Playlist: Go Your Own Way

There comes a time in so many queer lives when we realize we can no longer be the person our family wants us to be. For any number of reasons, for some of us it becomes unavoidably apparent that we must “break up” with our family. Sometimes they give us a choice, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes we live out of cars and sometimes we buy the first ticket we can afford and pick a destination on the board. We sleep on couches, on floors, in the seats of bus stations. We doubt our own strength, until we realize nothing will ever stand in our way.

You know the scene where the main character packs a suitcase and hops a train? This is the soundtrack to that scene. If you’re trying your hardest to be independent, or just got kicked out of your house, this is for you. Maybe you’re living in your own place for the first time, or flying across the country to take a chance on a job no one wanted you to take. Maybe you haven’t heard from your parents in weeks, and you’re wondering if you’ll ever be allowed to come home again. No matter what anyone has told you, no matter how impossible it feels to keep going sometimes, you can do it. You are stronger and better than you believe. If you’re hesitating, just go. Pack up your things and book that ticket. You can do this.

Go Your Own Way


Never Going Back Again – Fleetwood Mac
Graceland (Paul Simon Cover) – The Tallest Man on Earth
Wrecking Ball – Gillian Welch
Going To California – Led Zeppelin
I’ll Fly Away – Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch
Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard – Paul Simon
Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
BONUS TRACK: Survivor – Destiny’s Child

go your own way from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.


Tell me your favorite independent-minded tracks below.

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Full-time writer, part-time lover, freelancing in fancy cheese and cider.

Kate has written 130 articles for us.


  1. Dixie Chicks: Wide open spaces and Simon and Garfunkel: America definitely held high rankings on my iTunes when I relocated to the otherside of the globe.

    • Oh god that America song, anthem to some very dark days for me!!

      And I’m having a shit day and I don’t know why and this playlist is making me even sadder :(

    • Was about to post Wide Open Spaces in capital letters so I’m glad you got there first. I bought that album as a 15-year-old and that song meant so much to me. It made me believe I’d get to leave one day.

    • It’s great to see all of this Dixie Chicks love! They make me completely nostalgic for my time living in Oklahoma. When I discovered one of my best friends I met after moving to NYC is one of their biggest fans it all came full circle.

      *goes to watch all their videos from the 90s*

      • As is Heartlines and possibly 60% of both her albums. SO MUCH FLO LOVE. Also Good Vibrations Beach Boys! Also, typing out whole band names is so last year

  2. Although towards the more cheerful ‘Im’a be just fine on my own, tah’ end of proceedings I find ‘Send Me On My Way – by Rusted Root does the trick. Plus, it’s in Ice Age. And New Girl

  3. I Was Young When I Left Home (cover) by Antony from Antony & The Johnsons and Bryce Desner from The National

  4. I love my family too much, even though they are hating on me a bit right now, I could never break up with them…but I do have my own playlist for when the coming out drama gets too cray cray.
    Excellent choices:
    “this is who I am” – Vanessa Amorosi
    “not ready to make nice” – Dixie Chicks
    “f**kin perfect” – P!nk

    Dubious choice:
    “peacock” – Katy perry. (seriously. How did that get on there!)

  5. I was all over The Five Stairsteps – Ooh Child (Things Are Gonna Get Better) after I came out to my family.

  6. Oh man. I so need this right now. I just made the choice last week to break up with my family because they can’t accept me. It’s getting a little rough, so thank you for this.

  7. Frou Frou-Let Go

    Imogen Heap-Wait It Out

    Death Cab for Cutie-Marching Bands of Manhattan

  8. les savy fav’s “slip” is my ultimate getaway song.

    “if you’ve been rolling with a crowd who want to save you and all you want is to forget every speech they gave you, let go of everything you know and love and fear. let go of everything you know and disappear.”

    and you can dance to it! just sayin’.

  9. I have genuinely spent the day at work making playlists, so this is right up my street…

    Runaway – The Killers
    The Best I Ever Had – The Swellers (also: Runaways, by the same band)
    My Year In Lists – Los Campesinos!
    Daylight – Matt and Kim
    Dearly Departed – Young Guns
    Some Nights – fun.
    Homesick From Space Camp – Fall Out Boy
    Ghost Towns – Radical Face
    The Road – Frank Turner
    Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day

  10. Definitely Erin Mckeown’s “28”, particularly relevant since 27 was a shitty year and I’m determined to make 28 better. The song sounds like bursting into sunlight after being surrounded by gloom and darkness.

  11. I’m a massive Paul Simon fan going way back. This is an excellent playlist Kate. I love it!

    A song that fits it pretty well is “Unthought Known” by Pearl Jam. It has helped me enormously to look at my place in the world, pay attention to my actions and how they affect what I want from life and most importantly, it helped open me up to others.

    I think those are all important when you’re making a break from an old way of doing things.

  12. Absolutely love this playlist!

    I am in the process of coming out and it feels good that this playlist lists the songs that are helping me through my journey! It really feels like there is a community of supporters out there who already know me!
    This playlist is getting me through it all and its one for me thats ‘moving away from my secret life and going towards the future” welcoming the opportunities Including, joining the LGBT society in my 3rd year at university!
    Fav track is: Fleetwood Mac: Never Going Back Again.

    Thank You Autostraddle!!

  13. Paul Simon: American Tune (even though it’s kind of sad, it’s also hopeful? and it’s nice to know there were other people who went through hard times and emerged victorious)

    And of course, Simon & Garfunkel: America

  14. Short, sweet and awesome. These playlists dominate my 8-tracking.
    My song for just. leaving. has always been “Wild Sage” by The Mountain Goats.
    “Some days I don’t miss my family
    And some days I do,
    Some days I think I’d feel better, if I tried harder,
    Most days I know its not true”
    Always gets me.

  15. i have one of those playlists, too.

    I’m bound to pack it up – the white stripes
    gemini (birthday song) – why?
    the funeral – band of horses
    titanium – sia/david guetta
    what doesn’t kill you (stronger) – kelly clarkson (unashamed of this)
    soul on the road – eligh
    indestructible – robyn
    move in the right direction – gossip
    teenage wasteland – ezra furman and the harpoons

  16. I think “Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley is a must. It’s great for a break up, coming out, moving on, and just becoming your own person. I first heard it the summer after I finished high school like six years ago and it’s never failed to make me have feelings since.

  17. Some of my favorite becoming your own person songs are sung by Joss Stone- “Free Me,” and “Right To Be Wrong,” the latter being my favorite song since I was a kid and figured out I could pack a bag and get the hell out of here. Which I am doing soon. I don’t want to be yet another person that says you were reading my mind but hey, you did it again.

  18. Love it how so many people love Paul Simon! It makes my day when his songs come up on a playlist!

    And would definitely add This Charming Man by The Smiths

  19. This is so great.

    Dar Williams – It’s Alright
    Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin – “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”

  20. I found the Fleetwood Mac album Rumours (both of the FM song on this list are off or Rumours) right around the time that I started realizing a lot of things about myself. It was always my go-to when I was feeling like nothing was ever going to be ok again. It’s just such a beautiful, powerful recording. I’m glad to see it’s getting some love from other lady gays :)

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