Though in recent years, mainstream artists have been coming out more freely (like Lil Nas X and Miley Cyrus), there are still a lot of lesser known or even unknown LGBT+ artists. Some are newly discovered, some have been around for a few years, or who have paved the way for their genre might not be on your radar.
Here are a few!
Rob Halford is the lead singer of the award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest. He came out publicly on MTV in 1998, and describes himself as the “stately homo of heavy metal”. He’s also known as the Metal God, and openly criticizes the rights and laws that are being passed that harm and take advantage of the community. His song “Raw Deal” is the only song that he’s written that touches on his sexuality.
If you’re into country music, look no further. Shane McAnally, also known as Shane Mack, is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. He charted three singles on ‘Hot Country Songs’ and has written and produced songs for big-name country singers like Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert. He’s married to his husband of five years, Michael Baum, and has a daughter and son.
Girl in Red
Marie Ulven Ringhiem is known as Girl in Red across all platforms. You might have heard her single ‘I Wanna be Your Girlfriend’ which has over 50 million streams on Spotify. She’s also written ‘Summer Depression’ and ‘Girls,’ which can be described as bedroom pop. She was the cover of Gay Times in 2019, and is openly a lesbian.
Anohni formerly produced songs under her deadname, but in February, 2015, she released her first album under her name, Anohni, titled Hopelessness. She continues to release music separate from her old band and in 2016, was the second openly transgender person to be nominated for an Academy Award. She has described her style as “electronic with sharp teeth.”
Mina Caputo was the lead singer and founding member of the heavy metal band Life of Agony. After leaving the band, she produced a demo with a band titled Absolute Bloom and released solo tracks as well. She also produced and helped found, Freax and Neptune Darlings.
Linda Perry is a singer, songwriter and producer. She was the lead singer and main songwriter for band 4 Non Blondes, which disbanded in 1995. After, she had a hit solo career, ending in 2010, she founded two record labels and has since written and produced hit songs for several big name artists, including Pink, and Christina Aguilera. In 1994 she displayed the slur d*ke on her guitar for a performance with her band and is openly a lesbian.
Laura Jane Grace
Laura Jane Grace is the founder, songwriter, lead singer and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me! and also fronts the band Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, which is a solo project she started in 2016. She’s one of the first highly visible punk rock musicians to come out as transgender, publicly announcing it in May 2012. One of her songs, ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ has gained attention in some of the LGBT+ community but, she is not on at lot of people’s radar.