Funds Raised Will Support Local LGBTQ Non-Profit Organizations
The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC), whose mission is to create extraordinary musical experiences that inspire community, activism, and compassion, will kick off its 40th season by embarking on the Lavender Pen Tour from October 7-15, 2017. The tour will visit various cities and small towns in Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee while raising much-needed funds for local LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations. (View a video with more information about the Lavender Pen Tour here
(In 1977, a year before his death, Supervisor Harvey Milk sponsored a gay civil rights bill. Mayor George Moscone signed that bill into law with a lavender pen given to him by Milk. The Lavender Pen remains a symbol of the fight for equality for all, and the reason for the tour’s name.)
With an increasingly divisive political climate in the United States, marked by an uptick in dangerous and hostile rhetoric against the LGBTQ and other marginalized communities, SFGMC will take its message and music on the road to promote universal equality and inclusiveness, and the value in treating all individuals – irrespective of differences – with dignity. The Chorus will marshal its mosaic of powerful, positive voices to empower fellow Americans, especially LGBTQ+ youth, to come together, provoke conversations and action around civil liberties for all, while raising funds for local communities.
“As has been evidenced in the recent weeks, we as a country have a long road to travel. After spending a week in the South last month with our beneficiaries and community partners, I learned that hope – the unbreakable and audacious idea that Harvey Milk built his life on and inspired us to do the same – is very much alive,” said Chris Verdugo, SFGMC Executive Director. “We will amplify the work of these organizations across the South, raise tens of thousands in additional funding so they may continue their vital work and empower and inspire them with our music and mission. We believe this tour is another step in the right direction that will build bridges of understanding, compassion, and empathy.”
Joining SFGMC for the Lavender Pen Tour is the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC), a community of diverse races, cultures, and faiths, inspiring joy and unity among all people through black gospel and spiritual music. Together, SFGMC and OIGC will perform five anchor concerts during the tour, with each show raising funds for local LGBTQ+ organizations. All funds raised during the tour will support the vital work these organizations are doing to dismantle bigotry and discrimination locally and nationally.
SFGMC and OIGC will also visit schools, churches, government buildings and more to spread the message and share the meaning of The Lavender Pen Tour. The tour’s goal is to open a dialogue between a diverse set of Americans from different backgrounds and empower LGBTQ+ youth struggling with unease and fear of further marginalization. SFGMC hopes to use its voice to affect change in lives of people struggling to live their authentic lives and communities throughout the South.
- Sunday, October 8, 2017 (7:30 pm) – Jackson, MS / Thalia Mara Hall
- Tuesday, October 10, 2017 (7:30 pm) – Birmingham, AL / Alys Stephens Center
- Wednesday, October 11, 2017 (8:00 pm) – Knoxville, TN / Knoxville Civic Auditorium
- Friday, October 13, 2017 (7:00 pm) – Greenville, SC / First Baptist Church
- Saturday, October 14, 2017 (7:30 pm) – Charlotte, NC / Ovens Auditorium