FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What’s on Your Big Gay Roadtrip Playlist?

Summer is in full swing and though I’ve lived in New York for many summers now, this weather makes me long for the summers I spent back in Massachusetts, spending hours on long highways with the windows down and the music up. But now my summers mostly consist of sweating my way to work, freezing my butt off in the office, then sweating my way back home again. With maybe some outdoor day drinking here and there.

This summer, however, my friends and I are going on a ROAD TRIP!!! My two friends, both named Nic, and I are to Toronto to go to the Wynonna Earp convention called EH Con (because I am and will forever be exactly who I am) and when we were looking up the oddly high prices for flights we half-joked that it would be cheaper to drive. And as we thought back on some of the shorter road trips we’d taken, usually from New York to or Connecticut to Boston, and how chill and fun they were, we decided to crunch some numbers. And it turns out we were right! So we’re going on a road trip and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

Avalance kiss

Not a representation of what OUR road trip will look like. Probably. Just a good road trip.

My job on road trips, short or long, tends to be one part navigator, five parts DJ. And I pride myself on being able to select tunes I know will please the group. With me and the Nics, it’s extra easy, because we’re close enough in age that we overlap in a lot of nostalgic tunes, all love Broadway, aren’t afraid to rock out to a Disney classic, reluctantly admit we still listen to the best of Glee, and are queer af. It makes it so basically all I have to do is pick songs I’ll like. However, there are other things to consider! You have to time it so that you’re not listening to the same type of music the whole time. (I like to do “blocks” – a Disney block, then a queer pop block, etc.) You have to make sure if there’s a slow song it’s a belter. You have to be willing and able to pivot if a conversation takes you down a certain road.

So let’s make a metaphorical playlist! (WHO KNOWS if this goes well maybe we’ll make it a real one!) Do you have a pre-made playlist you use or do you make a new one every time? I used to just add to queue on the fly but this time I decided to plan ahead and I already have over 19 hours worth of songs for our 16 hour road trip.

What are your go-to artists, songs, radio stations. Do you dust off your big ol’ binder of CDs? Do you sit in silence and just talk? And hell while we’re at it, tell me your standard snacks or stops or traditions. I’m really hyped up for this road trip and I want to talk to you about it!

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 558 articles for us.


  1. My friends and I have lately gotten into making themed playlists for different characters or shows, kickstarted by making ones for our D&D characters as a way to flesh them out. It’s really fun to think of songs you think relate to a character’s mindset or personality, and a lot of them have ended up as great road trip ones!

    • also, completely different note, it is very fun to be speeding down a rural highway blasting Pussy Is God, bless you King Princess

    • I have SO many playlists like this!! I haven’t made one for my own D&D characters yet but I do follow the Critical Role casts’ playlists. But I DO make TV ship/character playlists sometimes.

  2. (in my fantasy perfect road trip) first we listen to all of From Under the Cork Tree by fallout boy. then we jam to some disney music. Finish out with back to back Lizzo, Janelle Monae, and Hayley Kiyoko albums

  3. These are my current jams right now!!
    ‪Africa by ToTo‬
    ‪Best Friend by Ingrid Michaelson‬
    ‪Right Where You Should Be by QuinnXCII‬
    ‪Heaven is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle‬

    • I. LOVE. BEST. FRIEND. That whole album is SO FUCKING GOOD but I get that one stuck in my head easily because it’s such a bop.

    • YASSS pleeease!! I have a “Songs of Sappho” playlist but that’s like ANY SONG I HEAR THAT’S QUEER not necessarily good ones hahaha

  4. I like to drive to nineties electronica like Orbital and Underworld, or Nick Cave. I bow to my passenger’s choices. I am always the driver.

    • Now, see I thought it was more important that the driver knows the songs, for stress management reasons

      • I am the low stress person in my group, so everyone else gets music priority. I can handle most of their choices – I once had to listen to Bad Romance over and over and over on an eight hour drive to Boise. My request to alternate with Just Dance was shot down.

