Turning up the volume on Pride

Illustration: Sandy Stowe/Oxfam

Oxfam’s musician friends share what Pride means to them and the songs that speak to their hearts.

Pride Month is a time Oxfam looks forward to celebrating each year. It’s a moment for queer joy, community gathering, and unabashed self-expression. But it’s also a period of reflection—particularly as we bear witness to increasing legislative attacks on LGBTQIA+ people and rights—and a time for allies to show up in our advocacy.

The term Pride carries so much meaning and it’s different for each person. Who better than musicians to help us translate our feelings into words? We asked our friends in the music industry to answer the question: What does Pride mean to you? Read on for their answers and to discover the songs that move them.


Photo: Jen Rosenstein

“Pride means being who you are in a world that gives you every obstacle to accepting yourself. Pride means choosing to love yourself even if you grew up in an environment where you were told ‘different’ is wrong. And Pride also means, to me, that you work to celebrate all humans equally because we all deserve love.”

Song rec: boygenius, "Me and My Dog"

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Photo: Mark Nesbitt

“For me, Pride means holding two things at once—being proud of who I am as I am, while also carrying with me the kid sitting in a church pew believing there was something so inherently wrong with him—so as to offer understanding and hope to the countless people in that very situation now. I hold onto the hope and fight of those that came before me—it inspires me with the force of life. To get where we’re going, we must not forget what and who has come before.”

Song rec: Kate Bush, "This Woman’s Work"

“[This is] the song I came out to,” says Wrabel. “[It] always has a beautiful double meaning to me and the lyrics “I know you’ve got a little life in you yet, I know you’ve got a lot of strength left.”

More about Wrabel


Photo: Louis D'Adamio

“To me, Pride is about being unabashedly queer in my art and in the way I live my life. Pride is the immense gratitude I have to get to be a part of such a resilient, diverse, and creative community. And Pride is about celebrating all of the unbelievable work and achievements by my fellow queer creators.”

Song rec: The Beaches, "Edge of the Earth"

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Ana Egge

Photo: Lorenzo Wolff

“What does Pride mean to me? It means being fully rooted, in strength and vulnerability, in your whole self. I'm a gay, spiritual, anti-racist, maker, tree hugger who loves all kinds of music. I'm a proud parent and married to my wife for longer than it has been legal to be married in NYC. Proud to be ‘working on a world that I may never see,’ to quote Iris DeMent.”

Song rec: Joanna Sternberg, "Don’t You Ever"

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Adeem the Artist

Photo: Holly Rainey

"Pride is both the annual rumination on how our community has been marginalized, criminalized, and brutalized by the laws, by the law enforcement officers, by society, by our families. We remember Marsha P. Johnson and her murder.

It’s also a celebration of queerness, of our whimsical creativity and our boldness to embrace the fullness of who we are, even when society refuses to honor our basic dignities.

For me, Pride is all the fun and fury implicit in being who we are and holding the complexity of those feelings with a community full of Sylvia Rivera’s and full of people who would boo her from beneath rainbow flags. There’s a lot to hold.”

Song rec: Sammy Copley, "Marsha"

More about Adeem the Artist

Check out Oxfam’s Pride playlist, featuring songs from each artist and the songs that inspire them.

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