I had occasion to hear the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus several times when I lived in Dayton. In fact, it seemed their Christmas Concert and that of the Cincinnati Gay Men’s Chorus were often the same weekend, so I’d do Cincinnati Saturday evening, and then go to Columbus for their Sunday afternoon concert. Both were excellent choruses, and they both had very different styles, so it was a great fun.
Here the Columbus Chorus provides a youtube for the “It Gets Better Project” with the Columbus Youth Choir. I’ll just let the music speak for itself.
It’s rare when a city council member from Fort Worth, Texas makes national news, but that’s exactly what happened when Joel Burns recently gave a powerful speech imploring gay teenagers to stand strong in the face of bullying.
At a Fort Worth council meeting on Tuesday, Joel Burns, who is openly gay, talked about a number of recent suicides of gay teens due to bullying. Burns had a simple message for them: “it gets better.”
In the speech, Joel Burns talked about all the difficulties growing up gay in Texas.
“One day when I was in the ninth grade….I was cornered by some older kids who roughed me up.”
“They said that I was a faggot, and that I should die and go to hell where I belonged.”
Joel Burns’ speech does offer hope.
“Yes high school was difficult, coming out was painful but life got so much better for me,” he said. “Things will get easier. Please stick around to make those happy moments for yourself.”
I haven’t been posting much lately. Partly it’s work, but it includes a general mallaise on my part. I monitor blogs that call out the supposed “Christian Leaders” whose vitriol against gay people just grows in leaps and bounds. It this sort of environment that leads gay teens to become so despondent they give up all hope, and we’ve seen the results of that all too many times recently. Yet these so-called Christians only use these situations to ramp up their hate speech, and absolve themselves of all culpability. I am sorry, but they have blood on their hands.
An activist, Dan Savage, started a Youtube Channel, It Gets Better, where people can post videos telling young gay people that they are not alone, and that there is light on the other side. Some have been quite moving, and here’s one that brought me to tears.
On October 18, 2010, members of Dallas’ Turtle Creek Chorale joined singers from over 30 area religious institutions and students from Southern Methodist University in a performance titled, A Night For Peace. WIth just three rehearsals to prepare, the 300+ “Partners In Harmony” massed chorus offered a full-length concert, which concluded with Bach’s DONA NOBIS PACEM (Grant Us Peace) from his Mass in B Minor. All stories are real. Featured speakers are current members of the Turtle Creek Chorale.
As a society, we no longer tolerate racist language and behavior from community and religious leaders, but for some reason, we continue to sit passively when the hate speech is directed at Gay people. It is time to start calling out these false religious people. Enough is enough.