Let’s face it! For the longest time, Christmas just hasn’t been welcoming to LGBTQ+ folks. Even if your family is perfectly accepting of your identity, the culture surrounding Christmas seems to be tailored to the heterosexual nuclear family structure. Everything from the news coverage, to the movies, and yes, the music, is built on the back of hundreds of years of traditionalist values.
While there are very few legitimate Christmas songs that are targeted to include the LGBTQ+ community, there are plenty of amazing Christmas songs that have been written and performed by influential LGBTQ+ artists. In this article, we’re going to be getting our groove on and singing our hearts out with timeless classics and brand new tunes from gay icons. These Christmas songs deserve to be played and saved in our Spotify playlists!
If you’re looking for gay Christmas songs as soundtrack for your next party, then look no further. Read on below as we list down the best Christmas songs from LGBTQ artists for your listening pleasure!
‘Holiday’ by Lil Nas X
Release Date: Nov 13, 2020
Listen To It Now: Lil Nas X – HOLIDAY (Official Video)
Taking place on Christmas Day in 2220, the music video for Lil Nas X’s “Holiday” makes us forget all about the dreariness of celebrating Christmas during a global pandemic. Instead of socially-distanced gatherings, Lil Nas X frolics in a Blade Runner-esque world as a chrome clad Santa.
As Lil Nas X’s first new release since his debut EP in 2019, “Holiday” served as a sweet preview to the kind of work he would put out in his full-length album “Montero – that is, wild, weird, and unapologetically queer.
‘All I Want for Christmas is Nudes’ by Trixie Mattel
Release Date: Dec 1, 2017
Listen To It Now: All I Want for Christmas Is Nudes
Every single gay person on this planet will likely agree that Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is, hands down, the best Christmas song of all time. But let’s face it, the song gets overplayed to death these days.
Enter Trixie Mattel’s version: “All I Want for Christmas is Nudes” from her 2017 Christmas album, “Homemade Christmas”. It’s basically Mariah’s classic song but with a country twist and a completely new set of lyrics to reflect what every gay guy really wants for Christmas – not the presents under the tree, but some really good nudes!
“Last Christmas” by Wham!
Genre: British synthpop
Release Date: December 3, 1984
Listen To It Now: (Wham! – Last Christmas (Official Video)
“Last Christmas” is as campy as any Christmas song can get. Written and produced by gay icon George Michael and released in 1984, “Last Christmas” is a quintessential 80s British synthpop hit.
Written from the perspective of someone whose heart was broken the day after Christmas, “Last Christmas” doesn’t exactly make the yuletide gay. But it’s the perfect song for anyone going through a bout of queer yearning.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Sam Smith
Release Date: December 5, 2014
Listen To It Now: Sam Smith – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Official Video)
Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine for Judy Garland’s 1944 film “Meet Me in St. Louis”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a decades-old classic that has been covered by the likes of Tori Amos, Bob Dylan, and lately, gender non-binary singer Sam Smith.
Sam has always been known for their soulful vocals, so their rendition of this song as a deeply sentimental and almost tear-inducing ballad comes as no surprise. It’s the type of song that could score the bittersweet ending of a modern Christmas movie.
“Step Into Christmas” by Elton John
Genre: Pop rock
Release Date: Nov. 23, 1973
Listen To It Now: Elton John – Step Into Christmas
This list would not be complete without LGBTQ+ heavy-hitter, Elton John. A gay Christmas staple, the music video for “Step Into Christmas” is as gay as you can get, featuring a feather boa strewn casually over his piano, glittery platform shoes, the can-can, and lots of cheek and playfulness from Elton and his band.
“Stopped Believing in Santa” by MNEK
Release Date: Dec. 14, 2018
Listen To It Now: MNEK – Stopped Believing In Santa (Audio)
MNEK is a British singer, songwriter, and producer who has written for the likes of Little Mix, Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez, Beyonce, and Twice.
