SF Gay Men's Chorus Plans a Tour of America's Red States


As protests against President-Elect Donald Trump continue to rock the Bay Area, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus is making its voice heard with a tour through some of the United States' most conservative areas.

As reported by KQED, the colorful chorus plans to spend the summer of 2018 touring Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida and more southern states during its two-week, 40th-anniversary "Red State Freedom Tour."

"We're doing this because the events of last Tuesday have left many in the LGBTQ community feeling either unsafe or wondering about what their future holds, and if their rights are at stake," Chris Verdugo, the chorus's executive director, told KQED. "We in San Francisco and other urban cities are fortunate to have the support of large LGBTQ organizations like GLAAD. These states in the south don't have that kind of support. So it was obvious that we needed to take to our our own backyard and bring a message of hope, equality and perseverance to our brothers and sisters."

The ensemble will use uplifting music to instill hope in the LGBTQ community in these states. It also hopes to educate people who may be less accepting of gay culture. But Verdugo is also anticipating some hostility and will have a solid plan in place to deal with potential harassment from people who aren't interested in hearing the chorus' arms-wide-open message.

"If we encounter hostility we will combat it with the tools we have," Verdugo says. "We're here to take a stand and we will take it from a base of love."

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