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10 of the best gay country songs

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Not a lot of country music gives voice to queer experiences, but more and more there are queer country music artists who are penning songs that beautifully capture the stories of the LGBTQ+ community. From twangy turns that break down barriers to heartfelt ballads that explore the complexities of identity and unrequited love, these gay country songs not only amplify the voices of queer artists but also contribute to the broader conversation about inclusivity within the genre of country music. 

Ty Herndon, “What Mattered Most”

After coming out as gay in 2014, Ty Herndon revisited his 1995 hit “What Mattered Most,” and rewrote the lyrics to reflect his sexual identity. In 2019, he changed the pronouns to male pronouns, thus making it a love song about two men. Speaking to NPR, Herndon also shared that he updated the lyrics for LGBTQ+ country fans. “When I go and speak to kids, I hear this all the time. They’re like — especially the LGBT kids — ‘We really want to like country music, but we don’t think country music likes us,” he said. “It starts with me,” Herndon added. “It starts with artists that have been there.”

Lavender Country, “Come Out Singing”

Lavender Country’s seminal self-titled 1973 gay-themed country album blazed a trail for many of the artists on this list. The song “Come Out Singing” is a joyous tune about a new relationship that opens with the lyrics, “Wakin’ up to say hip hip hooray / I’m glad I’m gay / Can’t repress my happiness / Ever since I tried your way / Gonna lay right here and greet the sun / ‘Cause gay time lovin’s just begun”. 

Orville Peck, “Drive me, Crazy”

Everyone’s favorite gay cowboy, Orville Peck, has said this track “is about two truckers who are passing each other constantly, and they’re in love, and their story exists entirely on the highways.” Peck sings the song in his signature baritone voice, adding to the romanticism of finding love and loss during long drives on the lonesome highway of life. 

Brooke Eden, “Got No Choice”

Country music star Brooke Eden wrote this song about her romance with girlfriend Hilary Hoover (who also stars in the song’s music video). In a press release for the song, Eden said, “I wrote this song about not being able to choose who you love, even if it doesn’t ‘fit on paper.’ This is an anthem for anyone who has had to stand up for their love or just wants to shout it from the rooftops!”

Paisley Fields, “Ride Me Cowboy”

In country music, there’s not a lot of space for queer desire—let alone gay sex. “Ride Me Cowboy” is a proud anthem for a queer honkytonk romp. “Your hands on my chest and our clothes in a pile as you press your lips to mine /We can sweat it all out, holler and shout, as the tumbleweeds roll by.”

Lily Rose, “Remind Me of You”

Though the song was written by Sam Hunt, ERNEST, Corey Crowder and Ryan Vojtesak, Rose kept the female-aimed pronouns in the lyrics. Beyond it being a progressive move, Rose strives for authenticity in her music. “Being able to be out has really translated in the writing room,” she said to Rolling Stone. “I’m not trying to be like anybody else anymore.”

Steve Grand, “All-American Boy”

Unrequited love is a universal experience, and it can be especially difficult as a gay man who longs for a straight man. This is the narrative of Steve Grand’s “All-American Boy”, which was inspired by negative experiences Grand underwent throughout his adolescence as a gay male

Brothers Osborne, “Younger Me”

After half of Brothers Osborne, T.J. Osborne, came out as gay in 2021, the sibling country duo released “Younger Me”. The song’s lyrics are the brothers speaking to their younger selves and reflecting on how difficult times have informed who they are today. “I’ve always wished I could speak to my younger self, give him a hug and show him who he’d become and what he’d achieve,” T.J. said on X when the song was released. “Once I came out, that feeling was overwhelmingly strong that this song was born.”

Joy Oladokun, “Pride”

Joy Oladokun’s music is influenced by her identity as a queer woman of color. “Pride” in particular is an anthem of power and hope for the LGBTQ community as she sings, “No hands can take what’s ours / They can’t change the beauty that’s inside / Pride.”

Honorable Mention: Dixon Dallas, “Good Lookin’”

Dixon Dallas is the alter-ego of Alabama rapper Jake Hill, whose viral country music hit “Good Lookin’” initially took off on TikTok, but far transcended the social media platform due to its catchy melody and raunchy lyrics. Though Hill has not gone on record about his sexuality, the lyrics on “Good Lookin’” are undeniably queer. “I kiss him on his neck, and then he kisses on my b*ssy / Call him ‘Daddy’ while I holler / Man, that boy so damn good lookin’,” he sings. Either way, it’s a hot song!

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