Each year, a new wave of artists arrive to push the envelope forward for LGBTQ perceptibility in music. Through creative and visual expression, these musicians have validated the everyday, and sometimes painful, experiences of queer individuals in their music videos, reinforcing their allyship and understanding of the movement.
From long-time allies Demi Lovato and Christina Aguilera to pop’s newcomers Hayley Kiyoko and Fletcher, these are 17 artists who used their music videos as a vessel to swear their fealty to the LGBTQ alliance.
1. Wrabel, “The Village”
A transgender teen finds it difficult to come to grips with their identity in Wrabel’s emotive music video for “The Village.” What begins as a familiar portrait of LGBTQ youth troubled at home and in high school hallways gradually transforms into a testament of the beauty and harmlessness of being different. But by the end of the vid, the protagonist finds acceptance within themselves and a compassionate classmate.
2. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”
In 2012, Carly Rae Jepsen dominated the music scene with her breakout bop “Call Me Maybe,” a playful girl-meets-boy anthem that changed the course of the bubble gum pop princess’ career forever. In the vid, Carly’s character fawns over the boy next door and makes feverish a few attempts to get his attention. And when she finally does, by the video’s end, she comes to realize that her guy crush is, well, into guys himself.
3. Fletcher, “Wasted Youth”
Fletcher’s “Wasted Youth” symbolizes everything it means to be young and in love. The case is the same for the video, which gives an intimate and normalizing glimpse into a lesbian love story that unfolds with our female leads embarking on a nighttime quest to nowhere. Paired with the atmospheric song, the music video does its part at capturing love in all its innocence, and seals the deal with a kiss.
4. Logic, “1-800-273-8255” (feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid)
Part suicide prevention,…