28 Gay Girl Covers Of Straight Songs Because Everything’s Better When It’s Queered

I thought that song “Rude” was kinda… you know… rude? Like why is this dude gonna marry that girl whether or not her Dad says it’s okay? Why is he even asking if he’s gonna marry her anyway? But then I heard a girl sing the song about marrying a girl and suddenly it became subversively delightful! Which got me thinking about how really there’s nothing I love more than a queer person singing a popular song in her/their very own way. So I started making you this playlist… and then I did some research and discovered that Kina Grannis, the girl who covered that song, is not actually gay. Womp WOMP. She’s married to a man. Obviously, she could still be queer or bisexual or pansexual but unfortunately hasn’t said so on the internet. However, I didn’t want to let go of this post or including that cover of “Rude” in it, so I’m putting it in anyhow.

We’ll open with her song, but the rest of these are by genderqueer folks (Mal Blum, specifically) and lesbian, queer, bisexual or otherwise-identified women. (Toshi Reagon’s cover song was removed from the list because it made our website break, so there’s actually only 27, not 28, but enjoy!)


(not gay, who knows really) Kina Grannis, “Rude” (MAGIC!)

http://youtu.be/pAYxgFeCvzQ

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, “Crimson & Clover” (Tommy James & The Shondells)

ADVERTISEMENT

http://youtu.be/hdhonK8NMm8

Brandi Carlile, “Heaven” (Bryan Adams)

http://youtu.be/IpQxNDOowhI

Jenny Owen Youngs, “Hot In Here” (Nelly)

http://youtu.be/sMHt2KKd8cQ

Missy Higgins, “Stuff and Nonsense” (Split Enz)

http://youtu.be/3bQ9JHsteWo

Kate Nash, “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You” (Black Kids)

http://youtu.be/uK4ysfwpC4U

Julia Nunes, “Baby” (Justin Bieber & The Supremes)

http://youtu.be/-kBQ8DgkyFk

The Blow, “Come On Petunia” (some of it is from “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” by Sting)

http://youtu.be/_JEb2ktzuNU

Katie Melua, “Just Like Heaven” (The Cure)

http://youtu.be/2Rmil_raUtU

Melissa Etheridge, “Let’s Get It On” (Marvin Gaye)

http://youtu.be/Gn5zUCTyI4c

The Butchies, “Your Love” (The Outfield)

http://youtu.be/Kpyeq-umnu0

Daphne Link, “If I Was Your Boyfriend” (Justin Bieber)

http://youtu.be/nP8YxC-1WfU

Dani Shay, “She Will Be Loved” (Maroon Five)

http://youtu.be/tG_GCPWniWw

Betty & Pam Grier, “Some Kind of Wonderful” (The Drifters)

http://youtu.be/WjMUKelk2KQ

Holly Miranda, “Lover You Should’ve Come Over” (Jeff Buckley)

http://youtu.be/qP-wp7J8cNg

KD Lang, “Joker” (Steve Miller Band)

http://youtu.be/PY-_C_EELs8

Me’Shell NdegéOcello, “Who Is He And What Is He To You” (Bill Withers)

http://youtu.be/K0ov9082a1c

Santana Lopez and Brittany S Pierce, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (Whitney Houston)

http://youtu.be/J-G37rsYL80

Azealia Banks, “Slow Hands” (Interpol)

http://youtu.be/FAtIGB2jiOk

K’s Choice, “Yellow” (Coldplay)

http://youtu.be/PiQPd8oxOPQ

CoCo Rosie, “Surfer Girl” (The Beach Boys)

http://youtu.be/nFEsubQd2Ds

MK Nobilette, “All Of Me” (John Legend)

http://youtu.be/Ik2WELm17vs

Mal Blum, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (Taylor Swift)

http://youtu.be/a8Olj29y_gQ

Sinead O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (Prince)

http://youtu.be/iUiTQvT0W_0

Angel Haze, “Same Love” (Macklemore)

Allison Weiss, “I Think I Need a New Heart” (Magnetic Fields)

http://youtu.be/bM-D2aHfSIg

Tegan and Sara, “Dancing in the Dark” (Bruce Springsteen)

http://youtu.be/2cUbFPquXtk

Tracy Chapman, “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King)

http://youtu.be/pjqre-8igAQ

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2750 articles for us.

97 Comments

  1. For some reason the second half of this list won’t load on any internet-having device I own, but I’m hoping against hope that someone has finally made a queer lady cover of “Scotty Doesn’t Know” and that it’s on this list.

  2. Me and two of my friends played She Will Be Loved at a gig for LGBTQ charities a few months back 🙂 It was one of those songs that if you listen too closely can feel really creepy but if you let it can sound beautiful.

    I’m gonna put most of these songs on a Youtube playlist.

  3. Wait wait wait. Julia Nunes is confirmed lesbian, queer, or bisexual??? OH MY GOD OH MY GOD how did I miss this? She was totally my middle school crush (pre queer awakening). Also, this post is my new fave thing.

  4. I’m sorry to point out an error but as someone raised on Springsteen this killed me — Heaven was written and sung by Bryan Adams. That song is waaaayy too optimistic about love to be written by The Boss 🙂

  5. I don’t know how any of the members identify but Postmodern Jukebox does amazing retro style covers of pop songs and they don’t change the pronouns from the original no matter who sings it.

    • Not much of joiner or one prone to fan-girlishness but I managed to get close to the stage when she started singing Crimson and Clover and suddenly Beatlemania made much more sense to me than I ever though it would….

  6. Oh my god. I knew I recognized Dani Shay from somewhere so I googled her and she’s the girl from The Glee Project I had a crush on two years ago (when I still watched Glee because I liked it) how could I have forgotten about her?

  7. Bruce Springsteen songs make magic queer girl covers in my opinion.
    I’ve been singing ‘dancer in the dark’ in the shower a lot recently. But my favourite to sing in the shower is ‘I’m on fire’.

  8. I am so thankful this article exists and I am especially thankful for that cover by Melissa Etheridge.

    The Alex Parks cover of “Yellow” is also pretty fabulous. I like it better than the original version.

  9. Oh oh oh, plus the Electrelane cover of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire is sexy and brilliant and amazing. Writing this from my phone, otherwise I’d go find a video to share…look it up!

  10. Ferron’s Inside Out is all covers of a lesbian’s take on straight songs that influenced her growing up. She’s in her 50s, so the songs are not new. However, Walk Away Renee is just heartbreaking and brilliant.

  11. angel haze though…. that song wipes the floor with Macklemore. Especially given that she’s actually pansexual and has experienced life at the hands of rampant heterosexism. Macklemore really is such a knobber.

  12. Kitty Crimes does a kickass, queerified version of the Violent Femmes’ “Lemme Go On” that I am DYING to find somewhere so I can download it!!

    (As far as I know, it’s on exactly one 8tracks playlist and one live video online)

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.