We all know the...well... rather boring and repetitive straight love songs. (He was a boy, she was a girl, can I make it any more heteronormative?). But every so often, with just the right combination of queer covers and outright subtext, songs that were previously boy + girl can get a tad more gay.
Disclaimer: this list does not include songs that are intentionally gay, even if only in subtext. (You know Stay With Me? Yeah, not that.)
Honorable Mention: Teenage Dream, Katy Perry
Nothing in this song is outright gendered (there's a lot of "you" and "me"), which earns it the Honorable Mention spot. This song could very well be about a girl. Who knows? And I know Glee is one of those things people pretend they were never into, but Darren's cover? This song can definitely be aggressively gay.
Number 7: Next In Line, Walk the Moon
Honestly, this song probably makes more sense gay. If just for the 300 references to the "stick shift". Yes, the song takes place in a car, but "my hand is on the stick shift and your hand is on my hand"? Really, Walk the Moon? I wouldn't be surprised if they let it slip in an interview that this was really about a man.
Number 6: Uncharted, Sara Bareilles
My favorite thing to do with this song is listen to it as if it's Sara realizing she's gay and not knowing what to do about it. "Stuck under the ceiling I made, I can't help but feeling I'm going down." I'd say most of us queers have experienced this same ceiling: the one where we convince ourselves that there is no other possible way but straight. "Compare where you are to where you want to be and you'll get nowhere", Sara later sings. Good idea for new, just out of the closet LGBT+ people. This song is unintentionally a very interesting diary entry. (Bonus: I like to add "on her" after "I'm going down" when I sing it. So there's that.)
Number 5: Teenage Dirtbag, Wheatus
Okay, so this song doesn't jump out right away. But if you listen to Mary Lambert cover it, the message changes entirely into a first love song. It's about youth and fear and that person you love not knowing you exist, but especially when it's sung from the perspective of a sad lesbian freshman crushing on the amazing senior girl that doesn't even know she exists.
Number 4: Ours, Taylor Swift
This is actually the first of two Taylor Swift songs on my little list here. I know there have been plenty of rumors flying around about her and Karlie Kloss, but I'm going to stick to my made up facts and not really approach that one. This entire song is about everyone in Taylor's life not approving of her new love, because of their tattoos, and I guess their general demeanor. But I mean, "seems like there's always someone who disapproves, they'll judge it like they know about me and you". Sounds to me like the same people that gave my girlfriend and I looks as we walked down the street.
Number 3: Jessie's Girl, Rick Springfield
For this one, I direct you to the magnificent Mary Lambert cover. Singing a slow acoustic rendition, she laments how amazing her best friend's girlfriend is. And how much she wants her. Giving this song to a lesbian performer is the best thing the universe has done in a long time. Do I even need to give examples? "Jessie's got himself a girl and I want to make her mine". "You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute, I want to tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot". Convinced?
Number 2: Treacherous, Taylor Swift
Oh look, it's our second Taylor Swift pick. Okay, this might actually be one of the gayest songs I've ever heard, including ones that are actually written about and include names of other women. "I'll do anything you say, if you say it with your hands", okay Taylor. "I can't decide if it's a choice, getting swept away" OKAY TAYLOR. It's literally an entire song of Taylor Swift trying to convince herself she's straight, and I won't be convinced otherwise.
Number 1: Rude, MAGIC!
This song honestly makes more sense to me as a lesbian song. Why does the singer care so much if they can "marry that girl" with or without dad's permission? Luckily, the internet agreed with me, and has spawned many an excellent lesbian cover.
So there you have it. Whether these songs are actually intentionally gay (I'm not convinced they're not), or otherwise, they get so much better when viewed through a LGBT+ lens. As a bonus, here's an amazing new LGBT song (the pronouns switch halfway through because one band member is straight, the other is gay.)
Elli the Intern