Evelyn Marquez, a new friend, invited me to see the Gay Mens Chorus of Los Angeles. Believe it or not, I'd never seen them before. I don't know why. Lord knows I'd been to every other gay event in town. (Hell, I've even produced some of them!). I guess I just didn't think it would be my cup of tea. I want something subversive, something more edgy.
Well, I was blown away my the Chorus, laughing and singing along. They'd been around for 30 years. Wasn't the act of getting a bunch of out gay men singing a subversive act back in the day? Anyone who has seen a musical can argue that gay men singing en masse is common--but they weren't necessarily OUT!
Read this from their website:
In 1978, as cars burned in the plaza outside San Francisco’s City Hall in protest at the sentencing of Harvey Milk’s killer, a small group of men joined the demonstrations—and began to sing. That’s how the modern gay choral movement was born.
There was a moment in the show when the chorus sang Unforgetable. A screen came down and it listed all of the men who'd passed away. And there were a lot! It wasn't said, but one couldn't help but wonder how many deaths were AIDS releated.
I'd written about AIDS before, but I can't imagine what it was like to have been a member of the chorus when AIDS was at its height.
A Member of the Chorus...hmmmm. Sounds like a book title, doesn't it?