Strong enough

We Will Survive: The Ultimate Queer Anthems Workout Playlist

Your heart will go “Padam, Padam” for these.
Collage of divas including Cher Whitney Houston Madonna Kylie Minogue Rupaul and Lady Gaga
Getty Images/Amanda K Bailey

Pride Month feels just as revolutionary and important as ever. It’s currently happening against a backdrop of an unprecedented wave of anti-trans legislation. The American Civil Liberties Union is currently tracking 491 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, which target trans people or aim to ban or censor drag performances. Many of the bills seek to prevent trans youth from receiving gender-affirming medical care, stop schools from offering trans-inclusive education, and block trans people from using the bathroom that feels most appropriate to them.

It’s reasonable to feel very sad and scared by this news, but it’s also a potent reminder of why Pride exists in the first place. We’re still fighting: for dignity, bodily autonomy, and the freedom to exist as our true selves in public.

Music has always been a part of the ongoing fight for liberation; our canonical gay anthems—with their themes of survival, acceptance, and self-love—have been a meaningful source of queer joy and connection for decades, and still are today.

As a queer Dominican boy growing up in Queens in the ’90s, some of these songs were lifelines for me, putting into words what I couldn’t say aloud at the time. They gave me a voice when I felt voiceless, under the sheen of a diva persona and a booming beat that drowned out my darkest thoughts. Lip-synching to Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman”—specifically the soaring bridge—gives me the same catharsis to this day. After all, “I’ve got it!!”

Below you’ll find a playlist of some of our all-time favorite gay anthems; it’s a mix of classics and recent bops, all of which will lift you up, brighten your spirits, and help you feel like your best, queerest self. Put them on for your next news-induced rage workout, hot girl walk, or just when you need a little something to power your day. Being queer is a gift, and like Lady Gaga declares on “Free Woman,” “This is my dance floor I fought for.”

  1. “I’m Coming Out / Upside Down” (Chris Cox Radio Remix) by Diana Ross
  2. “Free Woman” by Lady Gaga
  3. “Firework” by Katy Perry
  4. “I’m Every Woman” by Whitney Houston
  5. “Vogue” by Madonna
  6. “Sissy That Walk” by RuPaul
  7. “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge
  8. “Together Again” by Janet Jackson
  9. “Break My Soul” (Queens Remix) by Beyoncé + Madonna
  10. “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” (Hex Hector Remix) by Deborah Cox
  11. “Stronger” by Britney Spears
  12. “This Hell” by Rina Sawayama
  13. “Only Love Can Save Us Now” by Kesha
  14. “Let’s Have a Kiki” by Scissor Sisters
  15. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
  16. “Throat Goat” by Kim Petras
  17. “Strong Enough” by Cher
  18. “Padam Padam” by Kylie Minogue
  19. “Dance the Night” by Dua Lipa
  20. “Pure/Honey” by Beyoncé
  21. “Vulgar” by Sam Smith + Madonna
  22. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga