SURPRISE! Okay, so last week I posted the Beausic Original Playlist for the month of June, called “Putting It Out There,” which was a really fun, wall-to-wall dance playlist, inspired by the onset of Summer, as well as the fact that June is National Gay Pride Month, however after spending last weekend at Walt Disney World for the annual Gay Days Orlando event, I kind of felt that the playlist I had put together for what is National Pride Month was a bit of a wasted opportunity. You see, while I really enjoyed that playlist and kind of stand behind it, after spending the weekend surrounded by members of the GLBTQ community, I definitely saw some great examples of the previous playlist, as there were hordes of people “putting it out there.” Still, it really got me thinking about a lot of things – like the fact that myself, many of the people closest to me and the entire community of which I am a part are essentially second-class citizens and, in an offhand sort of way, kind of like outlaws. We are not afforded the same types of freedoms as the rest of the citizens of this country and our relationships are, essentially, illegal. Seeing all of these beautiful people and couples, seeming genuinely affectionate, loving and caring to one another, it just seemed like such a shame to me. It also got me thinking about the fact that the “Putting It Out There” playlist was fun but was really not near the reflection of the community or my personal feelings about it that I really wanted to express. So, I felt pretty strongly that I wanted to kind of do a re-take. So, here it is – the second Beausic Original Playlist for the month of June: “Outlaws Of Love.”
Outlaws of Love: A Beausic Original Playlist DOWNLOAD
- Andrea Lewis – “Conquerors”
- Natasha Bedingfield – “Strip Me”
- Darren Hayes – “Talk Talk Talk”
- RuPaul – “Responsitrannity”
- Utada – “You Make Me Want To Be A Man”
- Lady Gaga – “Americano”
- Geri Halliwell – “G.A.Y. (Good As You)”
- Patrick Wolf – “The Magic Position”
- Mika – “Billy Brown”
- Scissor Sisters – “Take Your Mama”
- The Veronicas – “We’re Not Gonna Take It”
- Melissa Etheridge – “Refugee”
- Colbie Caillat – “I Won’t”
- Rufus Wainwright – “Gay Messiah”
- Idina Menzel – “Gorgeous (Acoustic)”
- Alanis Morissette – “No Pressure Over Cappuccino”
- Jay Brannan – “Housewife (Live)”
- Nicola Roberts – “Sticks + Stones”
- Emeli Sande – “Breaking The Law”
- Adam Lambert – “Outlaws Of Love
For the cover of this playlist, I knew that I wanted to go with an image of handcuffs so I found several different images but nothing was really popping out at me until I stumbled upon an ad from the United Colors of Benetton, featuring a black and white hand handcuffed together. I chose this image because I felt like it really made a powerful statement about unity and equality. Still, this didn’t necessarily make any sort of statement about the actual theme of this playlist, so I went ahead and added the title and made it rainbow colored, as the rainbow is the international symbol for GLBT pride. I felt like these things combined made for a really strong and powerful statement for the cover of this playlist. As a sidenote, I wanted to make mention of the fact that not all of these songs are directly about GLBT issues but I do feel that every song on this playlist does reflect feelings that I have or have heard expressed from others, etc., about issues that are very prominent in the community and affect GLBT people the world over. So, for that reason, I kind of felt like a track-by-track commentary seemed necessary for this playlist.
1. Andrea Lewis – “Conquerors” – I wanted to open this playlist with a really strong track about holding strong to your convictions and being bold, confident and strong in your love and what you believe in. I have always loved this song for it’s strong message of holding tight to what you believe in order to get through any hard times you may face. The chorus of this song says it best with the lyrics, “If a seed needs rain for the flowers to grow then sometimes the sunny skies must go, but if we stand our ground through the ups and downs we’ll make it to the end I know, We are conquerors.” While not making any specific statements about the gay community, I have always felt that this song made a really strong statement that can definitely be related to life as a member of the GLBT community.
2. Natasha Bedingfield – “Strip Me” – I felt like this song was the perfect follow-up or companion to the opening track, as it follows a similar theme about fighting to hold on to who you are regardless of what anybody else has to do or say about it. This is definitely a concept that I think every single member of the GLBT community can relate to because it is simply something that we all have to go through in order to come out of the closet and live our lives openly. I also included this song because I feel like the fact that it includes the lines, “I’m only one voice in a million but you ain’t taking that from me,” is really a reflection on being a part of a community, even though we are all still only one voice. It’s about being an individual within a community, which is what we all are at the end of the day, whether it’s the gay community or the human race, in general.
3. Darren Hayes – “Talk Talk Talk” – I wanted to make sure to include this song because the first time I heard it my immediate thought was of the “It Gets Better” campaign and the whole concept of trying to be there for somebody who is going through hard times, like bullying or the various issues that occur in the gay community. I have over the years dealt with so many different friends, family and people I’ve met who have had to face some of the most difficult situations, like losing their families when they came out or losing loved ones to AIDS, etc., and this song really reminded me of the fact that, 9 times out of 10, all you can do is be there for them and, “talk talk talk.”
