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the new gay’s “top 19 anti-suicide anthems”

Zack Rosen of The New Gay recently put up a quite diverse and well thought out list of songs that complement the overall theme of the “It Gets Better” project.  That is, these are songs to listen when one is feeling down.  Not silly, mindlessly cheerful songs, but songs that are powerful and realistic, that cover topics ranging from personal empowerment to mourning loss.

Of this list, my favorites are “Midnight Radio” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch and “Adventures in Solitude” by The New Pornographers.  To make this list an even 20, I’d add on “On the Bus Mall” by the Decemberists, which tells the story of two gay teen runaways who earn a living turning tricks.  This song is relevant to any young queer who has considered running off to a big city to find like-minded people, even at the expense of financial safety and of leaving one’s family behind.  Running away to a new location doesn’t necessarily make things perfect and easy, but the act of claiming one’s own identity and of finding community can definitely improve one’s mindset.  As one character urges the other “pocket your pills away, …

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