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Gay life sings...

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by PeteNJ, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. PeteNJ

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    Hello All --

    I posted recently, apparently a bit too explicitly about singing in a gay men's chorus... so I won't name names, but its a key part of the point of my post (and thx admins for yanking what crossed the line).

    What I want to say is -- that I have come to see that proportionately, that the more I'm OUT the more enriching and happy my life is. And the more I feel I give back to others.

    Two years ago, a few months after I came out... I marched in a local area gay pride parade. It was an astonishing moment -- holding the banner for our group, walking along, with people smiling and waving... and happy. Totally affirming. And yet, at the same time, I was still thinking.... where will the pictures be seen/ posted? (as we marched I realized there were hundreds if not thousands of people with their cell phones taking pics and videos!).

    Last year, I marched at the head of one of the largest US gay pride parades. This time with an equality organization. I marched holding hands with the man I loved who was my partner at the time. And not only were there probably tens of thousands of cameras, because of the nature of the group... lots and lots of video and news cameras.

    This year... I joined a gay men's Chorus. A group that I am embraced by, men who I laugh with, share my pain with, my laughter, too. It's unabashedly on my FB page. And I stand on stage with this group, singing songs about men loving men, with drag queens, amazing costumes... and it's all so perfectly, fully, completely normal.

    In the Fall of 2012 -- I could never have imagined life this way. Active in gay groups, volunteering to make pride (in June) happen, on the board of the pride center. I fell deeply in love with a man, we joined our families together. (sadly that ended - and yes, I'm dating). The pride flag flies in front of my house in the summer. I have started on PrEP. Not because I'm some TruvadaWhore... but because its smart. After all, if you take a pill a day and would be assured you wouldn't get cancer, wouldn't you?

    I am more deeply hurt and troubled than ever at LGBTQ discrimination... and I say so. 'Cause guess what, I am "normal." Hell, I'm a little crazy, ha!, but I am not some deviant with the pathology of homosexuality as once listed on the DSM.

    And the more I'm out... my friends see my life as more "normal." And my neighbors, acquantances, people I don't know at all, when I walk down the street arm in arm with a guy, when I sit at a restaurant holding hands, when a man and I share a kiss in public... see "normal" -- that we gay men (and our sisters and brothers who are lesbian, bi, trans, questioning) -- are "normal."

    I started living my life this way because it felt right, felt good deep in my soul. The unintended consequence is a rich, full life. A life of giving back.

    Friends.... you're here -- you took the first step in your journey. It not only gets better, it gets wonderful!

    However in your life you sing, and if you're not sure, look into your gut and soul -- trust me, it's there! .... I wish you much of that!

    Hugs.
     
  2. Weston

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    Glad to hear how well you're doing. I'm not even a year past coming out yet, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Anyway, I just wanted to add my 2ยข re: PrEP. I'm on it too. It just makes sense, no matter what other precautions you may, or may not, be taking. I might have second thoughts if I were a young man facing a lifetime of medication, but I believe even young men will not be taking it that long: science will eventually find other protocols to deal with the threat of HIV infection/AIDS. For now, PrEP gives me an additional peace of mind whenever I'm having sex, regardless of whether or not I'm using a condom.
     
  3. tscott

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    I posted earlier about a choral group I'm with in upstate NY. We just finished an all ABBA concert this weekend. It too was rightfully pulled.

    We sang at a somewhat rural community college. The community itself is not terribly accepting. There are college kids being bullied for being gay. So we fulfilled a major part of our mission statement to educate, reach out, and support. They were very gracious and have asked us back next year.

    We sang at our regular venue in town to a sold out theatre, 850. We had a letter from the Swedish Consulate for supporting their second biggest import after Volvo and for supporting equal rights. We also had the largest membership ever with 60 voices. We have two of the original five men who formed the chorus still performing with us after 33 years. I've never had more fun performing in my life.

    The first time I sang with them last year, there were friends of mine in the audience that didn't know I was gay (I've only been out a little over a year). With every cycle, I am out more and more. This cycle included a picture and an article in the newspaper. So I guess I'm really out now, even more so than when I had solo.

    I don't know about you, but the chorus has been my lifesaver. They have formed my support group. They are my dearest friends. They are a window to a wider gay community. They are my cheerleaders.

    I've signed up for a drug trial for an oral vaccine at the local medical school. Joined a gay book club. Joined a LGBT friendly church. This year I'll be marching in the pride parade. I'm about go on my first bear run with friends from the chorus. Like you I am the most "normal" I've ever been.

    Thanks for writing about your experiences with your choral group. I'm so very happy it's been so positive.

    (*hug*)
     
  4. PatrickUK

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    It's absolutely the case that embracing your sexuality and being involved in the LGBT community opens your eyes and helps you realise how "normal" we all are. Society pays far too much attention to parochial views about the LGBT community and it's great to read these positive contributions.
     
  5. Biotech49

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    I read about gay men's choruses. Are there any lesbian choruses anywhere? My gawd I love to sing!
     
  6. tscott

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    Yes, there sure are. We have a women's chorus as we'll in our area. In some ways they are more inclusive than the men's chorus. It is largely a lesbian chorus, but it allows straight members and transgender members. It is a smaller group, but very nice. They gave a lovely Christmas concert.
     
  7. Biotech49

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    My hometown probably doesn't. I don't think there are enough of us who sing well around here. Sigh... I think a nice mixed chorus would even be awesome (LGBT).
     
  8. Yossarian

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    There are around here, not that that would you do you any good in Kansanistan. :icon_bigg