By WMUC DJs & Staff

To celebrate pride month, we’ve rounded up a few songs and stories that were impactful in our own queer awakenings. Here’s to living queer, having taste, and being proud, year-round.

“Girls Like Girls” by Hayley Kiyoko
This song in combination with the music video is what really made me realize I like girls in a way more than just thinking they’re pretty. I always thought, “I can’t be gay,” because I didn’t look like the prominent female gay women I was seeing on TV. It sounds dumb, but this really showed me that gay comes in all shapes and sizes and that being femme doesn’t take away from it.

“Rosalie” by Naomi Alligator
This song reminds me of my first girlfriend. We both lived in difficult homes and sought solace in each other, video calling every night and consoling each other when things became difficult. As time passed we grew apart, but I still think about her sometimes. She was really talented and loved sewing period costumes, and would talk about the day that we would go to an outdoor garden dressed as courtesans. I hope that, one day, everyone finds someone as wonderful as her.

“Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande
being a middle school girl and seeing Ariana in her latex bunny suit... how could you not be awakened by that

“Fool” by Perfume Genius
I found Perfume Genius about a few months after coming out, at a time when I was just beginning to realize that the GBF role I had been taking on in high school was also pretty discriminatory, just a little subtler. A lot of gay guys, me included, love picking out clothes for friends, being there for emotional support, talking sh*t, bringing the camp level up a bit, etc. But that has to come on our own terms, and at the end of the day we all have our own personal issues with our LGBT+ identity that we don’t really get the chance to talk about with our friends in return. Lyrics related: this song helped me break out of that role and start demanding from the people I care about that… you see me in multiple dimensions, or else all you’re really getting out of me is a stereotype that I only fit in about 5% of the time!

“Cherry” by Rina Sawayama
Listened to this song on the way to see the cherry blossoms in D.C., and at that time I just wanted someone to be my cherry. That night I had my first kiss with a guy. Still looking for my cherry though so you might catch me visiting D.C. again in the spring while listening to this song LOL…

“How To Be a Heartbreaker” by Marina & The Diamonds
This song played an integral role in my queer awakening. Not because of the song itself but rather the music video. I started watching the video and while Marina herself looked great, she was dancing in front of some very attractive men. I kept looking back at them instead of Marina and I kept going back to watching it like everyday.

“Light in Your Window” by Esmé Patterson
This song reminds me of you, one of the first people who helped me realize who I was. Things didn't work out between us, but you still mean a lot to me. Sometimes, the most life-changing realizations come without warning on a rainy day while riding the 104.

“Backseat” by Charli XCX (feat. Carly Rae Jepsen)
I was already out long before I listened to this song for the first time, but this track was my gateway drug into an actual queer community. Before then, I was floating in queer limbo between universes with no fellow queer people to relate to. Afterwards, I found a home.

Hear these songs and more here.