          • The next trip was non-stop Stiff Kittens by Blaq Audio. Sigh. That whole trip was a disaster of a crush not making it to the bus station on time and then begging me for a ride at 10pm on a Friday night during a blizzard to drive from Salt Lake to Boise for family. Lady Gaga all the way there, drop them off, then turn around and drive back alone. IN A BLIZZARD. That should have been the big warning sign right there.

    • When I was in high school I was always the driver, so I too always let the passengers deal with the music. I did have the rule set in place though that the driver has veto power. To either skip or not skip a song/change or not change a station.

      • My car in high school barely had functional seat belts, so I was lucky the radio worked. I didn’t get a tape deck until I was in college. My lucky passengers got to chose between the 3 stations in Detroit that played stuff we liked.

    • Mmmmm, but if God Is a DJ by Faithless starts playing we may need to sop the car, for safety.

  5. I live about a seven hour drive from camp when it’s in California, and once I rode my motorcycle there, so it was absolutely imperative that I not need to skip any of the songs, and even though I borrow a car for the trip now, that’s still the mindset I make the list in. I also used to have a no crying songs rule, but since I drive mostly by myself I’ve loosened up on that one. It’s sitting at 39hrs of songs I know by heart or am FIERCELY DETERMINED TO.

    (PS there’s some stereotypically bad country cause there’s a country dyke bar in PHX and I fell in love there once)

    • You make an excellent point. My with-friends playlists are varied in genre and upbeat in mood. Once when I was alone I just listened to the Heathers musical soundtrack 3 times in a row. You gotta do what you gotta do!

  6. Oh my god! Yes, I have a collection of gay-ass music that I listen to while travelling.

    Goldfrapp (Seventh Tree and Head First), Against Me! (anything post-2012), Kaki King (basically everything by her), a bit of Ariane Moffatt, a bit of Grace Petrie, and finally Nirvana (for reasons that are too long to explain here).

  7. In the CD days, my go-to road trip CDs usually included stuff albums from Mars Volta, Opeth, or band(s) we were going to see live. It’s different now with in-car bt audio and streaming music. Last road trip I went on we listened to a few podcasts, which was a nice change. It was nice to learn while looking at pleasant scenery.

    How’s everyone’s week going? It has really felt long and I am just ready for a good cry, nap, and a milkshake. I video chatted with my bff on Monday and spent 1/3 of the time saying positive things about me(which then included a very sweet FB post). She will probably move back in September(?), yay! Really tired of the news and it’s results. It’s starting to partially mess with me. I am tired of people calling me sir, mister, going hey man, or patting me on the back for no good fucking reason. Sometimes I just want to get lost in the ocean and see if mermaids really exist or not. Plus, seeing all the interesting fish and sea creatures. I also a fan of snorkeling.

    I spent my Sunday running some errands for myself. I need a tiny bit of advice. I bought an item on Sunday at a very good price w/warranty. Was on Craigslist looking for accessories, found the same item for $120 less noticeable used(no biggie) with the accessory, but no warranty(kind of a biggie). Do I return & risk it used or keep for the piece of mind? Cause that $120 could be used on gas for a road trip. Ugh. This Sunday I may just go to the beach and swim. A friend a while back told me about the bicycle kitchen a non-profit co-op that teaches people to work on their bike at their shop with all the equipment one may need. I called them for more info and found out that Monday nights are women and trans night. My bike needs a tune-up and a part swap(they also carry parts for cheap), so I may just go Monday after work. I keep being surprised by the small things about this city.

    No new images this week as I was mostly indoors. Thank you for reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • when i was little music was the only thing that kept me from getting carsick, and if my dad was listening to baseball on the radio it would make me feel like garbage, so i’m afraid to try podcasts in the car!

        • yeah, it’s so weird. though over the years i was able to go from only being able to listen to music on the subway here in new york too, to now being able to listen to podcasts and even read. so maybe i can do podcasts in the car now… but i’m not sure it’s worth the risk haha even if i’m like on a bus with friends i pop one earbud in with music playing just in case. because once that first wave of nausea hits me there’s no getting rid of it til i’m on solid ground again.

