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This photo shows a nightclub full of people. A neon green light overpowers blue and purple lights. A woman with jade green hair and tattoos stands on a balcony, moving her arm with the beat of the music. Below her, other people dance and move to the music.

House music was born in Chicago in a dimly lit club filled with dancing, sweating bodies. It was the 1980s, and the club, “The Warehouse,” primarily served Black and Latino gay and alternative clientele. There, a new genre of electronic funk known as “house music” was created. House laid the foundation for techno music, and The Warehouse became the birthplace of many of the earliest EDM-style tracks, shaping the future of electronic music.

Four decades later, the EDM scene is home to LGBTQ+ icons and emerging talents who defy boundaries and redefine norms. From the modern artistry of SOPHIE, to the electrifying sounds of Honey Dijon, 100 gecs, Moore Kismet, and Kaytranada, the vast diversity and transformative power of EDM and techno are undeniable.

To explore the myriad of ways in which EDM and techno serve as a haven for marginalized voices and foster an inclusive space, we’ll explore the backgrounds, musical themes, and components of each artist listed above. We’ll also look into how their queer and trans identities influence their work and impact.



Sophie Xeon’s impact on the queer dance space and the music world at large has been monumental. Performing under the stage name SOPHIE, her innovative approach to electronic music seamlessly blended pop, hyperpop, and avant-garde genres, carving out a unique and influential niche. 

Her career began in 2013, when she captivated audiences with her groundbreaking sound. In 2017, she began adding her own vocals to her tracks and revealing herself to the world as a trans woman and the artist behind the music.

SOPHIE’s work is characterized by futuristic electronic beats and her distinct, lively voice. SOPHIE redefined the boundaries of electronic music and has inspired fans with her creativity and authenticity.

Tragically, SOPHIE passed away in January 2021, but her legacy endures through her transformative music and its influence on artists and listeners alike. SOPHIE’s groundbreaking tracks, including “BIPP,” “VYZEE,” and “Immaterial,” continue to resonate with audiences worldwide, offering a unique blend of experimental sounds and catchy, danceable beats. Her music uplifts listeners and invites them to lose themselves in the vibrant, immersive soundscapes she created. 

BIPP – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVc3Z-bG6Eo


100 gecs

100 gecs revolutionized the music landscape with their innovative blend of hyperpop and EDM. The duo, consisting of trans singer/producer Laura Les and Dylan Brady, began their musical collaboration in Chicago in 2015 and released their debut EP, “100 gecs,” in 2016. Since then, they have continued to push the boundaries of genre and sound, earning critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base.

100 gecs’ music is characterized by an energetic and chaotic style. The group’s genre-bending approach often resonates with queer audiences, as it reflects the rejection of traditional norms and the embrace of diverse, fluid identities.

Tracks like “Stupid Horse,” “money machine,” and “Frog on the Floor” showcase their unique approach to music, blending catchy lyrics with unconventional production techniques. The duo’s willingness to take risks and defy genre conventions inspires many, including those who often navigate and redefine societal expectations.

Through their unapologetic self-expression, 100 gecs has become a beloved and influential force not only in contemporary music but also within the queer community. 

Stupid Horse – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YO5ruvFSCU
money machine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hLJeGl9wi8
Frog on the Floor – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j_TuMSw7H4


Honey Dijon

Honey Dijon, a Black trans woman, continues to make waves in the music industry with her distinctive sound and advocacy. Honey Redmond, known in the music industry as Honey Dijon, blends pulsating beats with smooth vocals to create an innovative and distinct sound. Her interest in house music began when she found a welcoming and accepting community in the downtown club scene, which sparked her passion for DJing. 

In an interview with Apple Music, Honey Dijon shared, “‘I [always] try to bring my culture and my sound… I stand on so many incredible shoulders of Black queer people who have created house music, so I always like to teach, entertain, and bring joy.”’ 

