I was just asked by a book author Ron Waite what gay music meant to me.
I remember when I first started, my girlfriend, who acted as my manager (isn't that always the case) and I had huge dry erase boards in the office and we would list GAY gigs and STRAIGHT gigs. That is so funny to me now because it just doesn't matter and quite frankly, a gig is a gig is a gig.
That was really about venues we were going after, because playing the gay bars was important to my fan base, and at that time it wasn't really the kind of place straight people would go. It was our secret place, and The Que Sera and the Executive Suite were exciting, and Melissa Etheridge's gold records hung on the wall behind the bar. Nowadays, I think straight people love gay bars lol, and is there even any such thing as a gay bar? It's really just like any other bar but it's slightly darker and has cool art and is filled with way more stylish individuals with rad haircuts. I guess I am referring to lesbian bars in particular, because I have heard no more exist. (except the fabulous Gossip Grill in San Diego). The lesbians now get one night as a theme night at some gay boy bar, because we are lucky if lesbians go out even one night a week. And stay for an hour. They want to get home to cuddle and watch Netflix. It's disgusting, in a sweet way. More often now, thay have abandoned bars altogether and it's a monthly meetup. At a park, or doing yoga on the bluff, or sigh, a book club.
Gay boys know how to party.
Anyway, I digress.
As for gay music--
Well it's odd that music could be described with "gay" as an adjective. There is no such thing.
There are now ziliions of genres and sub-genres of music and is important to navigate and categorize oneself musically if one is to be discovered or stumbled upon on Spotify. God forbid you play "pop" or "rock" and fall into the genre with 300 zillion others. Good luck on getting discovered.
So that is where the GAY description is handy--
I don't think GAY is ever offered as a genre or is any pull-down menus for music categorization and distribution, but one can at least get it in the description for search engines.
I tag all my music with "lesbian" and "gay" hashtags/metadata!
What it means is that we share the same story, we have gone through similar things and we can relate to each other. I know that lesbians around my same age are immediately going to like my music because they will identify with it. I sing stories we share.
Straight people will like my music too, sure, but it is a very good place to start as a small artist, to be able to narrow your following and focus on a niche which will then expand.
Of course there are the shallow stereotypes of gay music which are:
boys = disco & show tunes
girls = girl with guitar, singer-songwriter folk
But we all know that is short-sighted.
Gay people make music of all genres, from indie pop to acid rock to classical and jazz.
So you have to find the gay artist that makes the kind of music you like. Seek them out. Find them. Subscribe to their mailing list, go to their shows and you will feel a sense of connection.
That's all music is really, is a way to feel moved and feel connected as humans.
Hope this helps.