The gay music gods have smiled upon us! Not one but TWO queer icons have released their long awaited albums today – Hayley Kiyoko has gifted us Panorama, and Beyoncé absolutely serves in Renaissance.
In the face of leaks and even reported sales of physical CDs starting more than a day before the album’s release, the BeyHive waited anxiously for Beyoncé’s new album, and they have not been disappointed.
The pop queen released Renaissance July 29, as ‘act i’ of a three part project recorded over the course of the pandemic. Fans are always anxious for more of the singer’s killer vocals, but have been dying for more ever since Bey gifted the world ‘Break My Soul,’ the only single off the album and the newest dance anthem blasting out of every club’s speakers.
Though she sustained the Hive with Everything is Love (along with Jay-Z), Homecoming, and The Lion King: The Gift, the collection of 16 tracks is Beyoncé’s first full single studio album since 2016’s masterpiece Lemonade.
The artist thanked fans for their respect for her work, waiting until the album truly came out despite its leak. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t thank y’all enough for your love and protection,” she wrote in a statement.
The album’s songs feature thumping bass, and ‘Pure/Honey’ feels made for voguing. It is, as Vogue Editor in Chief Edward Enninful wrote, “Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul.”
In a message about the album on her website, Beyoncé suggests the album is, in part, dedicated to her LGBTQ+ fans.
Along with others, she thanks her Uncle Jonny, who she described at the 2019 GLAAD awards as “the most fabulous gay man I have ever met.”
In her statement about Renaissance, she writes, “He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album.”
“Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. This is a celebration for you.”
Rolling Stone reads this as a nod to the ballroom community, “the LGBTQ underground subculture led by Black and Latino people in New York City in the 20th century.”
Some are also reading part of the album’s self-love anthem ‘Cozy’ as another nod to queer fans with a description of the Progress Pride flag:
Beyoncé didn’t just describe the Pride pride flag on “Cozy” – she specifically described Daniel Quasar’s “Progress” pride flag to bring to the forefront marginalized LGBTQ+ people of color, trans people, and those living with / lost to HIV/AIDS ? #RENAISSANCE pic.twitter.com/hg5mTevnAM
— #1 RENAISSANCE STAN (@BIacklsKing) July 29, 2022
Hayley Kiyoko, another gay favorite, has also blessed us with an album today, and its title track ‘Panorama’ follows similar lines of self-love.
It’s the last song on the album, and the last fans should listen to if they follow Kiyoko’s instructions of going through the songs in order. ‘Panorama’ is also the last of the collection that Kiyoko wrote, “in a moment of clarity to enjoy the present and not let my trauma define me,” she said in a statement.
“One of my favorite lyrics from this song is, ‘I’m done confusing all these ashes with my worth,’ which is a metaphor for when we measure our own value only by our struggles and hardships, but in reality, our worth is unwavering.”
This message of self-love is felt and appreciated deeply by Kiyoko’s fanbase, especially with so many fans being LGBTQ+.
I’m so in love with this album, I love each song so much. Panorama (the song) has me in tears. I felt each lyric and I really resonated with it. Thank you Hayley for this beautiful song and for the entire album. You’re amazing! #hayleykiyokopanorama @HayleyKiyoko ???? pic.twitter.com/UaE5YXE88x
— megs ?️? (@fletchskendrick) July 29, 2022
Fans will be glad to hear that the gay themes Kiyoko devotees love the singer for return in the album. Her lesbian anthem ‘Girls Like Girls’ received a little sister when Panorama‘s ‘For the Girls’ came out as a single (and with a fantastic, lesbian-Bachelorette-themed music video directed by Kiyoko herself), but ‘well…’ serves as a delicious “eff you” to lesbian exes everywhere, while ‘forever’ is a delightful love song.
Kiyoko has been teasing her second full studio album for a while now, having released four singles out of the 13 tracks on the record in the past two years.
“[Panorama] feels like a more refined version of myself,” Kiyoko told Rolling Stone. “Everything I’ve been through the past couple years, I feel like I know myself more than I ever did during the Expectations era.”
In addition to the album, the pop star released a music video for the title track. The song’s soaring instrumentals, soft vocals, and emotional reckoning are paired with close ups of Kiyoko dripping with water and wider shots of her in field under a rainbow and a golden sky. The video seems to take place in a realm somewhere between the fantastical and the religious, fitting for a singer affectionately called ‘Lesbian Jesus.’
Between the Beyoncé and Hayley albums, Gay Twitter is having an absolute field day.
— ??? (@regalluna) July 29, 2022
BEYONCÉ AND HAYLEY KIYOKO ALBUMS ON THE SAME DAYYYYY??????????? THAT IS SO pic.twitter.com/KNH818U4Si
— kiki ❀ post pride month era (@txwhateverend) July 29, 2022
TEN MINUTES!!! pic.twitter.com/PZPUfd8EDb
— cat (@rebbecasgf) July 29, 2022
beyoncé a little too good at this gay shit fr like what u getting down to
— ceo of kory (@korysverse) July 29, 2022
— les bien (@_Patricia_Lmao_) July 29, 2022
beyoncé definitely made this album for the gays and i’m here for itpic.twitter.com/qLh14zXFej
— johnny?♂️ (@yoo_johnnyy) July 29, 2022
If you ask us, July 29 is now an official gay holiday, commemorating the day Saint Beyoncé and Saint Hayley both gifted albums to humanity.
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