So, Christmas is almost upon us and music videos have become a staple for the festive period. Whether it’s dancing along to Wham! or enjoying the joyous groove of Christmas queens Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson, music videos have become iconic for their joyful portrayal of the celebratory period. It doesn’t matter if they’re a traditional old-school throwback or a more contemporary holiday anthem, we’re here for how the winter season has been visually interpreted by a range of LGBTQ+ artists and allies.
GAY TIMES has picked out 10 of our favourite queer Christmas music videos that have shaped the modern image of queer music. These videos (and artists) are unapologetic in their art and that’s how it should be. So, from Demi Lovato to Troye Sivan, you can check out our list of game-changing LGBTQ+ artists below.
Last Christmas – Wham!
An absolute classic, it wouldn’t be Christmas without hearing Wham! obsessively played in every London cafe. With its unquestionably camp aesthetic and quaint snow trip love story, it reels off just the right amount of 80s chart pop nostalgia. It’s no surprise the song became the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century in the UK until 2015. To make their Christmas hit, and music video better, Wham! donated all of their chart royalties to relief efforts for the Ethiopian famine.
HOLIDAY – Lil Nas X
Decked out in a Santa getup, Lil Nas X sticks to his theatrical style in this futuristic sci-fi washed Christmas take. Released in November 2020, HOLIDAY proves the record-breaking singer is much more than his Old Town Road smash hit. If you don’t believe us or his statement-making music video, take a quick listen to his lyrics: “Pop star, but the rappers still respect me / They wanna know if I’ll be lastin’ / Bitch, even if I started floppin’, there’d be fashion”. So, whether it’s his eccentric creative style or catchy festive tracks, Lil Nas X has made his holiday mark.
Two Queens in a King Sized Bed – Girl in Red
In the lead up to her then-unreleased debut album, If I Could Make It All Go Quiet, Girl In Red (aka Marie Ulven) released this heartfelt track. The video shows Ulven, sharing a bed with another girl, as their shared room is suddenly transformed and the pair are seen floating (on the same bed) across the ocean. If you questioning how this track qualifies as a Christmas bop then it’s again time to have a look at the lyrics. “There’s no mistletoe above our heads / but I’ll kiss you anyway / on Christmas day”. A modern indie Christmas anthem, make sure Two Queen in a King Sized Bed to your yearly playlist.
Let It Go – Demi Lovato
It would be criminal to overlook this Christmas anthem. Featured in the credits of Disney’s Frozen, there was a time this song (and its cover) were inescapable. If you need a touch of 2014 animated magic then this track is for you. To make matters queerer, Demi Lovato’s music video cover includes everything from an Elsa-styled shakeup. It’s your typical throwback musical watch.
White Christmas – Lady Gaga
It wouldn’t be a festive listicle if we didn’t include Lady Gaga. Leading the way with her rendition of White Christmas for a Thanksgiving special, the live recording shows the American star decked out in a fabulous flowing white dress to the backdrop of her band and scenic setting. Taken from the singer’s Christmas album, A Very Gaga Christmas, it’s a classic cover the gays deserve.
Make You Mine This Season – Tegan and Sara
Featured in the Christmas rom-com Happiest Season (aka the queer Christmas movie we needed), Tegan and Sara released one of our favourite go-to holiday tracks. While there’s no official music video, there is an accompanying lyric video set against clips from the film online. It’s a cosy compilation that celebrates queerness, self-expression and individuality. Make You Mine This Season is the perfect song for a chill queer Christmas.
Step into Christmas – Elton John
Released in 1973, Elton John’s Christmas single has the longevity you would expect from an LGBTQ+ icon. Known for his outward support of the community, the British artist has become known as a musical legend for his dynamic fashion, stage presence, and flair. The singer’s track, Step into Christmas, peaked in the top 10 in the UK charts and for good reason. With a spirited music video showing John performing the song in his typical charismatic style, it’s a Christmas staple.
It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries – Cary Rae Jepson
An unquestionably LGBTQ+ ally, Carly Rae Jepson knows how to serve Christmas characters in style. The Canadian artist’s playful music video has everything from a cinematic snowglobe scene to a charming family setting, it’s a music video that’ll get your inner Christmas spirit going. Not only is it a fan-favourite video, but it’s also another modern classic that rightfully belongs on our list.
Glitter – Kasey Musgraves and Troye Sivan
Since we’re sticking with a trend of modern Christmas moments, Kasey Musgraves and Troye Sivan had the community at heart with this incredible duet. Performed live From The Kacey Musgraves Christmas show, both artists balance either other out vocally and their on-screen chemistry is a delight to watch. Dressed up in glamorous suits and against an all-pink setting, the pair effortlessly pull off a contemporary Christmas track. It’s a glittery, festive winter GAY TIMES-approved hit.
Oh Santa! – Mariah Carey Feat. Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson
If you need a music video featuring three graceful legends, well, this is exactly that. When it comes to effortless killer vocals and, yes, that harmonised whistle note moment Oh Santa! will shake up your playlist with some modern style. Hudson, Carey and Grande pull off a quintessential festive video. From the playful dancing elves to the trio’s on-stage choreography, it’s as camp as Christmas gets.