If there was one female artist in the 1980s who captured this spirit in popular music it was Janet Jackson in Rhythm Nation. It was an album that positioned a multifaceted, dynamic black woman as a leader, as someone whose ideas, experiences and emotions mattered. It challenged some of the most deeply entrenched scripts for women in popular culture. It also offered an alternative to the era’s other most powerful female icon: Madonna.

The Nation That Janet Jackson Built

Probably the best treatise on Janet I’ve read. And I’ve read a lot.

15 Song Lyrics That Define Being Gay and Single

I’ve got all my life to live/ I’ve got all my love to give/ And I’ll survive/ I will survive!/ Hey/ Hey”

Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” remains one of the quintessential dating songs, as well as perhaps the most iconic gay anthem of all time, and is it any wonder? Its theme of survival in the face of heartbreak — or other insurmountable odds — rings universally true, but especially so for the gays. That disco crescendo doesn’t hurt either because empowerment is always better when you can throw in a twirl.

Speaking from experience, dating is terrible. I can’t speak for the straights, but as a gay there seems to be nothing but an endless parade of disappointment, sadness and frustration culminating in one big old “fuck this.” So what to do when dating’s got you on the ropes?

I’ve tried everything from drinking heavily to therapy to drinking heavily again to quitting hookup apps, but the only thing that ever seems to help is belting out a song about how awesome you are and how awful men are. So from hookups to heartbreak, here are 15 song lyrics that perfectly encapsulate gay single life:

10 Reasons Beyoncé’s Birthday Should Be A Holiday

Our Beyoncé who art from Houston, Hallowed be thy name

Today is among the highest of holy days, the 33rd birthday of one Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (Knowles?). The fact that I’m working is an affront to mybey-liefs, but since Sasha Fierce never stops working, so must we all carry on. Until folks come to their senses and make September 4 a holiday, that is.

A day where we all take time out to put a ring on each other’s hearts.

Below are 10 totally legit reasons why Beyoncé’s birthday should be a national, nay, global holiday.

1. In the U.S., September 4 is Newspaper Carrier Day. Print’s a dying medium and Bey is giving life on the regular.

The 40 Best Wonder Woman Twirls

When asked about Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman costume in the upcoming Batman V Superman, OG Amazon Lynda Carter revealed it didn’t take her to Paradise Island.

“Well, I was missing the red, white and blue, I have to say” Carter told Access Hollywood. “I haven’t [the film] it yet, so I really can’t comment. Maybe there’s a lot more color in it than what we saw in the picture.”

It’s true that the new getup is nowhere near as fun as Lynda’s patriotic bustier-and-panties combo, but the 1970s was a different time. Bright colors and big hair were in, in, in! So every week, Diana Prince spun in a circle of light and transformed into her iconic satin tights to fight for our rights—and the old red, white and blue.

Because it’s New York Fashion Week, and because I’ve always dreamed of changing outfits by simply spinning around in a ball of light, here are 40 of Lynda Carter’s best Wonder Woman twirls.

That Time Ariana Grande And Patti LaBelle Sang “Lady Marmalade” And Owned Everything

Ariana Grande is really giving me life these days. I mean, I’m here for it. She had a big contender for song of the summer with “Problem”, featuring raptress of the moment Iggy Azalea. Her new single, “Break Free” is my new favorite sidewalk catwalk anthem. And she’s got another hit in the bag with “Bang Bang” featuring Jessie J and raptress of every moment, Nicki Minaj. Let’s not forget Ms. Grande also snatched everyone’s lace front at the VMAs with this ponywhip:

Two years ago  (before the bodysuit and thigh-high boots when she was apparently still going through her quinceañera phase) Ariana sang “Lady Marmalade” with Queen of Understatement, Patti LaBelle. Though many have borne the lashes of Patti’s belt, Ariana holds her own — adding more runs than the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.

LaBelle fondly remembered Ariana for not shrinking in terror at her flying Louboutins, tellingNew York Mag, “Oh, that girl is a little black girl in white skin! That little hussy! She sings like an old woman!”