4. RuPaul – “Responsitrannity” – I had to include this song on this playlist because it has really meant the world to me since the first time I heard it. First of all, RuPaul has always been a HUGE inspiration to me and songs like this are the reason why. I just absolutely love the fact that this is a song about members of the GLBT community having a responsibility to the next generation to serve as leaders and examples to them, to stand up and show them all what so many of us never had – an example that we ARE able to live our lives in exactly the way that we choose. I have always felt that this was a very important part of our lives as gay people. We do have a responsibility to provide the example that most of us never had growing up and that is something that I try to keep in mind throughout my life. This song is a great reminder of and anthem for that whole concept.
5. Utada – “You Make Me Want To Be A Man” – I absolutely adore this song! I think it is absolutely brilliant and expresses a very strong and powerful sentiment about longing to find the strength and courage and conviction stereotypically associated with masculinity. This sentiment coming from a woman makes it all that much more powerful, as well as adding a very unique and interesting twist. Aside from all of that, this is a really fun, catchy song and a lot of fun to listen, dance and sing along to. I really included this one more for the sake of adding a little fun to the playlist, although I do still think it makes a powerful statement, anyway.
6. Lady Gaga – “Americano” – While “Born This Way” may seem like the more obvious choice for this playlist, I have always felt very strongly about this song as a statement about equality and GLBT rights in this country. This is also the first song included that really plays into the “Outlaw” reference in the title of this playlist. This is an extravaganza; a beautiful, Latin-influenced, sonic explosion. Lyrically, this is a song about meeting a girl and falling in love but not actually being able to progress in your relationship in the natural way that most people are able to, like marriage. It is a song about being oppressed by our society and it’s judicial system, religious foundation, etc. I especially love the fact that this song ends with the lines, “Don’t you try to catch me, I’m living on the edge of the law.” It is one of the first songs I have ever heard to actually make reference to living your life and being in a same-sex relationship as breaking the law, which is so powerful to me, really.
7. Geri Halliwell – “G.A.Y. (Good As You)” – I included this song mainly for a bit of extra fun, as well, but also wanted to include it for it’s strong, pro-GLBT message. I always thought that this song was amazing for the fact that it was a strong, pro-gay message from a pop star such as Geri, a former Spice Girl, who had become a gay icon during her time as a Spice Girl. Aside from all of that, though, regardless of who is singing the song, it is a really fun, catchy song that also makes a really strong statement about equality and is from the perspective of a straight person admiring the strength it takes for a GLBT person to come out and just live their lives being exactly who they are.
8. Patrick Wolf – “The Magic Position” – I included this song because I feel like it expresses a really strong sentiment about love and guidance from somebody who is able to lead you through the life you are developing for yourself. It reminds me of many people I have known who have had the experience of dating somebody more experienced than they are when they first came out or, like me, just had older friends who were there to kind of guide you through life as a newly out gay person. I think that people who aren’t gay and don’t have the experience of coming out don’t necessarily understand the transformation your life goes through when you do come out. I also really love the fact that this song is such a joyful expression of love and from an openly gay artist.
9. Mika – “Billy Brown” – I love this song. It is a very simple, beautiful little ditty about a man who lived an ordinarily life until he found himself in love with another man and it turned his world upside down in a wonderful way. It’s a really beautiful story and one that I find so fascinating because I have known so many gay people from an older generation who lived that life and were married and had children before they would ever allow themselves to actually accept who they are and come out of the closet, so I felt like that was something kind of important to include on this playlist.
10. Scissor Sisters – “Take Your Mama” – I could really include Scissor Sisters on every playlist I ever make but I don’t know that there will ever be a case of a song more fitting for any specific playlist than this one on this playlist. This was also the first Scissor Sisters song I ever heard and remains one of my very favorites. “Take Your Mama” is a song about coming out to your mother in the most fabulous way possible – by taking her for a night out on the town in your own element. I can’t imagine a better way of coming out than to actually take somebody out into your big gay world and letting them really see for themselves the community you are a part of. I really wish I could have done that myself, but I was really too young to have any sense of awareness of that community. Still, I did take my Mama out… to see Scissor Sisters, back in 2004.
11. The Veronicas – “We’re Not Gonna Take It” – I just had to include this song because I have always felt that it is kind of the perfect anthem of defiance and acting out against anyone or anything that is oppressing you, which is definitely a theme that I felt was really important to include on this playlist as the GLBT community have dealt with so much oppression over the years and as a community, and for so many as individuals, you eventually have to hit a breaking point where you finally just have to say “We’re not gonna take it anymore!”
