We’re halfway through 2023, and it’s safe to say that things have been pretty bleak for the LGBTQ community. Brands like Bud Light and Target have all come under fire for marketing allyship, while — more insidiously — nearly 500 bills are being tracked in the U.S. that attack LGBTQ rights.
The silver lining: the LGBTQ community is known for its resilience. Pride festivals were born out of a brutal police protest, after all. As the calendar changes to June — Pride Month — festival season is in full swing.
To celebrate the season, we’ve highlighted ten performers across the rainbow spectrum that will take stages across the U.S. From a former Britney Spears backup dancer who’s finding his own light to a nonbinary artist who reworked tracks by Harry Styles and Phoebe Bridgers to be gender-neutral, read on to discover a new queer fav.
For fans of: Bad Bunny, Ice Spice
Despite sharing a home state with Gov. Rob DeSantis, no U.S. city goes harder for Pride Month than Miami; in fact, they already had a two-week festival in April. Their month-long programming for June starts with Friday’s (June 2) kick-off party, which features a performance from Venezuela-born artist _SANTI_. The reggaeton rapper garnered a fanbase with Spanglish remixes of Kim Petras’ horniest tracks, but showed off his versatility with an EP of original party anthems, dripping with his distinct erotic energy. Fans can also catch him alongside Tinashe and Ty Sunderland at the Wynwood Pride Music Festival (June 10).
Check out: “perreON,” “Treat me like a slut”
For fans of: Janelle Monáe, CeeLo
Growing up, Chicago-born Tolliver couldn’t escape the church: he’s the son of a pastor and a gospel choir singer. It’s evident in his soulful sound, and in the core message of his latest album, Daddyland. The record doubles as a letter to his deceased father, unraveling worries that he’d be condemned for his lifestyle. Tolliver brings his fabulous brand of sass to the WeHo Pride stage opening night (June 2), with Grace Jones, Jessie Ware, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Passion Pit set to perform throughout the weekend.
Check out: “Jimmy,” “Call Me A Freak”
For fans of: Florence and the Machine, Lykke Li
Among the acts taking the Dallas Pride (June 3) stage is hometown heroine Lorelei K. Known for her haunting vocals and ethereal production, the avant-pop artist creates her own arresting album artwork to match. She described her latest release “I Want To Be Alone,” as music for inked stoner babes and freaks with daddy issues.
Check out: “Lying Love,” “Blue Part Four”
For fans of: Charli XCX, Shygirl
Pop artist Siena Liggins is truly doing the most this Pride season, appearing at LGBTQ festivals in Detroit (June 10), Sacramento (June 11), Columbus (June 17), and Seattle (June 24-25). Exploring genres from hyper-pop to hip-hop, Liggins blends it all together under her masterful wordplay: “Friends, girl, I come with all the benefits / Total package, no subscription,” she teases on her latest release, the slinky “Sneaky Links.”
Check out: “Sneaky Links,” “thicc”
For fans of: Lorde, Oliva Rodrigo
When the pandemic hit, bedroom pop singer Maude Latour was forced to cancel live shows, including her debut at South By Southwest. Not one to give up, Latour turned to TikTok where her stream-of-conscious style songwriting helped her land a passionate audience (and a record deal). She’s since returned to the stage, and Midwest fans can catch her at Indy Pride (June 10) alongside Saucy Santana and Of Montreal.
Check out: “One More Weekend,” “I am not the sun”
For fans of: The Pretty Reckless, Ethel Cain
“How many times does it take / for you to address me in the right way?,” screams Allegra Hernandez on their succinctly titled “Use My Fkn Pronouns.” Given the political climate in the Des Moines-native’s home state, they have a lot to be pissed off about. But Hernandez is more than angst; as attendees of Capital City Pride (June 10) will experience, they also know their way around a guitar.
Check out: “Use My Fkn Pronouns,” “Serious”
For fans of: Yungblood, Conan Gray
Growing up, Taiwanese and Peruvian musician Mad Tsai felt disillusioned by coming-of-age films where he didn’t see himself represented. Now, he’s reclaiming the narrative, envisioning a world where queer Asian and Latinx heroes can take center stage. Tsai plays out his main character fantasy in his latest pair of music videos “in my head” and “stacy’s brother,” the latter being a queer twist on the 2000s pop/rock anthem “Stacy’s Mom.” And for his next role? Tsai will join LA Pride (June 10) with a stacked lineup that includes Mariah Carey, Megan Thee Stallion, King Princess, and RuPaul’s Drag Race current reigning winner Sasha Colby.
Check out: “stacy’s brother,” “killer queen”
For fans of: J Balvin, Maluma
Willie Gomez may have toured the world as a backup dancer for pop titans like Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Kylie Minogue, but the Dominican heartthrob is prepared to step into his own spotlight. With his party-forward debut album, last year’s Del Cibao, Gomez is taking the stage at Omaha’s Heartland Pride (June 15) to show off his solo star power.
Check out: “Morjadoes,” “Yun Yun”
For fans of: Idina Menzel, Victoria Monét
A self-described “artivist,” NYC-based Mila Jam has built her fanbase by combining her outspoken LGBTQ advocacy with soulful, pop melodies. Her latest anthem, “Say Your Name,” was released on Transgender Day of Visibility to empower the transgender and drag community amidst the ominous political climate. She’ll join Christina Aguilera and Angelica Ross for Stonewall Day (June 23) in her home city.
Check out: “Fierce,” “Say Your Name”
For fans of: Phoebe Bridgers, MUNA
For Nashville Pride (June 24) performer Mika Ratsula, visibility is key. They don’t shy away from vulnerable subjects; instead Ratsula, who identifies as nonbinary, leans into them, exploring topics like coming out and gender envy with honest storytelling over lo-fi soundscapes. On last year’s Made For Them EP, the singer-songwriter reimagined tracks by Harry Styles and Phoebe Bridgers to be completely gender-neutral.
Check out: “jealous of my brother,” “Missing June”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.