Now, that is high praise indeed. Check out Patti and Ariana screaming in each other’s faces to the greatest ode and incitement to prostitution ever, “Lady Marmalade”:

Oh, my poor jokes. Killed before they could shtick their landing:
Chicago On Top When It Comes To Down-Low, Is #1 Closeted Gay Travel City
Looking for a bathroom stall with the best floor-to-door gap ratio for your foot-tapping desires? Come to Chicago, says a dating website, which named the Windy City the number one travel destination for closeted gay men. Quick, someone call the organizers of the Republican National Convention and/or the Source Hip Hop Music Awards!

Oh, my poor jokes. Killed before they could shtick their landing:

Chicago On Top When It Comes To Down-Low, Is #1 Closeted Gay Travel City

Looking for a bathroom stall with the best floor-to-door gap ratio for your foot-tapping desires? Come to Chicago, says a dating website, which named the Windy City the number one travel destination for closeted gay men. Quick, someone call the organizers of the Republican National Convention and/or the Source Hip Hop Music Awards!

I feel like I’m on the verge of either a breakthrough or a breakdown. 

Pieces and fragments of me are whirling and colliding all around me in an attempt to form a more fully-realized version of myself. I’m truly coming into my own and it’s painful and it’s terrifying and thrilling and everything that life is and should be. 

Part of the reasoning behind this dating column was my urge cum compulsion to make sense of some of these disparate elements since love and its pursuit are intrinsically tied to this formation of self. Sex and writing have always gone hand in hand for me, so it was also a pretty natural transition. 

Without fail, the creative process makes me horny. Though I’ve yet to figure out if the opposite holds true. In experiencing a flowering of creativity, I in turn become crazed for sex. Not until that need is satiated will I feel whole as an artist again. 

By now, I know what I want for my career, I know what I want in a man, I know more or less what I want out of life, but I’ve hit a wall. I’m living in a constant state of frustration. Though it feels like I’m doing everything I can, I’m still not where I want to be in my career and I have yet to find anyone who is willing and able to fit into my life. I’m not whole as an artist or a person, but I feel the pieces coming together. 

But after yet another night of doggedly pursuing the next great headless torso to make me feel less lonely for a little while; to make me feel desired and beautiful and sexy because I don’t know how to feel those things on my own, I’m closer to the verge. 

I’m a victim of my own desires, but nights like this always make me question why I continue to be a slave to those desires. Running around town buying chargers from Duane Reade and 7-11 then sitting on the floor of Port Authority at 4 am to charge my phone so I can resume my one last ditch attempt at a hookup isn’t my idea of a good time. It’s my idea of pathetic. 

Above all, it was frustrating because here I was — yet again — trying my damnedest to make something work that is flawed from the outset. I wanted a hookup, but hookups are easy. What I really wanted was to believe in someone behind a profile because they fit my ideal. I inevitably would’ve gotten attached to him and he would inevitably disappear. 

As I strive for my own ideals, I worry that I might lose some of the pieces and fragments yet it’s the struggle to realize my ideals that informs who I am. I just don’t know if the struggle is worth it. 

Is it enough to know what you want, even if it may not be right for you? Is it enough to put your dreams — flawed as they may be — out into the universe and to work and to want for them with all your being? When is it enough?

Anyway. I just needed to write this out before I went completely insane. I’ve been manic for the past few days an drunk for the past few nights as this tumbled around in my head. Now here are some gifs and puns about the whacky, soul-crushing world of gay single life:

THE INCREDIBLE,UNDATEABLE GAY: ON 10 THINGS SINGLE GAYS NEEDS

Ah, dating. It’s a jungle out there, full of all types of unseemly wild animals: bears and cubs and wolves ready to snatch you up on the way to Grandma’s Haus. In order for a gay to keep his head above water and his knees plastered to the floor, he’s going to need a few essentials. May I present to you the Single Gay’s Survival Kit.* Here are 10 things every single gay man needs to get through the living hell of dating before finding the sweet, sweet release of heaven — i.e. being rich enough to have rent boys on retainer.

*Patent not pending