wasn’t male for a number of years. I was heavily in denial, trying to convince myself I just wanted to be really really good friends with my female pals. Even when I had come to terms with the idea a bit more, I was still afraid about what it all meant. How easy would it be to be find and be in a relationship with someone of the sex when everyone at school appeared to be straight? Being gay is still condemned in certain religions and society still, and so the shame and fear for being who I was still deeply rooted in me.
Heaven – Troye Sivan – Troye is an incredible gay artist who started out on YouTube. I feel that this song perfectly articulates the fear and struggles of self-acceptance, as well as the idea that queer people fear their feelings are ‘wrong’ and that they are ‘sinners’ for being themselves.
Without losing a piece of me
How do I get to heaven?
Without changing a part of me
How do I get to heaven?
All my time is wasted
Feeling like my heart’s mistaken
When you experience your first intense crush on someone you know is straight and will never reciprocate your feelings.
Unrequited love is both an incredible and devastating feeling. Caring for someone so deeply and knowing you’d do anything for someone is great, but being heartbroken every time they mention a male crush, confirming once again for absolute certainty it’s never going to happen between you two? Not so great.
Not in That Way – Sam Smith – I absolutely love Sam’s music, and listened to their debut album, ‘In the Lonely Hour’ on repeat as a teen. This album is such a relatable compilation of stories regarding the thoughts and feelings associated with unrequited love. ‘Not in That Way’ completely sums up the encapsulating feeling of wanting to tell someone how you really feel, but knowing you can’t deal with the heartbreak of inevitable rejection:
I’d never ask you cause deep down
I’m certain I know what you’d say
You’d say I’m sorry, believe me, I love you
But not in that way
Sleepover – Hayley Kiyoko – Of course I had to include ‘Lesbian Jesus’ in this post! I wish this song had been around when I was 16/17, because it illustrates gay yearning so brilliantly. The song describes being in love with a best friend who is completely oblivious to your feelings, but you still can’t help but imagine and daydream about what it could be like in your head:
I don’t wanna talk about it
I don’t wanna think about it
I just feel alone, feel alone
Even when you’re next to me
It’s not the way I’m picturing, no
But at least I got you in my head
When you’re starting to realise that it’s ok not to be straight and there’s nothing ‘wrong’ about it.
It took a bit of time, but with the discovery of tv shows, film and of course music with queer representation, I began to realise that I wasn’t so alone in how I felt – there were a lot of people like me out there, and how could it be so ‘wrong’ if this was who I was and I wasn’t hurting anyone?
Girls like Girls – Hayley Kiyoko – The song that made Hayley popular, normalising how girls can like girls just as girls can like boys, and there’s nothing ‘weird’ or ‘abnormal’ about loving someone regardless of their gender.
Girls like girls like boys do, nothing new
Being in your first same-sex relationship and not giving a damn about what anyone thinks
I knew once I started university that I wanted to be out and proud and date girls, and of course I was afraid of what people back home would think. But I wanted to be happy, and that was worth so much more than what anyone thought of me.
She Keeps Me Warm – Mary Lambert
And I can’t change, even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm, she keeps me warm
When you experience your first break up
Breaking up is never easy, and I would argue it’s even harder for the LGBTQ+ community as it’s so much harder to find people to date in the first place! So you can’t help but feel like you won’t find someone else when your ex dumps you and literally runs away and gets on a bus (if you know, you know).
Talia – King Princess – King Princess is an amazing up and coming LGBTQ+ artist, and her song ‘Talia’ is the perfect depiction of how you can struggle to get over someone:
I can see you dancing, I can lay down next to you
At the foot of my bed
If I drink enough
I can taste your lipstick, I can lay down next to you
But it’s all in my head
If I drink enough I swear that I will wake up next to you
Now I’m All Messed Up – Tegan and Sara – This song reminds me of when you’re trying desperately to get over someone but can’t help but torture yourself thinking of where and who they might be with in the world right now:
Now I’m all messed up
Sick inside, wondering where
Where you’re leaving your makeup
Now I’m all messed up
Sick inside wondering who
Whose life you’re making worthwhile
When you’re ready to celebrate who you are loudly and proudly!
If you’re LGBTQ+ and you haven’t yet been to a pride parade, I would highly recommend it if you feel comfortable enough to go to one. It feels so empowering to march down the streets alongside your friends and your community, making as much noise as possible to promote equality and acceptance for all. I made myself a pride playlist this year to get myself pumped for the celebrations, and here are some feel-good tunes I included!
Born This Way – Lady Gaga
No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgender life
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born to survive
Freedom 90 – George Michael
I think there’s something you should know
I think it’s time I told you so
There’s something deep inside of me
There’s someone else I’ve got to be
Jealous of My Boogie – Ru Paul
Don’t be jealous of my boogie, don’t be jealous of my boogie
You say that you are not, but I always see you looking
I’m Still Standing – Elton john
And I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind
So those are my song choices for my soundtrack to self-acceptance! I wanted all the artists I chose to be LGBTQ+ because representation matters! And who’s going to understand and describe a journey about accepting your sexuality more articulately than these people?
I hope you enjoyed this post, I know it was a little different to usual but I really enjoyed writing this! Which songs would you choose for your own soundtrack about accepting yourself? Let me know, I’m always open to new song recommendations!
Thanks for reading as always 😊