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Jodie Harsh on why Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' ranks as the ultimate queer anthem

The DJ and drag superstar reflects on the songs and podcasts that have uniquely shaped her life in Attitude x Spotify's #OnlyYou series.

2021-06-09

In paid partnership with Spotify

Images: Markus Bidaux / Mariano Vivanco 

With two decades of spinning the decks in front of excitable LGBTQ crowds under her (usually bedazzled) belt, Jodie Harsh knows more than most what propels an already popular song to legendary status.

As the DJ and drag superstar joins Attitude for a brand new video series in partnership with Spotify, which sees LGBTQ stars reveal the songs and podcasts that have shaped their lives, Jodie offers her own expert view on what she believes is the world's greatest queer anthem to date.

While her choice may not surprise you, the reasoning behind it is powerfully articulated.

Quizzed on what she believes is the greatest queer track of all time, the club kid and producer opts for Lady Gaga's trailblazing single 'Born This Way', which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and famously includes the lyrics, "No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life / I'm on the right track baby / I was born to survive."

"I’m going to go for a really obviously one now – Lady Gaga, ‘Born This Way’," Jodie says. "Because it’s so unashamedly queer."

The drag performer - whose recent single 'My House' was built around the empowering central lyric "Everybody's welcome in my house" - explains that many songs that have been adopted by the LGBTQ community over the years fail to actually include queer people in their content.

Thankfully, that's something that's definitely not an issue when it comes to her own queer anthem of choice.

"'Born This Way' literally mentions various people in the spectrum in the spoken part", Jodie declares.

"Most songs that come out that are regarded as queer anthems, when you look at them content-wise, like the lyrics and stuff, they’re not really that great.

"So I’m going to go with 'Born This Way', which is just all about celebrating who you are, which is what I think a queer anthem should be."

As Jodie opens up to Attitude and Spotify about the music and podcasts that mean the most to her, it soon becomes clear Lady Gaga isn't the only pop icon who has a place close to her heart.

Asked to name the music that she associates with coming out, Jodie replies: "Pre-coming out, Madonna’s Music album, and sort of post/during coming out, Madonna’s American Life album."

She goes on: "I was a big Madonna fan at this stage, so let’s go with that sort of Madonna era, where she was working with William Orbit and Mirwais and just making amazing, amazing, amazing music."

Madonna may have played a big part in Jodie's early life, but it turns out she could also play a role in her, erm, death too.

"I definitely know what I want played at my funeral because I’ve planned it", Jodie exclaims.

 
 
 
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"It’s going to be ‘Take a Bow’ by Madonna. She’ll be there singing it live."

She adds: "The lyrics are just so sad, oh my God. There won’t be a dry eye in the house, but also because it’s Madonna, it’s kind of fab!"

To mark the release of 'Only Jodie Harsh', a £500 charity donation has been made in Jodie's name via Spotify and the Attitude Magazine Foundation to akt, which supports LGBTQ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment.

Listen to the Only Jodie Harsh playlist on Spotify and below. To discover more about your own unique listening habits, visit spotify.com/onlyyou.