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Audio File Friday '8-Bit Gay Pride Anthems'

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Gay Pride.

Whether you spend this time dancing your butt off in the streets of San Francisco or hitting up your hometown community centers for something less extravagant chances are this weekend you'll be celebrating in some form. While the entirety of June is considered Gay Pride Month, Obama even made it official, the last weekend in June holds a special place in LGBT history as it commemorates the Stonewall Riots, the historic riots which took place on June 28, 1969 and ultimately began the gay rights movement.

Over forty years later and the fight carries on, though in a remarkably different world. The advent of the internet has changed the way gay people find one another, thanks to efforts like Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project new media outlets like Youtube have been transformed into powerful tools for struggling gay youth, gay marriage is one of politics' number one hot topics, primetime TV has never been gayer with programs like Glee and Modern Family, and some of the biggest names in arts and entertainment have made their support for the cause known.

Suffices to say 2010-2011 has been quite the year for us LGBT folks. It's almost become en vogue to come out and say you support LGBT causes but hey, don't look a gift horse in the mouth and all that. In the world of music it's been the year of uplifting anthems telling you to let your freak flag fly.

Especially if it's rainbow colored.

Keeping in theme with the site, gaygamer.net, rather than just schlep out those anthems back at you which I'm sure half of you are already sick of I thought I'd hunt down some 8-bit remixes of them to shake things up.

First up: Katy Perry's Firework, remade into a classic gaming tune courtesy of FrankJavCee.

The first of the self-esteem boosting songs to tear up the charts this year with Firework Ms. Perry beckons each and every one of us towards self-empowerment. Katy says its her favorite song off of her Grammy nominated Teenage Dream record and its not hard to see why. The song has inspired people from all walks of life to get up and dance and celebrate what makes them unique. Whether you're gay, overweight, a magician being mugged? wth, have a terminal illness...or even a straight guy with too much time on his hands:

Katy Perry may have been the first contemporary pop star to lend her name to a selfesteem boosting anthem, but she was far from the last. The classiest kla$$iest lady around, Ke$ha , decided to dedicate the lead single off of her new EP, We R Who We R, to the It Gets Better Project. Here it is 8-bit-ified by Cannavo69:

Ke$ha, whether we like it or not, is in many ways the voice of a generation. The frivolous, party-all-day generation that forgoes rules and standards for glitter and free love. Her music may or may not be your cup of tea bottle of jack, but she is who she is and if her fanbase counts for anything her message is clearly resonating with somebody.

Also from Cannavo69 is the 8-bit remix of Rihanna's S&M:

"But gogoedward," you say, "this isn't a gay anthem!" Well, not technically. Yes, of all the songs featured here this is arguably the least on the nose especially compared to the next one but let's take a minute and think about it. Rihanna and her rockin' red weave are celebrating the ways people choose to express their love, even when that form of expression is...not so PC. And let's face it, the gay world and BDSM world and dance music have a long shared history with one another.

This song nabbed some controversy, even some radio bans, but I say kudos to Rihanna for speaking up for a community that is too often swept under the rug for the sake of appearances.

If you're bad and you're good at it, no reason to hide; just bump this track and spank until you're silly.

This next one, 8-bitted by Daryl Banner, more or less speaks for itself:

On the nose? Ham fisted? Blatant? Yes, yes, and yes. Effective? Heck yes.

Many have said, and still say, that the notion of a gay anthem written explicitly to be a gay anthem was missing the point. To those people I say phooey. Sometimes it takes more than subtle suggestion to get a point across and I can't think of anyone less subtle than Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga. And whether she's marching in rallies, actively fighting DADT, writing an entire album focused on self-love, or just tweeting to her fans that they are valued she's practicing what she preaches every day with as little subtlety as possible.

For the well adjusted twenty to thirty-somethings living their gay lives in their gayborhoods and feeling gay-fine this anthem probably feels like nothing more than unnecessary pandering. But for the kids out there who are struggling with their sexuality, who are contemplating suicide because they've been told something is wrong with them, hearing this song come on the radio means a hell of a lot. Born This Way is straight to the point and it's meant to be; an anthem of the most literal kind that takes absolutely no prisoners while declaring "This is who I am. Deal."

When was the last time a song with the word "transgender" went number one worldwide for weeks straight? That's a pretty big deal.

Last but certainly not least, a song that isn't 8-bit at all but fits right in with the Gaymer Pride theme perfectly. You might recall our coverage of Mini-Gay Boyfriend for the iPhone. Well the game's disco-inspired theme song by Bradley White-Dale is, correct me if I'm wrong, the first ever gay video game anthem. I'd be remiss to not include it.

No matter how you choose to spend this weekend let your gaymer pride be on full display. Be sure to check out the rest of Daryl Banner , FrankJavCee, and Cannavo69's work, and if you haven't already go check out Mini Gay Boyfriend.

Have a great Pride Weekend, and I'll catch you audiophiles right here next week!

6 Comments

Franko said:

why is marked as corrected -- the president DID make it official that june is pride month!

gogoedward said:

You're right, that was an odd miss on my part. That shouldn't have been crossed out. Thanks for the heads up!

At the risk of sounding like a total asshole, which I guess I am anyway, why is subpar pop music (and Lady Gaga) our anthem?

And. To be even more of an asshole. Isn't that just going to reinforce stereotypes? Why don't we just stick with Disco at that point? Gloria Gaynor tops Kesha any day.

... is that a fantasy, to anybody, I wonder? Idle musings...

Mikey said:

I really feel like "gay anthem" is being used too loosely here. Born This Way, yeah. The rest...not so much.

And to Randy, finding gay anthems outside of pop is hard. Mostly because generally the only bands or artists that mention or suggest supporting gay people - are pop ones.

I would have put a Scissor Sisters song in this list. Or Ace Of Base. Something less MTV'ish.

luminum said:

Well personally, I have always struggled with being an Oriental, so I was so relieved that someone finally had the courage to stand up and tell me I was born Oriental and that it was okay.

My Chola friends also share my relief...and for that matter, all the other ethnic minorities who just desperately needed to be affirmed that their racial identity was natural.

Thank you, Lady Gaga. Your high concept art and masterful lyricism have saved THIS gay Oriental's life.

But I shouldn't be really thanking you. I should be thanking God/Alexander McQueen/your mother/whoever else you want to say inspired this song in your next interview. One or all of them was the one really responsible for these sacred lyrics.

Mordack said:

Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, and Rihanna? Eww...

I personally prefer Frank Zappa's "He's so Gay." I think our anthem should poke fun at the community because, let's face it, the gay community already tends to support all the gay stereotypes anyway. Plus, the genius that is Zappa needs to be known to all the kiddies out there. :P

@luminum: ILY. :3

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Mordack on Audio File Friday '8-Bit Gay Pride Anthems': Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, and Rihanna? Eww... I personally prefer Frank Zappa's "He's so Gay." I think our anthem...

luminum on Audio File Friday '8-Bit Gay Pride Anthems': Well personally, I have always struggled with being an Oriental, so I was so relieved that someone finally had the...

Mikey on Audio File Friday '8-Bit Gay Pride Anthems': I really feel like "gay anthem" is being used too loosely here. Born This Way, yeah. The rest...not so much....

Randy "Dr Randle" Marr on Audio File Friday '8-Bit Gay Pride Anthems': At the risk of sounding like a total asshole, which I guess I am anyway, why is subpar pop music...

gogoedward on Audio File Friday '8-Bit Gay Pride Anthems': You're right, that was an odd miss on my part. That shouldn't have been crossed out. Thanks for the heads...

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