The 2010s: Queer Goes Mainstream : All Songs Considered In the past decade, LGBTQ issues hit the mainstream in unprecedented ways, and music played a big part, with songs about queer love on the radio and anthems of allyship coming from all major genres.

On this episode of All Songs Considered, we look back on the way queer issues moved towards the center of the conversation during the 2010s. We talk about how decades of activism led up to this moment and how social media has helped foster safe spaces and access to information for young people across spectrums of gender and sexuality. We also discuss how LGBTQ musicians are helping reimagine pop sounds — from openly expressing queer desire to cyborgian shapeshifting — and question what the future of "mainstreaming" might hold for queer communities.
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The 2010s: Queer Goes Mainstream

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The 2010s: Queer Goes Mainstream

The 2010s: Queer Goes Mainstream

The 2010s: Queer Goes Mainstream

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/767904382/773962228" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lady Gaga performs her song "Born This Way" during The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards on February 13, 2011. Kevin Winter/Getty Images hide caption

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Over the past decade, LGBTQ issues hit the mainstream in unprecedented ways. Time magazine declared a "transgender tipping point." Same-sex marriage was legalized throughout the country. Songs about queer love played on the radio; mainstream sitcoms featured love stories between gay characters, all building on a legacy of activism begun decades ago.

Music and musicians played a big part of that story. Some came out in high profile ways, like in 2012, when Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace reintroduced herself as a transgender woman in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine and Frank Ocean wrote about same-sex attraction in an open letter on Tumblr. Others wrote anthems of allyship, like Macklemore's "Same Love" and Kacey Musgraves' "Follow Your Arrow." In nearly all major genres of music, we've seen LGBTQ artists speaking up about the issues facing the queer community and writing music that foregrounds their experiences.

On this episode of All Songs Considered, we look back on the way queer issues moved towards the center of the conversation during the 2010s. We talk about how decades of activism led up to this moment and how social media has helped foster safe spaces and access to information for young people across spectrums of gender and sexuality. We also discuss how LGBTQ musicians are helping reimagine pop sounds — from openly expressing queer desire to cyborgian shapeshifting — and question what the future of "mainstreaming" might hold for queer communities. -- Marissa Lorusso