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One of the best things about living in 2022 is that more and more people understand that love is not exclusive to straight people. Although the world still has progress to make regarding inclusivity, there is no doubt that society has never been more accepting of sexual fluidity and gender nonconformity.
This inclusiveness extends to the art world as well. Before, only straight men and women could write a love song without fear of being ostracized. Now, artists are more comfortable expressing their sexuality through their chosen medium.
So with that being said, here is my list of the best lesbian love songs of all time!
1. Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko
Despite only releasing her first EP in 2013, Hayley Kiyoko has enjoyed an illustrious career already. At least some part of her success is owed to the strong messages her work espouses. Throughout her discography is a strong throughline of owning up to who you are and being proud of it.
“Girls Like Girls” is an anthem for queer people, specifically queer women. It has an anthemic quality that will immediately appeal to people who have struggled with expressing their sexuality. As such, we feel that there is no better song to put at the top of our list.
2. Only a Girl by Gia Woods
In contrast to the near-legendary status enjoyed by Hayley Kiyoko, Gia Woods has yet to find true mainstream success. And that is a shame because the 25-year-old singer-songwriter has a lot of talent and a strong message she wants to convey.
Her debut single has also been her most significant success so far. “Only a Girl” describes Woods’ first lesbian relationship, which confirmed her sexuality. As a result, the song immediately found a devoted audience who resonated with its message.
3. Girls by Beatrice Eli
The sexualization and objectification of women have been a pop culture staple. Everyone knows songs like “Baby Got Back” or “Blurred Lines.” All of them have in common that they were written by men, from a man’s point of view.
“Girls” by Beatrice Eli eschews conventions by being written by a woman for women. It still deals with sexualization and objectification, but the song works so well because it shows that even women can have dirty thoughts about other women.
4. Honey by Kehlani
Kehlani has quickly become a pop sensation thanks to their incredible, unique vocals and stellar production work. Although they may be known primarily for their collaborations with other artists, anyone who has bothered to dig a little deeper into their discography will have found a truly authentic and soulful artist worth paying attention to.
“Honey” is just one of many pretty, catchy tunes they have released. The song plays like a typical love song with a cool guitar loop and describes Kehlani’s feelings toward a lover.
5. Strangers by Halsey (feat. Lauren Jauregui)
Halsey is already a household name at this point, and her popularity only increases with every subsequent project she releases. The quality of her songwriting cannot be understated – Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is a masterpiece of songcraft. Likewise, her vocals have a unique, delicate edge, making for a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
“Strangers” – of course – comes off of Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (arguably Halsey’s masterpiece) and features vocals from Lauren Jauregui. Combining the two singers’ voices makes the song sound rich and fulfilling, and the subject allows it to resonate with people who may not yet have found something to identify with before.
6. She Keeps Me Warm by Mary Lambert
Sexuality and acceptance have always been at the forefront of Mary Lambert’s career. Her shows are considered safe spaces where openly weeping at a song is common.
It comes as no surprise then that “She Keeps Me Warm” is a touching pop song that resonates with the LGBTQI+ community and with every one of its listeners, regardless of their sexuality. Do yourself a favor and listen to Lambert’s soothing, Adele-inspired tones and rich lyrical content.
7. Cherry by Rina Sawayama
Rina Sawayama is a name I never get tired of saying or hearing. Though her career as a musician only began in 2017, the Japanese-English singer-songwriter already deserves more recognition than she has received.
Released as a single, “Cherry” represents Sawayama’s coming-out as pansexual for all the world to see. It also partially serves as a commentary on how little exposure queer artists receive in the mainstream. As its title would imply, though, “Cherry” is ultimately a sweet song about love and romance.
8. Come to My Window by Melissa Etheridge
Although it is true that most queer artists today could never have conceived of any mainstream success if they were around a few decades ago, Melissa Etheridge became one of the world’s most recognizable and successful queer singers way back in 1993 when she first came out.
It was also in 1993 that “Come to My Window” was first released. The song is a powerful ballad filled with evocative imagery and strong yet simple messaging. It earned Etheridge her second Grammy Award for the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
9. Pussy Is God by King Princess
Although songs about queer identity tend to be thematically heavy simply due to society’s treatment of queer issues, there is something to be said about queer songs that seek nothing more than to be a pop banger.
“Pussy Is God” is one such song. Performed by King Princess (who has already cemented her status as a queer icon), the track is nothing more than a love song with a cheeky sexual edge.
10. Closer by Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara have always valued authenticity in their music. So while any queer song may theoretically lend itself well to being all about the message first and foremost, as many have already proven, this does not have to be the case.
“Closer” is a sweet, relatively short track that seeks to explore that youthful time in our lives when drama and heartbreak were the furthest things from our minds.
Alexandra loves playing the piano and guitar. She has always been a music lover, but it wasn’t until she was in high school that she realized how much she loved to play. It allowed her to express herself without having to be verbally expressive, which is something she found very empowering.