Yahoo Picks: It's Bi Visibility Day! Here are 5 bisexual anthems to add to your playlist.

From Demi Lovato's "Cool For the Summer" to Billie Joe Armstrong's "Coming Clean," these songs celebrate the "B" in LGBTQ.

(Photo illustration: Yahoo news; photos: Getty Images)
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Celebrating all shades of love is a journey. That’s why for this installment of Yahoo Picks — where my fellow Yahoo Entertainment aficionados and I handpick our favorite pop culture gems — I’ve immersed myself with the task of picking my favorite bisexual anthems to ring in Bisexuality Visibility Day, observed every year on Sept. 23 as a way to celebrate and educate folks about the “B” in LGBTQ.

Having worked for nearly a decade in LGBTQ media, including as editor in chief of prominent queer publications Out and The Advocate magazines, I’ve had front-row seats to the transformative power of visibility. To that end, as an out gay journalist, I can confidently say that music holds unparalleled power when it comes to visibility and expression. That’s evident in avant-garde masterpieces like the Rocky Horror Picture Show and through allies like Taylor Swift, who notably cast trans model Laith Ashley as her love interest in the "Lavender Haze" music video.

As for choosing songs that tackle the melodic nuance of bisexuality, for which 60% of LGBTQ Americans identify (that's about 4% of all American adults, per the latest Gallup poll!), that’s easier said than done.

Now, while some of you might not agree with every song on this list, knowing in full transparency that "queer coded" vibes are uniquely personal to each listener, I still welcome a friendly — yes, friendly! — debate in the comments about what you think your favorite bi anthems are. I know you have some!

5. "Cool For the Summer" by Demi Lovato

When Lovato, who goes by she/they pronouns and identifies as pansexual (attracted to all genders) debuted 2015’s "Cool For the Summer," it instantly became an LGBTQ summer anthem. The song talks about the thrill of having a secret summer fling with someone of the same gender (described in the song as a person with the same “body type”) with teasing lyrics like: “Got a taste for the cherry / I just need to take a bite.” With those words, Lovato left bi women swooning.

Soon after the song came out, she played coy in a 2015 interview with Alan Carr when asked if she identified as bisexual. Of course, that was long before Lovato felt comfortable embracing her identity to the public. And she’s come a long way since then!

In a Sept. interview with Howard Stern, the singer confirmed the song was about a famous woman: "Not someone famous, right?" Stern asked Lovato at the time, to which she replied: "What if she is?" before going on to explain that the relationship never went public at the time. "I'm in a relationship now, and I feel like that would be inappropriate [to reveal her identity]," she said, laughing. "I missed the moment."

Lovato fans may appreciate “Cool For the Summer” even more now, especially knowing the song reflects a shared journey Lovato and many others have gone through: that of self-examination and the journey towards personal and professional empowerment as their full self.

4. “Forrest Gump” by Frank Ocean

Ocean’s “Forrest Gump,” off his 2012 album Channel Orange, is groundbreaking on numerous levels. Much has been said about the experimental album that’s influenced the sounds of SZA and Sia, but one thing is for sure: Ocean paved the way for other Black artists to express their authentic selves in music, especially in the world of hip-hop, a genre still rife with homophobia despite the success of artists like Lil Nas X, Young M.A. and Taylor Bennet.

Singing about Black queer love was a profound act, such as in "Forrest Gump" when Ocean sings from a proverbial football stadium about the “buff and strong” man he can't stop thinking about: “My fingertips and my lips, they burn from the cigarettes, Forrest Gump,” the singer croons. “You run my mind, boy. Running on my mind boy,” he repeats.

Ocean made clear the song was about a man in an open letter, days before the album dropped: "Most of the day I'd see him, and his smile," he wrote. “It was my first love, it changed my life… To my first love, I'm grateful for you. Grateful that even though it wasn't what I hoped for and even though it was never enough, it was.” I say, dim the lights (maybe put on a purple lampshade?) and listen to Ocean’s chill song that daydreams of love just beyond arm’s reach.

3. “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe

I’m certainly not the only one who feels Monáe’s “Make Me Feel” is a bisexual anthem — and I’m not the last. The dance bop offers a delicious utopia of sexual freedom and sparkly joy, not just in the lyrics but also in the colorful music video co-starring Monáe’s then rumored-girlfriend Tessa Thompson. The song also opened a door for Monáe to come out as pansexual. Now that’s an anthem!

“Being a queer Black woman in America,” she proclaimed in a 2018 cover story for Rolling Stone soon after the music video came out, “someone who has been in relationships with both men and women — I consider myself to be a free-ass motherf***er.” First identifying herself as bisexual, she later confirmed in the interview: “I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.”

The song’s funky visual and auditory elements reflect a queer sense of fluidity in love and attraction Monáe was attempting to capture — both for herself, clearly, and for her listeners. I say it worked! The song totally has bi vibes… and I’m here for it. Give it a listen!

2. “Lacy” by Olivia Rodrigo

I know what you might be thinking: Does this song really convey bisexuality? The truth is you’re not entirely wrong, as Rodrigo herself has yet to affirm the song’s true meaning (though it hasn’t stopped outlets from devising their own theories). But that’s not really the point I’m trying to make. The real point is how it makes listeners, particularly bi listeners, feel when hearing the song. And one thing is for sure: Bi women on social media are having a ball attempting to unravel it’s queer-coded message.

To use Rodrigo's own lyrics, the song is about the “sweetest torture” of seeing a girl who is "the sweetest thing on this side of hell," which, as a result, makes Rodrigo resent the way it makes her feel (LGBTQ folks: Can you relate to such angst?): “Dear angel Lacy / Eyes white as daisies / Did I ever tell you that I’m not doing well?” Rodrigo sings. “Lacy, oh Lacy, I just loathe you lately / And I despise my jealous eyes and how hard they fell for you / Yeah, I despise my rotten mind and how much it worships you.”

While fan theories argue the song is about jealousy (particularly around Taylor Swift), with her raw emotion and lyrical depth Rodrigo presents a subtle view of love, passion (possibly attraction?) and self-sabotage that’s relatable to the queer experience. And whether it’s about an intimate relationship with a woman or not, does it really matter if bi folks want to embrace it as their own? This gay journalist doesn’t think so.

1. “Coming Clean” by Billie Joe Armstrong

Armstrong, the frontman behind the punk rock Green Day, delivered an unapologetic statement about writing “Coming Clean” (from the band’s 1994 album Dookie) in a 1995 interview with The Advocate. During which, he spoke openly about being bisexual even though it may have derailed his career at the time. To me, that makes the song all the more powerful.

“I think I’ve always been bisexual,” he told then-editor in chief Judy Wieder. “It’s something that I’ve always been interested in. I think everybody kind of fantasizes about the same sex. I think people are born bisexual, and it’s just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of, Oh, I can’t. They say it’s taboo. It’s ingrained in our heads that it’s bad, when it’s not bad at all. It’s a very beautiful thing.”

When talking about “Coming Clean” specifically, he told Wieder he'd received numerous “letters,” both good and bad, about the song with such lyrics as: “Secrets collecting dust but never forget / Skeletons come to life in my closet / I found out what it takes to be a man / Now Mom and Dad will never understand.”

To me, the honesty Armstrong conveys in the song makes it a timeless anthem of self-discovery and acceptance — especially since he used it as a stepping stone for others. That's an anthem if there ever was one. Whether listeners understand its discreet message or not, the song continues to be celebrated and, according to this gay writer, is more than worthy to top the list.