Her recent album, “Black Girl Magic,” truly captures her artistic genius. Described as a work where “the queen of Chicago house casts a dance-floor spell,” the album lives up to its name and description. 

Her musical talent has also been recognized by the larger music community. In 2023, Honey Dijon earned her first Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album for her collaboration with Beyoncé on “RENAISSANCE.” 

Beyond her musical success, Honey Dijon has been a vocal advocate for trans rights. She frequently speaks out about her experiences and supports the rights of trans individuals and the trans community. Her influence extends beyond the dancefloor, making her a known and celebrated voice in both the music industry and the fight for trans rights.

Honey Dijon’s Boiler Room set in Melbourne – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_qewI-1cEs
La Femme Fantastique (feat. Josh Caffe) (KiNK & KEi Remix) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVSRbGT7qis
Not About You (feat. Hadiya George) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fzuzLkzL2w
Show Me Some Love (Feat. Sadie Walker) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzgTOlAWdQY 


Moore Kismet

Omar Davis, known by their stage name, Moore Kismet, produces enthralling EDM sounds. The non-binary musician, actor, visual artist, filmmaker, and DJ has been making strides in the music industry with their animated beats. 

In 2021, at just sixteen years old, Kismet became one of the youngest artists to perform a set at Lollapalooza. Now nineteen, they are still a remarkably young player in the EDM music scene.

Recently, Kismet announced their new event series, See Every Color, which will feature LGBTQ+ artists in this genre performing in multiple cities throughout pride month. As a young Black trans artist, Kismet’s work holds significant influence in inspiring new generations of queer EDM fans and pushing the genre forward.

HARNESS (feat. Wavedash) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhmR849obCs
See You Go (feat. Courtney Paige Nelson) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YplBUkhO0YE
Flair (feat. Momma Kismet) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiOPItWBB0A



Louis Kevin Celestin, known professionally as KAYTRANADA, has made a substantial impact on the EDM scene, fusing R&B and house music to create a signature sound. He’s been producing and releasing tracks since 2010 and continues to create and release new music. 

KAYTRANADA’s albums often feature collaborations with various guest artists, showcasing his ability to blend different styles and influences into his work. The Grammy-winning Haitian-Canadian DJ and producer came out as gay in 2016. His presence as a gay Black man in the house music scene has had a major influence, adding to the rich and diverse representation of artists.

KAYTRANADA has also been open about his mental health journey, sharing his struggles publicly. His musical talent, combined with his openness about his sexuality and mental health, have contributed to his unique presence in the music world.

Watch Kaytranada’s Boiler Room Montreal DJ Set – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5EQIiabJvk&t=2245s
YOU’RE THE ONE (feat. Syd) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC_7snhNoCk
Freefall (feat. Durand Bernarr) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-stxePpqjIw
10% (feat. Kali Uchis) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02KzxLGcNJg 


You can listen to the artistry of these musicians on Apple Music and Spotify.

Here are some more LGBTQ+ EDM/Techno artists to explore:

  • Frankie Knuckles (known as the godfather of house music)
  • REZZ
  • Lucii
  • Big Freedia
  • The Blessed Madonna
  • Kim Ann Foxman 
  • Jlin
  • CloZee
  • Ducky
  • Larry Levan
  • Tama Sumo
  • Eris Drew
  • Karin Ann
  • MikeQ
  • Wreckno
  • Worthy
  • Pabllo Vittar
  • GRiZ
  • Ron Hardy
  • J. Worra
  • Worthy
  • DJ Dan
  • Octo Octa 

Music serves as a tool for liberation, and these artists continue to inspire as they create new music. Their work resonates with listeners, both old and new. Thanks to them, EDM continues to be a safe space where individuals can authentically express themselves without fear or judgment.




Sylvia Miller
Sylvia Miller
Sylvia Miller is a freelance journalist and student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where she majors in Political Science and is an arts writer at the student-run newspaper, The Daily Cardinal. She is currently based in Chicago and Madison. You can find her at @sylvia__miller on Twitter.