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Happy LGBT Pride Month: 20 Proud Music Moments From Past Year

Frank Ocean, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Christina Aguilera, fun. and many more trumpeted their support for gay rights in the past 12 months

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Loud & Proud

Getty Images, 3

In 2009, President Barack Obama recognized June as LGBT Pride Month. "LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society," he wrote in an official proclamation. "There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities."

More specifically, the music community has helped stepped up in the fight for equal rights since last June. Many of the hottest, most-recognizable names (Beyonce, Jay-Z, Madonna, Macklemore) have shown their support in visible ways, while out artists like Frank Ocean and Tegan and Sara were both critical faves and chart toppers.

Check out these 20 loud and proud music moments that from the past year. 

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" Races Up Billboard Charts

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are having a big year. The Seattle duo scored two No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us." But the rapper and producer have another song inching its way up the charts.

Their anti-homophobia anthem "Same Love" sits at No. 72 this week. While songs like Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" and Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" topped the charts, neither openly addressed the issue like Mack & Lew do: "Call each other f-ggots behind the keys of a message board / A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it / Gay is synonymous with the lesser."

Here's to hoping the duo score a threepeat.

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Frank Ocean Comes Out

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Frank Ocean receives the award for International Male Solo Artist on stage during the Brit Awa
Matt Kent/Getty Images

It was a pivotal moment for hip hop when Odd Future's R&B crooner Frank Ocean revealed that his first love was a man in an emotional blog post. "I feel like a free man," he confessed.

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Beyonce, Jay-Z, Tyler, the Creator & More Support Frank Ocean's Coming Out

Photo Credit: Beyoncé

Following Frank Ocean's coming out blog post, heaps of notable celebs showed their support. 

Beyonce dedicated a poem to the star (above), while her husband Jay-Z wrote him a thank you letter, saying, "We admire the great courage and beauty and fearlessness in your coming out."

Even his Odd Future cohort Tyler, the Creator (who's been criticized for homophobic lyrics) tweeted support

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Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace Faces "Fears" in First Year as a Woman

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 02: Laura Jane Grace (L) and Jay Weinberg of Against Me! perform at FYF Fest 2012 day 2 at Los An
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Laura Jane Grace, the Against Me! frontwoman formerly known as Tom Gabel, began the transition into being a woman in May 2012 after years of privately dealing with gender dysphoria. She underwent hormone and electrolysis treatments in the following months before giving her first interview as a woman in April 2013. She reflected with the very intimate piece in Cosmopolitan. The takeaway of the eye-opening narrative? "Face your fears."

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fun. Establishes the Ally Coalition

Pop-rock outfit fun. and fashion designer Rachel Antonoff—sister of guitarist Jack Antonoff—formed the Ally Coalition this year to raise awareness and funds for LGBTQ equality. The group has already raised $100,000 thanks in to the band donating $1 of every ticket sold to TAC. "Carry On," fun., carry on!

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Tegan and Sara Vow Won't Get Married Until Everyone Can

Canadian lesbian twin duo Tegan and Sara are having their best year yet with new album Heartthrob debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and its single "Closer" becoming their first sizable hit in the U.S. The girls are using their heightened fame to spread support for gay marriage with a big promise: they won't marry until everyone in America can.

Fuse News ran a segment about the issue with the Quin twins. Watch above.

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Carly Rae Jepsen & Train Cancel Boy Scouts Performance

Getty Images, 2

Carly Rae Jepsen and Train backed out of a concert for the Boy Scouts of America over their exclusionary policy toward gay people. CRJ tweeted, "I always have and will continue to support the LGBT community on a global level." Train, meanwhile, said they'd participate "as long as [the Boy Scouts of America] make the right decision before [the show]."

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Republican Kelly Clarkson Votes Obama for His Pro-Gay Marriage Stance

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Kelly Clarkson performs at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Kelly Clarkson announced that, despite identifying as a Republican, she couldn't vote for Mitt Romney due to his stance against gay marriage. "I can’t support Romney's policies as I have a lot of gay friends," she told UK's Daily Star. "I don't think it's fair they can't get married."

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Clive Davis Comes Out as Bisexual

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment Clive Davis speaks onstage at Clive Davis
Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy

Clive Davis—who discovered or produced iconic acts like Janis JoplinBruce Springsteen and Whitney Houston—came out as bisexual. "You don't have to be only one thing or another," the iconic industry man says of his attraction to women and men. "For me, it's the person."