    • Terms for types of gender exhaustion I don’t know them right now if they exist, but I feel you.
      And getting lost in the ocean yesss.

      On the speculation vampires don’t require oxygen but would as land creatures not deep sea creatures need some protection against ocean pressure could be excellent ocean explorers.

  8. One of the last casualties I continue to mourn from a breakup with a “””good friend””” is a joint Spotify playlist for a planned road trip that we’d built together. We’d find common lyrical ground to justify these beautiful swerves from, like, The Presidents of the United States of America through cupcakKe and into Sarah Vaughn

      • THANK YOU FOR MOURNING PLAYLIST CUSTODY WITH ME! And like, it’s several hours of some of the best music in my life from the past six months, but also every song on it reminds me of her now, and now when we hear songs that remind us of each other they have to go on our respective private breakup playlists, and … for “””just friends””” this is a lot of effort, I’ll tell ya

  9. When I was younger and went on road trips with my family we usually listened to the same CD on repeat until one of us eventually got sick of it. I have very fond memories of listening to Ana Belén and Victor Manuel or Juanes’ Mi Sangre (on repeat) while cruising through the Colombian Andes.

    On my last trip what I did with my girlfriend was shuffle all my liked songs on Google Play music, which has a variety of genres: Tegan and Sara, Broadway Musicals, Punk Rock, some Reggaetton, Metal, EDM, and many many more! cause who has reception while driving through one of the curviest roads in the country?

  10. If I was going on a road trip I’d want to hear these songs:

    Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen
    I’m Still Standing by Elton John
    Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac
    Sunrise by Norah Jones
    America by Simon and Garfunkel
    Blackbird by The Beatles

    But then if I needed music to wake me up I’d listen to a lot of 90s pop, like Spice Girls and Britney Spears.

    • YES. I love Be’s cover of that. Sort of related, Jenny Owen Youngs covering Hot in Herre.

  11. I have a car playlist that I constantly try and update because I have an hour commute and I’m always paranoid about trying to skip songs while driving lmao

    Right now, the top 3 songs that keep making the list are:

    “The One” by Marika Hackman
    “Julien” by Carly Rae Jepsen
    “Wasted Youth” by Jenny Lewis

  12. I saw “Spider-man: Far From Home” this week, and I loved it so much. This was also my Zendaya revelation moment. I thought that she was great in this, and I love her dorky, awkward MJ so much more than previous popular, party-girl MJs. It never made sense to me why that MJ would date Peter, but this MJ makes sense. Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland were great in it as well, but Zendaya was by far the stand-out character. And how does she look younger in this than in her “Replay” video?

    • I have been to see it four times so far and pondering a fifth. ;) I love the feminist/dorky/awkward/death-facts-spouting/VPN-recommending take on MJ, I love the fact that Zendaya is taller than Tom Holland and it’s just totally accepted with no height jokes or any references to it at all, I love the emotional openness of so much of the film – not just how completely readable Peter and MJ are, but Peter and Ned are very open with each other, Mr. Harrington is a total dork but really cares for the kids, etc. Tom and Zendaya’s performances are both great and they’re the heart of the film, but it gets so many little details right too. (Ned and Betty are exactly the right amount of over-the-top ridiculous; the “this is your captain speaking” announcement on the initial flight is a woman’s voice; etc.)

      Question for anyone who reads what I think is Arabic: Zoha (one of the random high school students, has no lines of her own unfortunately) is carrying a black bag with something written on it in rainbow font. Anyone able to translate? I’m kinda wondering if they made the first MCU hijabi character lesbian or bi.