“Stopped Believing in Santa” is more of a breakup song than a Christmas carol, with lyrics like “I stopped believing in Santa when you said ‘Goodbye, love’”. Yet, in spite of the rather depressing message, the melody is relatively bright, resulting in a bittersweet holiday song that can join the ranks of Wham!’s “Last Christmas”.
“Glittery” by Kacey Musgraves ft. Troye Sivan
Genre: Country pop
Release Date: Nov. 29, 2019
In 2019, country music darling, gay icon, and queer ally Kacey Musgraves teamed up with Amazon Prime to put on a holiday special called The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show. It’s essentially Musgraves’ Christmas album brought to life, with her doing covers of beloved classics alongside today’s biggest pop stars.
But in between the covers, Kacey also debuts an original – a sweet little song called “Glittery” about how someone could make all the icy cold of winter melt away with just one look. The song is a duet with gay Australian pop star Troye Sivan.
“Make It Jingle” by Big Freedia
Genre: Hip hop/bounce
Release Date: Dec. 14, 2017
Listen To It Now: Big Freedia – Make It Jingle
Freddie Ross, also known as Big Freedia, helped popularize the genre of Bounce music – a distinct flavor of hip hop said to originate from New Orleans’ housing projects in the late 80s. So it was only fitting that the Queen of Bounce would release “Make It Jingle” for the 2018 version of the rhythm game “Just Dance”.
In the music video, Big Freedia turns a boring office Christmas party into what’s essentially a giant twerk-fest. No doubt, if you put “Make It Jingle” on at your next gathering, your guests won’t be able to resist dancing to the beat.
“Lonely in December” by Kehlani
Release Date: Dec. 16, 2014
Listen To It Now: Kehlani – Lonely In December [Prod. Jahaan Sweet] [Thizzler.com]
Kehlani has always been upfront about their sexuality, identifying as queer and bisexual for some time before coming out on TikTok as a lesbian earlier this year. They’ve also spoken up about identifying “on the non-binary scale” and have listed “she/they” pronouns on their Twitter page. Their 2017 hit, “Honey”, is an ode to the heartwrenching ordeal that sapphic love can be.
In the same vein, their 2014 song “Lonely in December” is about the loneliness of spending the holidays without a loved one. If you’re feeling lonely in December, perhaps you can find some solace in Kehlani’s smooth, bittersweet track.
“Christmas Tree” by Lady Gaga
Release Date: Dec. 16, 2008
Listen To It Now: Christmas Tree
Lady Gaga is more than a gay icon – she’s long been open about her bisexuality. In fact, “Poker Face”, the song that arguably turned her into a star, is basically a bisexual anthem about “poker facing” your sexuality.
While “Christmas Tree” has all the makings of a Christmas song, with samples from “Deck the Halls” and an intro that mirrors the “rum pum pum pum” from “The Little Drummer Boy”, it’s also classic Lady Gaga, with its snythy electronica sound and sexual innuendos about how Gaga’s “Christmas tree” is delicious. Maybe don’t play this one at grandma’s house.
“Make You Mine This Season” by Tegan And Sara
Genre: Pop rock
Release Date: Oct. 29, 2020
Canadian indie pop duo Tegan And Sara closes off our list with their song “Make You Mine This Season”. While the duo’s staple pop-rock sound is immortalized in this bop, it’s also unmistakably Christmas-y with sleigh bells and mentions of stars on trees.
The song is a celebration of self-expression, individuality, and, yes, queer love. In fact, it features on Clea DuVall’s directorial debut and Hulu’s first lesbian holiday movie, “Happiest Season”, which stars lesbian icon Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis.
NOTE: We will continue to add to this list! Have a favorite to include? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Gay Christmas Songs”.
And there you have it, the best Christmas songs from LGBT artists you should be listening to. There are still a lot of Christmas gay songs out there that are not included in this list. If we did, this list would go on and on. This just proves that the gay community is a force to reckon with when it comes to yuletide song favorites. In a holiday filled with hetero-pandering music, it is important that the LGBT community is well-represented and championed via gay Christmas songs. And don’t forget to check out our LGBTQ Christmas movies to binge on.
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