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Lesbian Musicians - Leading the Way

Music is a big part of my life and whilst I listen to a huge range of music, from country to pop and rock and roll, my heart really lies in supporting lesbian musicians. This may sound a bit fake, and as though I buy their records just because they are lesbians - but this is not necessarily true. Yes, I love the fact that they are lesbians, but also I find that I can relate to their lives, I can understand their lyrics, and I adore the fact that the best selling "out" lesbians use their popularity to fight for lesbian and gay rights. If my few pounds or dollars that I spend on their albums helps to fund their continued success and continuity in the media then I will buy ten copies of each of their new albums if I have to! If I can help to make a difference by attending concerts, buying fan merchandise, and whatever else I can get my hands on, then I will!

There are four main lesbian singers that I want to draw your attention to and explain why I think they are so significant to the world of lesbianism. Most of them you will probably know incredibly well but there may be one or two surprises!

K D Lang
In regards to her music, K D Lang's slick, smooth tone and ability to continually change from country to pop - and beyond - leaves hairs standing up at the back of my neck whenever I play any of her songs.

I admire K D Lang most for her frank openness about her sexuality. Of all the lesbian singers / musicians I mention here today, she was probably the first to openly admit that she was a lesbian. Her relationships are forever in the public eye and she has probably been the spur for other singers to happily admit their sexuality. Her continued fight for gay and lesbian civil rights is admirable, too!

I also think that K D Lang has introduced the world to androgyny and she gets lots of press column inches dedicated to her latest look, latest suit, or latest hairstyle. I think she has helped people to realize that lesbians don't have to be butch or femme and we can choose to dress the way we want and be the way we want. I remember her most for her appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine dressed in a man's suit with Cindy Crawford; this one photograph literally pushed lesbians into a prominent position in the public eye.

Melissa Etheridge
Kansas born Melissa Etheridge was discovered playing in lesbian bars by Island Records back in the 80's. Since then she has become an internationally successfully singer songwriter. Everyone thought that openly admitting she was a lesbian during Clinton's inauguration celebrations would be the end of her career, but how wrong were we! It has only helped to catapult her career into international heights, with lesbians all over the world snapping up her albums as if there were no tomorrow. The thing I like her most for is the fact that she is now an open advocate for gay and lesbian rights, and she uses her stardom to fight for us. I can also recommend her lyrics, which are full of passion and relate to aspects of her lesbian life.

Melissa Ferrick
Melissa Ferrick has gone it alone in the music world. She has not held onto big record labels to make her famous, and has set up her own record label - which she may use in future years to promote other artists. She lives for her love of music and prefers to be out on the road earning a few dollars from each person that buys a ticket to a concert, rather than sitting back and making millions of dollars on the back of big companies with huge marketing budgets. It's her fans that keep her going and word of mouth rather than big ad campaigns. I admire her battle against drugs and alcohol and give sympathy to her for her constant struggle against panic attacks. The thing I love most about Melissa Ferrick is that her songs are real: they are about real life issues, often with a lesbian twist, and I am sure that if any of you out there listen to just a few of her songs you will become addicted to her too! She's a mixed up girl turned good - someone we should all be proud of!

Alex Parks
Alex Parks is a slightly shy, quiet lesbian in the U.K who hit fame big time when she won Fame Academy, a UK pop talent show much like Pop Idol that has hit the world by storm. Whilst she won a one-million pound recording contract, and a luxury pad in London for a year, she has not let any of this go to her head. Alex Parks has a sweet innocence about her and this, combined with the fact that she happily admits she is a lesbian, endears her to her lesbian following. Her natural ability to just see it as part of her life and the public's willingness to accept her, regardless of her sexuality, marks her career path as someone that all closeted lesbians will aspire to. She is new to the music scene and her fantastic voice and lyrical ability is just beginning to shine through. I certainly think she's one to watch out for in the coming years!

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