usic is a consistent soundtrack to my life. I’ve always got my earbuds in, feeling the beat to something. And my friends who come over tend to walk in to some mood-inducing vinyl spinning. Whether in times of utter joy or in moments of complete despair, music has been my best friend, there to uplift me and to soothe me. Especially being a gay man, it’s helped me to get in touch with my sometimes conflicting and painful emotions. Lyrics. Some killer melody. A tranquilizing beat. They all touch my soul and pull me closer toward peace.

Growing up, I felt like an outsider. Both for how I looked and for the secret I knew about myself inside. Again, music was there to soundtrack my isolation, and it inspired me out of the darkest of times. I know that I would not be the out and proud gay man I am today if it hadn’t been for certain moments spent with songs.

Here are just a few tracks that made my gay road in life so much better...