An LGBTQ Guide to Holiday Music

An LGBTQ Guide to Holiday Music

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10 holiday tunes for LGBTQ solo parents and solo parents raising LGBTQ kids

Want to give your holiday playlist a rainbow twist? Check out these not-to-miss tunes.

1. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

OK, so this Rudolph kid feels different from his peers who tease him for his—ahem—flamboyant nose. His attempts at hiding his true self fail, so he runs away from home. He finds kindred spirits on the Island of Misfit Toys. Eventually (spoiler alert), he learns that what makes him different also makes him lovable, unique, and valuable.

That’s so gay!

Whether you’re raising a Rudolph or you are one, celebrate your membership in the Red-Nose Club with this version of the Christmas classic by longtime LGBTQ advocate Mary J. Blige.

2. “The Christians and the Pagans”

Dar Williams’s folk song tells the story of a Wiccan lesbian and her girlfriend crashing Christmas dinner at her Christian uncle’s house. Full of clever turns of phrase, the song edges on parody, but the true heart of it—a family coming together despite their differences—will have you reaching for your candy cane-striped hankie.

3. “Coming Out at Christmas”

Continuing the family-dinner theme, check out this parody by the London Gay Men’s Chorus, set to the tune of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” With lyrics like this, how can you go wrong?

“I intend to drop a bomb,

On my dear old dad and mom.

For this year, without a doubt,

Is the Christmas I come out.”

4. “Hanukkah”

For many LGBTQ folks (and for solo parents), some holiday traditions don’t quite fit, so we give them our own twist—kind of like the Jingle Punx, who make the LGBTQ playlist not because they’re queer but because they’ve revamped traditional holiday songs with their own punk vibe. Want a little rebellion with your menorah? Check them out.

5. “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

The television series Glee did us all a favor by breaking up the boy-girl monopoly on this sweet song. Not only will Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) charm your woolen socks off, they’ll show your kids that Baby can be anyone.

6. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”

Speaking of your kids, they’ll love Tegan and Sara’s rendition of “The Chipmunk Song.” If you’re one of the solo lesbian parents among us, you’ll love that this video features a slideshow of the totes adorbs identical-twin duo.

7. “The Heartache Can Wait”

Harboring a broken heart this holiday season? Sometimes it feels just right to light a candle, snuggle under a blanket, and nurse your grief. What better nurse than the exquisite Brandi Carlile? Warning: if you’re not ready to “go there,” definitely do not go here.

8. “It Really Is (a Wonderful Life)”

Now for something completely different. The Indigo Girls bring us this peppy winter tune:

“But now that you’re here by my side,

Baby it is, baby it is

It really is a wonderful life.”

Crank it up, and dance with your babies!

9. “O Holy Night”

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, Tracy Chapman’s gloriously haunting rendition of this song can make any night feel holy.

10. “The Garden”

OK, it’s not exactly a “holiday song” per se, but if you listen to this anthem by The Shondes before you write your New Year’s resolutions, you’ll bust into 2016 like the unstoppable force of awesome you are. “Who told you to give up on the garden?” Nobody here did. Go get ’em, Mama!

Cheryl Dumesnil, ESME’s LGBTQ Resource Guide, is an author, educator, writing coach, all-around do-gooder, and one of two moms separately coparenting two amazing boys. You can follow her on Twitter at @cheryladumesnil.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.

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