Shopping malls and gift shops all play the same 30 Christmas songs over and over again until you nearly want to jam sharpened candy canes into your ears. So this year, we have a musical gift to help make your holidays even gayer: a playlist of some of the best gay Christmas songs.
Most of these gay Christmas songs are either overtly gay in lyrical content or have a gay or bisexual creator, but we’re convinced you’ll like them all.
1. RuPaul – “Funky Christmas (Christmas At My House]”
In 1997, about 12 years before the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, legendary drag mother RuPaul released quite possibly the world’s first-ever gay Christmas album entitled Ho Ho Ho. It’s a mixed bag of classic Christmas classics with a RuPaul-twist, but among our favorites is this song which features her take on the Clement Clarke Moore poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
Also, while they’re still too new for our somewhat older list of gay Christmas songs, each year for the last three years, queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race have also released Christmas Queens albums and music videos full of wacky holiday hijinks.
2. The Weather Girls – “Dear Santa (Bring Me A Man This Christmas)”
While The Weather Girls aren’t technically gay, their song “It’s Raining Men” is pretty much a campy gay anthem and so we couldn’t resist this disco carol featuring “an open letter to Mr. Santa Claus from all the single girls back home.” It’s got the soulful fire and lust of their best-known hit with an over-the-top finale and music video chockfull of backup dancers.
3. Sam Smith – “River”
We had originally saved this spot for Clay Aiken’s “Mary, Did You Know,” but the song’s admittedly kind of depressing, so we chose something more modern for our list of gay Christmas songs that is still downtempo and sad.
Gay crooner Sam Smith’s song is about wanting to escape the endless Christmas cheer and at one point he sings, “He tried hard to help me / You know, he put me at ease / And he loved me so naughty / Made me weak in the knees.” Oh myyyy.
And if you need something more upbeat, Rufus Wainright’s “Spotlight on Christmas” is livelier tune that still packs a melancholy edge.
4. Queen — “Thank God It’s Christmas”
When Queen’s queer frontman Freddie Mercury belts out a holiday carol, you damned well listen — his voice demands it. In this case, it’s a Christmas song that aches and soars as Mercury and his crew express relief that a holiday has finally come. It’ll make you hurt a bit, but we all need a bit of ache during the holidays, right?
5. Halford — “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel”
Enough with the weepy heart-songs and classic carols! Rob Halford, the openly gay frontman of British metal band Judas Priest, released a hard rock Christmas album in 2009 entitled Halford III: Winter Songs and it’s got face-melting guitars, relentless drums and his haunting quavering voice. Put this one on loud after serving grandma some high octane egg nog and watch the snow-capped trees burst into icy flames.
6. Edna Jean Robinson – “Boobs for Christmas”
In this bust Christmas ballad, trailer park goddess and Dallas-based drag queen Edna Jean Robinson plays a forlorn lady who just wants a breast augmentation for Christmas. It’s got her trademark sweetness and playful lyrics with just a tweak of political incorrectness as a bartender sees her small bust and asks her gender. Ouch!
7. Jonny McGovern – “A Dirty Gay Christmas”
Self-proclaimed “Gay Pimp” Jonny McGovern’s Christmas song admittedly sounds a lot like his other music, but it makes for a perfect pre-party tune while you’re busy loading up on peppermint schnapps and beating extra glitter onto your face for your Slutty Santa look at the gay boyz Christm-ass party. And there’s even a NSFW video for it, if you want in on the naughty list.
8. Big Freedia – “Santa is a Gay Man”
Last year, Queen of Bounce Big Freedia released a Christmas album that was actually pretty damned good. It had songs like “Rudy, the Big Booty Reindeer” and ended with the song above (set to the tune of “Mr. Sandman”) whose concluding lyrics triumphantly declare, “Maybe Santa is a Black fag!”
And if you like that, give his Christmas twerking song “Make It Jingle” a spin too. The video has booty shaking, shirtless dudes and a drunk Asian lady smashing two 40-ounce bottles on her head in an elevator — party!!!
9. London Gay Men’s Chorus – “Coming Out at Christmas”
In 2007, the London Gay Men’s Chorus scored a seasonal hit when they posted video of their comedic parody of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” turned into a song about coming out to the family during the holidays.
“First I’ll get their full attention / then I’ll drop a subtle mention: / ‘Lovely tree, and by the way / some of my closest friends are gay.'” The song ends with a plea for folks to come out: “Shout it from the tallest roof; / Gay is good, and you’re the proof!”
10. Pansy Division – “Homo Christmas”
This last slot almost went to “Last Christmas” by Wham! but first of all, that song is on everybody’s list of gay Christmas songs and second of all, Wham’s frontman George Michael wasn’t even openly gay when he recorded it. So instead, here’s a raunchy 1992 ditty from a notorious homocore punk group that includes lines like “Licking nipples, licking nuts, putting candy canes up each other’s butts.” Plus the video has a goateed guy in a sequin bathing suit, jockstrap, trucker cap and workman boots — jingle dem bells, boy!