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!)

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

http://youtu.be/hdhonK8NMm8

Brandi Carlile, “Heaven” (Bryan Adams)

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

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

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

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

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)

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

The Butchies, “Your Love” (The Outfield)

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

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

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

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

KD Lang, “Joker” (Steve Miller Band)

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

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

Azealia Banks, “Slow Hands” (Interpol)

K’s Choice, “Yellow” (Coldplay)

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

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)

https://soundcloud.com/angelhazeym/same-love-angel-haze

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)

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

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

Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO 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 2822 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.

    • 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….

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

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