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Christina Aguilera Celebrates Love for All in AMA Performance

Christina Aguilera turned a medley of Lotus album tracks into a celebration of love at the American Music Awards in November 2012. Drag queens, go go boys and a crowd behind her touting signs with "LOVE 4 ALL" and "LOVE YOURSELF" commanded the audience's attention, as did her powerful pipes. "Let There Be Love," indeed.

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Madonna Makes a Statement & Honors Anderson Cooper at 2013 GLAAD Awards

Madonna attacked the Boy Scouts' exclusionary policy toward gay people by wearing their uniform to the GLAAD Awards. In a 12-minute speech the diva called for a change to the policy before giving Anderson Cooper a special honor for his "significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community."

"Most people are not comfortable with things or people that they perceive as different from themselves," she said. "I would wager that if we took the time to get to know one another, looked beneath the surface of things, we would find that we are not so different after all."

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Antigone Rising's Kristen Ellis-Henderson Covers 'Time' With Wife

While the Supreme Court debated gay marriage on a national level, Time magazine declared "Gay Marriage Already Won" in an April cover story. Behind the headline stands the striking image of a lesbian couple mid-kiss. The two women are Kristen Ellis-Henderson, the guitarist/songwriter of all-female rock band Antigone Rising, and her wife Sarah Kate.

Ellis-Henderson wrote in a blog post, "I'm kissing my wife on the cover because the mother of a gay kid might see it and finally come around to letting her son or daughter back in the house... because it's time for every American to have their civil rights." She added, "I want [young gay kids] to see my life and my family, and I want them to know that they can have that too."

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Lonely Island & James Franco Support Gay Marriage in Hilarious "Spring Break Anthem"

Joke-rap trio Lonely Island, James Franco and Zach Galifanakis offered their support to gay marriage in a hilarious music video for ode to partying and gay marriage, "Spring Break Anthem." Check out these lyrics: "Bros before hoes / Chicks with no clothes," the trio rap. "Slammin' shots and marryin' a man."

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K-Pop Girl Group Goes Gay Friendly

K-pop girl group GLAM made a statement about genderless love with debut single "Party (XXO)." "Can I kiss ya baby girl?" they sing. 

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Scissor Sisters' Drag Queen Terminology Goes Viral & 'Glee'

Glam-electroclash act Scissor Sisters dispatched drag queen vocal to the mainstream with their addictive track "Let's Have a Kiki." The group explained to Time Out London that "a kiki" is "drag queen slang. It can mean gossip or a good time." Digital sales eclipsed the album's first single, "Only the Horses," and soon Glee covered the song, too, bringing drag queen chatter to American homes in a way RuPaul's Drag Race never has.

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Mykki Blanco Makes Waves in Hip Hop

Gender-blurring, cross-dressing rapper Mykki Blanco blew up online this year, but the NY native's music is beyond any type of "queer rap movement." "One day I will have put out so much music and done so many different things and played with so many different nuances, that term will be irrelevant," she told MTV UK

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Sara Bareilles Writes "Brave" for Friend Struggling to Come Out

Piano songstress Sara Bareilles penned her new single "Brave" for a "dear friend who was having trouble coming out," she told Billboard. "Let the words fall out / Honestly, I wanna see you be brave," Bareilles coos.

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Kacey Musgraves Advocates Same-Sex Marriage in "Follow Your Arrow"

Kacey Musgraves' country song "Follow Your Arrow" lends support to the LGBT cause: "Make lots of noise / Kiss lots of boys / Or kiss lots of girls / If that's something you're into." The chorus: "Love who you love." The track has already sold 45,000 copies without an official single release.

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Madonna & Beyonce Write Handwritten Letters to Supreme Court

Madonna's Facebook

Beyonce and Madonna both released letters in support of the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage. See Madonna's above and Beyonce's here.

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Charice Comes Out

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Singer and actress Charice enters the "Big Morning Buzz" taping at the VH1 Studio on October 10, 2
Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Glee star Charice Pempengco came out as a lesbian during a TV interview in her native Philippines. "I love myself, that's why I'm able to do this," she said. "Now I feel free." She added, "We are all equal, whether you are gay or straight."


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