      Theory which amuses me so I’m choosing to believe it: For most of the scenes in Venice, MJ wears a white “vote for women” T-shirt. But when the students are gathered in their hotel lobby talking about [SPOILER], she has some sort of black apron-like thing on over it. No in-character reason for it that I could see, but its outline from the front is awfully similar to the cut of Tom’s costume in his infamous lip sync battle dance (, highly recommend if you like a bit of gender-bending). I don’t know when that scene was filmed but I’m choosing to believe it was after the lip sync battle and Zendaya was pranking Tom.

      Anyway go see the movie, it’s great, I who never ever thought of writing fanfic am now finishing up a fic dealing with the last two seconds of the film and the first post-credits scene, and I’ll post the link if anyone wants to read it? Peter & MJ are both bi in it, because what the hell, go big or go home, I’m not a coward so I made it gay. :)

  13. My gayest roadtrip playlist experience:
    I was moving, leaving the town where I had my first real taste of living as an independent adult. I blasted my Brandi Carlile playlist and let tears stream down my face as I drove through that gorgeous scenery for the last time. And I wasn’t even out to myself back then.

  14. I spent most of this week making a playlist of every song mentioned in the Beastie Boys Book. Fucking epic. Did you know they originally had a fourth member who is a lesbian?

    Unrelated: has anyone here successfully shared a premium porn account with a friend? My best gay friend and I are thinking about splitting a crashpad account in addition to our shared Netflix account, please advise

  15. I have a set of playlists for different driving moods. My favorite road trip mix is called “Songs to Shake To”. Basically a bunch of bouncy, belty songs that get you moving.

  16. Ooo I love this thread! The last long road trip I went on with friends we couldn’t decide on music so listened to so many podcasts (I’m really not sure how that worked better haha). And lately driving by myself it’s either Queery or Adventure Zone. But I have a giant gay playlist of queer artists that is currently almost 20 hours long so that’s a go to (except for last road trip with my family when I had to make a straights for Mom playlist after she made fun of my music).
    For snacks I love goldfish and sour gummy worms!

    The Gaaay playlist if anyone’s interested:

  17. First, please enjoy this thematically appropriate toy a friend loaned to me.

    Some songs and the appropriate moments to bring them out:
    “Invisible” by Modest Mouse or “Bad Habit” by The Offspring (for funneling road rage into shout-singing), “5,500 Miles” by Presidents of the USA (for when it feels like you’ve already driven that far), “Passenger Song” by Death Cab for Cutie (for after an emotionally draining conversation and you just need quiet) and “Long Line of Cars” by Cake (for the inevitable rush hour or construction traffic)

    And snacks:
    Baby carrots, spiced crunchy chickpeas, peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets, cold pizza, Trader Joe’s birthday cake popcorn or dill pickle popcorn (you do you).

  18. Sorry for the change of subject but I need to say something.

    I have a love/hate relationship with the US. I live in Latin America so I know the fucked up things the US did and can do in our countries. But one thing I can’t denied is the influence the US has on us and the rest of the world (cultural, political, etc).

    And this week, your country scared me shitless. That rally was the epitome of fascism and, because you never really experienced anything similar, it showed all the characteristics of a totalitarian government (other details are the cooptation of the Judicial system, you can already seen it happen, so remember this when you vote for Senators; the constant attack on the free press and the list goes on).

    And this shit is going to spill, and it’s spilling, all over the world.


    • Couldn’t agree more. Australia is not quite that bad yet but it’s fast getting that way. We’ve just re elected the most hopelessly ineffective and brutally callous Federal Government that this country has ever seen, we are now led by a Pentecostal sometime Lay Preacher and failed Advertising Executive. Any of that sound vaguely familiar? He’s also fond of the USA’s Orange Menace.

      Please US members, do whatever you legally can to literally lead the rest of the world by your example of good sense next year.

      We in Australia will now have to wait for 2 and half more years before we can dislodge the cancer eating Australia alive.

    • Oh God it scared us shitless too. I live in a politically terrible state, but my mom bitched out Mitt Romney a few months ago in a pizza place, if that’s any consolation.

  19. There are many great playlists for road trips, and it depends on the type of music someone likes to listen to. It could be a list full of pop songs, country songs, and more.

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