Going home for the holidays can be stressful and tough for queer people, especially in conservative homes. No matter if you’re struggling, closeted, out, questioning or just feeling lonely and unsafe, know that you can always trudge through the snow and run into the warm and welcoming arms of the LGBTQ community.
If you’re feeling gay with holiday cheer, you’re not alonewhich is why we’ve curated a list of holiday songs exclusively by queer musicians. Along with eggnog and a footed onesie, these songs are absolute musts for your holiday celebrations.
“Sleigh Ride” – Miley Cyrus
This year, Spotify released a playlist of Christmas songsoriginals and coversperformed by the biggest artists in the world. Luckily for us, many of those artists are queer! Pansexual pop star Miley Cyrus covered the holiday classic “Sleigh Ride,” offering that powerful, belted vibrato that’s become customary to Cyrus’s sound. Miley’s cover of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is also on the Spotify Singles: Holiday playlist.
“Last Christmas” – Wham!
“Last Christmas” is one of the best and most famous Christmas songs put forth by a pop group. Wham frontman George Michael tragically passed away in 2016, but undoubtedly, his legacy lives on through his music. While this classic has been covered to the ends of the earth, I’d recommend checking out the xx’s live cover, mostly because queer lead singer Romy Madley Croft is a total dreamboat.
“Christmas Tree” – Lady Gaga
Bisexual queen Lady Gaga released an original Christmas song in 2008. There’s something inherently disturbing in hearing someone refer to their vagina as a “Christmas Tree,” but nonetheless, the song gives all the “ra pa pam pams” and “fa la la’s” you need. And feel free to skip her “Baby It’s Cold Outside”duet with Tony Bennett, unless you’re a total masochist.
“River” – Sam Smith
Following the release of Sam Smith’s massive second studio album The Thrill of it All, the soulful crooner joined the fun at Spotify and covered Joni Mitchell’s chilling Christmas-themed “River.” Smith has dabbled in holiday music before, having covered “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” in 2014. Motion to replace all Michael Buble’s Christmas songs with Sam Smith songs.
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” – Demi Lovato
Also on the Spotify Singles: Holiday playlist, bisexual singer Demi Lovato graced us with her own version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” Lovato is no stranger to holiday cheerin 2012, she performed a live cover of “All I want For Christmas Is You” at the Christmas in Washington concert (R.I.P. Obama). The pop star also covered “Wonderful Christmas Time” during her time as a Disney starlet.
“Make It Jingle” – Big Freedia
Freddie Ross, the musician known professionally as Big Freedia, is known for her influence in the Louisiana bounce music scene. She’s an advocate for gender fluidity and insists that she is comfortable with both male and female pronouns. In 2016, Big Freedia released a hilarious, fun and poppy Christmas song for us to twerk to. “Make It Jingle” is the only Christmas song I need this year, TBH.
“Splits on Christmas Trees” – Todrick Hall
In 2014, gay YouTube comedian and performer Todrick Hall released an original Christmas song, “Splits on Christmas.” It has that classic, hilarious Todrick Hall flair and is perfect for your Christmas Eve turn-up.
“Lonely in December” – Kehlani
Queer musician Kehlani burst onto the R scene this year and made waves in the LGBTQ community with her wlw music video for “Honey.” In 2014, before we knew just how badly we wanted to cuddle up next to her by the fire, she released a Christmas song called “Lonely in December.” It’s a deep cut, but the song still has that familiar, smooth Kehlani touch.
“Thank God It’s Christmas” – Queen
Led by the iconic queer front-man Freddie Mercury, Queen released a Christmas single in 1984 titled “Thank God It’s Christmas.” The song is filled with just enough cheer and togetherness to pump you full of Christmas spirit, especially if you’re craving an ‘80s vibe.
“Wish List” – Neon Trees
The lead singer of Neon Trees, Tyler Glenn, struggled to come out as gay because he was raised Mormon. After struggling with his sexuality and religion for years, he released a Christmas song with Neon Lights in 2010. If you’re looking to snuggle with that special someone this holiday, “Wish List” will be right up your alley.
“Everyday is Christmas” – Sia
This year, Sia released an entire Christmas album titled Everyday is Christmas. Each song has the sexually fluid singer-songwriter’s iconic pop sound. If you’re a Top 40 fan, it’ll be your new favorite holiday albumunless you’re still stuck on Ariana Grande’s fantastic 2015 EP Christmas & Chill.
“Ay, Ay, Ay It’s Christmas” – Ricky Martin
The ’90s are alive and kicking. Ricky Martin’s Christmas song is a high energy, Latin-infused, certified bop. If you’re a fan of the gay pop star, you’ll love his holiday music. Be forewarned: it’s cheesy.
“Can You See” – Fifth Harmony
Fifth Harmony released a new original holiday song titled “Can You See,” which was featured on the Spotify Singles: Holiday playlist. Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony came out as bisexual in 2016 and has strongly advocated for the LGBTQ community ever since. If you’re looking for more Fifth Harmony holiday vibes, check out their 2014 cover of the Mariah Carey classic “All I want For Christmas Is You.”
“Merry Christmas” – *NSYNC
In 1998, *NSYNC dropped a Christmas album featuring their now-classic song “Merry Christmas.” Eight years later, Lance Bass came out as gay in an exclusive interview with People Magazine. The album is utopian holiday listening for ’90s and 2000s kids, as it features the pop sounds customary to the late ’90s and early 2000s, plus that boy band charm and flurry of Christmas spirit.