With the majority of pop stars being cis straight people, there’s often a lack of LGBTQ+ representation in the sphere of mainstream music. I think that is accustomed to change as the years move forward and as music evolves, but for now, I found it important to highlight some of my personal favorite LGBTQ+ artists. Most of these artists, while certainly attaining a high level of popularity, couldn’t really be called superstars. However, I believe that their art is absolutely wonderful and they deserve every piece of recognition they receive.
The first musician I will be discussing goes by the name of Yves Tumor (pronounced “ives tumor”). They use the pronouns “they” and “them” and have created five incredibly distinct albums under the Yves Tumor pseudonym. To try to nail down the genre of music they make would be an impossible task, so go in knowing that their music tends to be very experimental and extremely unique. One of the things that always impresses me about their art is how many different styles they can adapt while still having a central distinct sound through it all. A Yves Tumor song could be anything from funk to industrial, but you’ll always be going away from one of their songs with something unique to remember.
The next artist I will be talking about is Genesis P-Orridge, s/he is a far less contemporary musician, but that is not to say that h/er music has aged or is no longer as groundbreaking as it once was. In fact, the band Throbbing Gristle, of which s/he is most known, has still been cited as a major influence on many contemporary artists, including Yves Tumor. H/er work has always existed to break the gender binary, as s/he is credited with inventing the term “pandrogeny” as well as continuing to make unconventional and groundbreaking music up until h/er passing on March 14, 2020.
Lastly, I would like to highlight the electronic musician known as Arca. She goes by she/her and it/its pronouns and is one of the most unique faces in electronic music today. She has made four full length records over this year and each stands on its own as something different from the last. An important song to highlight from Arca would be the first track from her fourth record “Nonbinary.” It features an extremely unconventional drum pattern with disorienting vocals that all combine into an absolutely herroring song.