Roundup: Eight Essential LGBTQIA+ House Icons


House music has been a significant cultural force for decades, providing a platform for diverse voices and communities to express themselves freely. The LGBTQIA+ community has played an integral role in shaping the genre, both on and off the dance floor. This Pride Month, we celebrate the contributions of eight remarkable LGBTQIA+ house music producers who continue to make an indelible impact on the scene.


Larry Levan

Considered one of the pioneers of house music, Larry Levan was an openly gay DJ and producer who made his mark at the Paradise Garage in New York City. Levan’s innovative approach to blending genres, such as disco and soul, laid the foundation for the distinct sound of house music.


Frankie Knuckles

Known as the “Godfather of House,” Frankie Knuckles was a prominent figure in Chicago’s underground house music scene. As a gay African American DJ and producer, Knuckles was instrumental in popularizing house music in the 1980s. His tracks, including the iconic Your Love and The Whistle Song, continue to inspire generations of house music enthusiasts.


Honey Dijon

Honey Dijon, a transgender DJ and producer, has emerged as a leading figure in contemporary house music. Blending elements of classic house with modern electronic sounds, her music transcends boundaries and champions inclusivity. Dijon’s vibrant sets and empowering presence have solidified her status as a trailblazer within the LGBTQIA+ community.


The Blessed Madonna

Marea Stamper, widely known as The Blessed Madonna, is a DJ and producer who has been outspoken in her activism and support for the queer community. Her eclectic style fuses house, disco, and techno, creating a sonic journey that connects with audiences worldwide. Beyond her music, The Blessed Madonna is a fierce advocate for gender equality and diversity in the industry, working tirelessly to create safer spaces for marginalized communities.


Louie Vega

Louie Vega, a Grammy Award-winning DJ and producer, has been a driving force in the house music scene for over three decades. As a member of the iconic Masters At Work duo, Vega’s infectious rhythms and soulful melodies have become synonymous with the genre. His collaborations with LGBTQIA+ vocalists, including India and Lisa Fischer, have elevated house music to new heights.


Maya Jane Coles

Maya Jane Coles, a British-Japanese DJ and producer, has gained international acclaim for her mesmerising take on deep house and techno. As an openly bisexual artist, Coles has shattered stereotypes and paved the way for women and LGBTQIA+ individuals in electronic music. Her introspective and atmospheric soundscapes resonate with listeners on a profound level.


Derrick Carter

Derrick Carter, an openly gay house music pioneer, has been a vital figure in Chicago’s house music scene since the late 1980s. Renowned for his impeccable mixing skills, Carter’s eclectic sets effortlessly blend various sub-genres of house, disco, and funk. His enduring contributions to the LGBTQIA+ community and the house music landscape have earned him immense respect and admiration.


Kiddy Smile

Kiddy Smile, a French DJ, producer, and voguer, is celebrated for his unabashedly queer and politically charged music. Infusing elements of ballroom culture, disco, and house, Smile’s energetic tracks create a joyous atmosphere on the dance floor. By challenging societal norms and embracing his authentic self, Kiddy Smile embodies the spirit of resilience and self-expression within the LGBTQIA+ community.