Amazing 2017 Stories: The SF Gay Men's Chorus Cultivates Acceptance and Joy in the South

During 2017, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus brought messages of acceptance, joy, and bravery to the American South, in parts of the country that have held onto laws that allow discrimination against LGBTQ Americans longer than most. The 300-person group counts among its members many people of faith, who felt it was important to connect with religious populations in the South through the choral tradition.


"You can't have a conversation about LGBT equality and trans issues without it intersecting with faith," says Chris Verdugo, the SFGMC's Executive Director.

Among the people of faith in the chorus is its Artistic Director, Tim Seelig. Having left his Baptist church after coming out as gay, Tim returned with the SFGMC in tow during their tour of the South—31 years after he had left.

As one person who attended a choral concert in Alabama noted: "In the South... this sort of thing can instill hope in people who do not have that."

The SFGMC made a point to honor places in the South that stand as symbols of hope for marginalized groups. In Selma, AL, the chorus made time to celebrate the civil rights revolution that is so tied to the city, singing in the Brown AME Church and marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with rainbow flags held high.

"Each of those people has experienced difficulty, in coming out, in being gay, in being bullied... every one of them wants to make a difference for someone that they meet along this journey," Tim summarized. Now that's a mission worth celebrating.

Video via Upworthy. For more inspiring stories, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

Husband And Wife Ministers Use Bruce Springsteen As Their Spiritual Guide

You may know a lot about your faith, but did you ever take the time to get to know your clergy leaders? Although we look to them for religious and spiritual guidance, we often overlook the human spirit that lies underneath the robes! Believe it or not, they are just like you and me! In Clergy Chronicles: The Side You Never See, a unique original series, HooplaHa unveils the human perspective on our spiritual leaders' joys in life that really make them smile.

Keep reading... Show less

Air Hollywood Helps Families and Kids With Autism Build Confidence For Traveling

Air Hollywood is the world's largest aviation-themed entertainment studio, but that's not the only feature that makes it special. Every year, for one night only, Air Hollywood opens its hangar to the public for a special event called Open Sky for Autism.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

Rescued Guinea Pig Gets Second Chance With Love And A Wheelchair

Estella, the Guinea Pig has had a very traumatic life. 2 years ago she and her friend Pip were abandoned by her owners; injured and left on the side of the road in California. It was soon discovered that Estella was paralyzed. She was squeezed so hard by her previous owner that her back broke and since then she's been having to carry her lower body with all her upper body strength. But through it all, she's had all the support she needed from her friend, Pip and the Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary of Stockton, CA.

Keep reading... Show less

Low-Income Students Get To Plant Seeds Of Change In This New Community Garden

Started as a social experiment in Venice Beach, California, the Community Healing Gardens has grown into so much more. Co-founder Nicole Landers initially wanted to develop a framework for introducing new and long-standing residents of her neighborhood to one another, and her mind made a natural leap.

Keep reading... Show less

5 Rescue Shelters That Are Finding Dogs Love And Furever Homes

We've met a lot of amazing organizations and non-profits over the years, especially ones that do amazing things to help shelter dogs, who are close to euthanasia, find love and forever homes. Some of these organizations are small and community based, while others cover a larger regional or national footprint. No matter their size, what they do to support these dogs is nothing short of inspirational.

Keep reading... Show less

Beloved Minor League Bat Dog Dies From Cancer

The Trenton Thunder, a minor league baseball affiliate of the NY Yankees, has an unusual way of getting through the dog days of summer. If you attend their home games, you will find Golden Retrievers serving as the "bat dogs" and mascots for the minor league baseball team.

Keep reading... Show less

Catch A Lift Fund Is Transforming Wounded Veterans' Lives Through Fitness

Do you ever wonder how veterans cope with life once they come home from combat? After being trained to be on high-alert 24/7, what's it like for them to integrate back into everyday society? It raises the question: our military members protect us, but who protects them?

Keep reading... Show less
Fans' Top 5 Hits

Meet Jack, An 11-Year-Old Who Runs His Way to Trophies and Medals With Prosthetic Legs

Jack Cunningham is a normal kid. He does well in school. He loves playing sports and hanging out with friends and family. He also happens to be missing both of his legs... But he hasn't let his condition stop him from living life to the fullest.

Keep reading... Show less