12. Melissa Etheridge – “Refugee” – I just had to include this song in the playlist because I have always felt like it made a strong statement about love being hidden away or people feeling shame or oppression about the love that they feel and the life that they lead. This song was originally sung by Tom Petty but I felt like, when performed by the queen of all lesbian icons, Melissa Etheridge, it takes on a whole new meaning and makes a genuine statement about the relationships of so many same-sex couples all over the world and telling them, in spite of everything that’s going on in the world and what anybody else has to say, “you don’t have to live like a refugee,” which is a very powerful and important statement to make.
13. Colbie Caillat – “I Won’t” – This is another song that doesn’t really have any direct message about gay issues but is actually about being pushed by the person you are with pushing you to keep your relationship a secret and pretend to only be friends, which is an experience that many in the gay community, myself included, have had to deal with when in a relationship with somebody who isn’t out of the closet or isn’t as open as you are. That is a really difficult situation to deal with but one that is very commonplace among the gay community and this song feels like a perfect representation of that experience.
14. Rufus Wainwright – “Gay Messiah” – I knew, when making this playlist, that this song absolutely had to be included. This song is really an ode to a kind of classic, 1970s porn inspired ideal of the classic gay stereotypes. It’s a really interesting, hyper-sexual song done in a really tasteful, classic style. Also, I absolutely adore Rufus Wainwright and he has been a pioneer for openly gay artists in music and is one of my long-time favorite artists. If you are not familiar with his work, I absolutely recommend checking it out!
15. Idina Menzel – “Gorgeous (Acoustic)” – I had to include this song as it is a really stunning and, well, gorgeous song about longing to be able to live your life in a relationship without having to justify who you both are or who you are as a couple to other people. Idina Menzel has said that she wrote this song about being in an interracial relationship and the judgements that people make on you for that, which is very similar to what many of us experience being in same-sex relationships. It’s a very difficult situation to deal with and I felt that this song really summed up the emotion of that whole situation really well.
16. Alanis Morissette – “No Pressure Over Cappuccino (Unplugged Version)” – This song has been a bit of an anthem for my life for several years. It is a song about being judged and brought down by other people’s opinions, which Alanis has stated in the past that she had written about her gay brother. There is one line in particular that has particularly stuck out to me, which states, “You may never be or have a husband, You may never have or hold a child, You will learn to lose everything, We are temporary arrangements.” This line has always been one of the strongest statements in the world to me and one that I have found rings true throughout my experiences over the years – we are constantly losing and giving up everything in life. It is all temporary arrangements. Our lives are a constant cycle of endings.
17. Jay Brannan – “Housewife (Live)” – I also knew when I started putting this playlist together that I had to include this song. This is one of the most beautiful statements about gay marriage and equality I have ever heard – it is such a simple song, lyrically, and I think that’s what makes it so much more powerful. It’s got simple lyrics because it’s really, at the end of the day, such a simple answer. This song really poses the most basic of questions, “I wanna be a housewife, what’s so wrong with that?” It’s absolutely true – why is there anything wrong with a man wanting to settle down into married life and be a homemaker just because it is classically a “woman’s role?” Like I said, I think it is a really simple statement and I love the fact that somebody FINALLY made this statement.
18. Nicola Roberts – “Sticks + Stones” – I included this song because I felt like it makes a really powerful statement about being bullied, which has been a widespread issue within the gay community in recent years. This song talks in particular about being talked about, criticized and made fun of for your appearance but I felt like the statement of the song really translates to being talked about, criticized or made fun of for any reason. I love this song for it’s message of support for others who are being made fun of or bullied, with it’s chorus of “Bet that you think that you’re on your own and there’s no one’s hand to hold, sticks & stones hurt just a little.” I really adore this song and everything else that Nicola has done. She is definitely another artist I absolutely recommend checking out if you are not familiar with her music.
19. Emeli Sande – “Breaking The Law” – This song isn’t entirely centered on any GLBT theme but I included it because it makes the reference to “breaking the law” to go with the whole theme of the playlist. Aside from that, though, I also felt that the whole concept of the song is a beautiful expression of love and, really, love is love – gay, straight or whatever else. It is just a beautiful love song with a really fascinating twist with it’s lyrical theme of criminal activity.
20. Adam Lambert – “Outlaws Of Love” – This is the song that was kind of the centerpiece of this playlist. This is such an amazing song and the statement it makes really speaks for itself, when the chorus says, “Everywhere we go we’re looking for the sun, Nowhere to grow old, we’re always on the run, They say we’ll rot in Hell but I don’t think we will, They’ve branded us enough, Outlaws of love.” That says enough, honestly.
So, there you have it. Like I said, I definitely still stand behind my previous playlist, “Putting It Out There,” but I felt like this one was necessary, as well. I know that this playlist won’t necessarily be for everybody but I felt very strongly that it was necessary for me to put out into the world. I really hope you all enjoy it and find some music you can fall in love with, or something you can relate to, in this playlist. Many of these songs have helped me in very profound, immense ways in my lifetime and I really hope that perhaps some can do the same for you at some point. In the meantime, though, I wish you all a beautiful week ahead and a beautiful life!