Music's greatest gay icon: Judy Garland or Diana Ross? | The Tylt
Music's greatest gay icon: Judy Garland or Diana Ross?
For the past several decades—LGBTQ and women music artists have openly declared their "true colors,” supported gay rights, empowered LGBTQ communities, and gave the gurls some of the most iconic gay anthems of all time. There is no better way to celebrate Pride Month than to honor the popular music artists who have influenced LGBTQ movements by ultimately picking which of them is the greatest gay music icon of all time.
In our second round, it's Judy Garland versus Diana Ross, Elton John versus Cher, George Michael versus Melissa Etheridge, RuPaul versus Lady Gaga. Who's the greatest gay icon?
Don't forget to cast your vote for the rest our “greatest gay icon" debates below!
Judy Garland will forever be a gay icon, as generations of gay men have worshipped her talent, and contributions to cinema and music. She's the O.G. of gay icons. Below are some notable lyrics to arguably the oldest gay anthem, "Over the Rainbow," per Genius.
🎶Somewhere over the rainbow. Way up high. There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby. Somewhere over the rainbow. Skies are blue. And the dreams that you dare to dream. Really do come true.🎶
Watch a clip of Garland's performance from the classic film "The Wizard of Oz" below.
If Diana Ross' star power, glamor, sparkling gowns and big hair didn't make her a gay icon, then the love she received from drag queens sure did. Just ask RuPaul, BeBe Zahara Benet, and iconic Ms. Ross impersonator Tommie Ross.
Billboard reveres Ross as a gay icon, and "I'm Coming Out" is one of the main reasons why. Da'Shan Smith writes:
July 12, 1979 will forever be known as the day disco died. That night, rockists filled Chicago’s Comiskey Park to destroy and burn tons of records in a Disco Demolition. Soon the genre was deemed uncool, and artists found themselves avoiding it to please consumers. The following year, Diana Ross went against the trend, and released a disco heavy self-titled album which included “Upside Down” and her boldest career single, “I’m Coming Out.”
After attending a drag performance featuring various Diana Rosses, songwriter Nile Rodgers wanted to embrace the fall of disco with a flamboyantly, rebellious anthem. He noted that the jam was also influenced by the Disco Demolition Night, where he realized no black or LGBT people were in attendance, basically categorizing the infamous event as racist and homophobic towards the true fans of the genre. The song reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and would later on become a stepping stone for those truly needing to come out. In 2016, “I’m Coming Out” topped Billboard Pride’s list of gay anthems.
Below are some significant lyrics from Ms. Ross' reigning gay anthem, "I'm Coming Out," per Genius.
🎶I'm coming out. I want the world to know. I got to let it show. I'm coming out. I want the world to know. I got to let it show.🎶