The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus canceled its 40th anniversary tour abroad to countries including China and Cuba, because it decided to visit red states and “communities faced with discrimination.”
It says these include Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, according to San Francisco’s ABC 7.
“In response to the election, we decided we have as much work to do at home as we would do abroad,” stated Director Tim Seelig. “We want to go to those places that are still strongholds of this kind of discrimination and bigotry. And bring our voice. And encourage people there with our music. And also hopefully change some hearts and minds.”
Instead of going to China and Cuba, where people are facing oppressive government, the group will visit red states in the summer of 2018 before the midterm elections.
“Chorus members say their songs are a form of activism. Singing together has helped them heal and ease fears they say many in the gay community feel about a Trump presidency,” reports ABC 7.
“There’s such a change in the energy within the chorus when we started thinking about this, because all of a sudden we were engaged, we were active, we were committed, we were doing something,” says Steve Huffines, Chairman of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.