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As I’m writing this, 2018 ended a few days ago. If you’re a gay little bean, I can definitely understand the pain you must feel knowing that we had to leave behind Twenty-Gay-Teen, but hold to your horses, or should I say unicorns, because 2019 is 2019 but it’s also Twenty-Bi-Teen, and it’s only starting! As a bi girl myself, I enjoyed 20GayTeen a whole lot, I discovered a few queer artists that I couldn’t imagine my life without, and I thought I’d share these discoveries with you all. Though I have two really great boys to mention, I am aware of the lack of male representation. I actually don’t listen to a lot of male artists so including some boys just for the sake of it didn’t feel genuine to me because I truly didn’t have many suggestions. I didn’t feel like doing a bunch of research just for the sake of this article. I wanted it to be as intimate and sincere as possible, if it makes sense.
Also note that most of the artists on this list identify as gay, not bisexual; however, I did feel like it was important to mention gay artists in this article because as a bisexual girl, I live and enjoy my bisexuality through gay ladies as well. I guess you could say this article caters more to bisexual/pansexual people who don’t identify as men, because considering most of the people on this list identify as women, that’s where the gay magic happens.
This 19-year-old New-Yorker had an amazing year in 2018, 20GayTeen really did its thing. Born Mikaela Strauss, her EP ‘Make My Bed had a great success and there are a few reasons why. Obviously, it is simply really good. It is well put together and is more polished than most EPs. With its five pop tracks, it really makes you travel. It is, in my opinion, so young, fresh, and pure, while also being smokey, just like her voice. Not only are her north American and European tours completely sold out, she has also been declared a revelation by multiple outlets. She identifies as gay and genderqueer, meaning she doesn’t restrict herself to the sometimes-small box that is being female. She isn’t attracted to guys, but, as I said earlier, she still fits in the thematic because if you’re a bisexual girl, she most likely will be right your type. My personal favorites are "Talia," "Upper West Side" and "Pussy Is God" (yes, that really is the name of the song, and the name of her sold out tour). Strauss isn’t shy to make the public know about the gender of her muses. She isn’t strong on pronouns, but multiple little hints are noticeable in her lyrics, like talking about tasting the lipstick on the lips of the person she’s kissing or that their name is Talia, in the song such titled. She also refers to the person she ‘‘can’t get enough of’’ as ‘‘another b*tch from the upper west side,’’ which is another indication. Finally, I think the message is pretty clear in the last song I stated as my favorite. Of course, she is very talented, but another thing worth mentioning when talking about her growing success is the lack of competition. No other queer female artist is doing anything remotely like her at the moment, which is why the public is so thirsty for her content. Though this list is in no particular order, I can definitely say that King Princess is my musical highlight of last year, and I hope she can become yours too! As of this morning, as I am making the final touch ups to this article, I finally got myself a ticket to go see her in my hometown and I couldn't be happier!
If by now you don’t know Hayley Kiyoko, you have been sleeping under a straight rock. After coming out with three EPs, she released her debut album named Expectations in 2018. Last year she also accepted her first on stage award at Billboard’s Women in music ceremony, as she was declared 2018’s rising star. In her speech, she said something that sums up really well the artists mentioned in this text, ‘‘necessity is the mother of invention,’’ meaning that she is the artist that is out of necessity. Artists like her, queer artists, are beyond needed because we need to see this representation. She initially caught the public’s eye with her music video for "Girls Like Girls," which hit, during the last week of 2018, 100 million views on Youtube. Though the music video came out in 2015, it only gained attention later on. Kiyoko, or ‘‘Lesbian Jesus’’ as her fans call her, is by far the most ‘‘out there’’ with her identity in her songs. Though she is often compared to Troy Sivan, she is nowhere as famous as him, and most people agree to say it isn’t because her music is not as great as his, myself included. Sivan, who adopts a more gender-neutral approach in his songs, makes his sexuality subtler to the listener, while Hayley uses she/her pronouns constantly, as well as the word ‘‘girl’’ when referring to her muses. Some could say that she is shooting herself in the foot. I say that she is brilliant and that she should never stop being open with her gayness in her songs. My favorites are "Pretty Girl," "Wanna Be Missed," "Palm Dreams," "Sleepover" and "He'll Never Love You (HNLY)." These five pop songs will have you dance or cry, depending on the one you choose to listen to, but I suggest you listen to all her discography. Listen to your bible, kids.
I discovered Dodie a few years ago during that phase in my life where I was watching every coming out video made by a bisexual person on YouTube—don’t quite know why. She is a cis girl who identifies as bisexual and she is one of the few actually very talented singers on this platform. Every queer Youtuber knows Dodie. She is a staple, and if you didn’t know her already well now you do! She has written a bunch of original songs, some of them are only on Youtube, but a few are on Spotify. Her song ‘‘She,’’ which was a big part of her coming out process on this social media, is one of my favorites. It is so delicate, soft, and feminine, exactly what comes to my mind when I think of two girls being in love. ‘‘Sick of Losing Soulmates’’ is another one of her masterpieces. Though it was written about a boy, the music video presents a relationship between two girls, which still works because the lyrics of the songs are completely gender-neutral. I couldn’t leave out Dodie here because I needed to include a few actually bisexual people in this list, and she is simply awesome!
Finally, here are some honorable mentions that you should definitely listen to because they are really great pieces. Not all the songs mentioned are about someone of the same sex, but most of them are. I will put the sexuality of the artists in parentheses. Obviously, sexuality is fluid, but I am pretty certain these labels still apply as of January 2019.
Abbey Glover (gay): "Everybody Leaves," "I Wish You Liked Girls," and "I Always Want What I Can’t Have"
Miley Cyrus (pansexual): "She’s Not Him"
Kehlani (bisexual): "Honey" and "Again"
Angèle (I don’t know, sorry!): "Ta Reine"
Troye Sivan (gay): "Seventeen," "Youth," "Dance To This" (featuring Ariana Grande) "The Good Side'' and "Bloom''
Keiynan Lonsdale (bisexual): "Kiss The Boy"
Lauren Jauregui (bisexual): "Expectations"
Halsey (bisexual): "Alone," "Sorry," "Bad At Love," "Strangers," (featuring Lauren Jauregui) and "Don’t Play"