LGBTQ+ Pride Month

A Gay Men's Chorus Responded To Anti-Gay Protesters In The Best Way

"It was love drowning out hate, and we did it peacefully and with harmony."

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, D.C., knew exactly how to respond to anti-gay protesters at a recent Pride festival — by singing, of course.

The chorus was at Knox PrideFest in Knoxville, Tenn., this past Saturday as part of their Southern Equality Tour, on which they're traveling to states with laws discriminating against the LGBTQ community. Other stops include North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Virginia.

After their Knoxville performance, the chorus was starting to leave, but they chose to stick around a little longer when they noticed that anti-gay protesters who had been there when they arrived were still holding signs and shouting. So the group formed a circle around the protesters and began singing.

"We were already on our buses, headed to our hotel, when we decided to get off the buses and confront these protestors the best way we know how — with music," wrote chorus member Dan Kaufman on Facebook.


"This particular protester started walking across the street and shouting at us, so I blew the pitch pipe and told [the men] what we were going to sing and ushered them into a big circle, and we sang maybe four songs," the group's artistic director Thea Kano told the Washingtonian about the experience. "He was walking along and shouting in our faces and we kept singing."

Video shows the chorus singing "We Shall Overcome," as well as "Make Them Hear You" from the musical Ragtime. They also reportedly sang the national anthem. Their combined voices drown out the voices of the protesters. "So proud to make our voices heard over hate!" wrote chorus member Rob Serpa on Twitter.

Many on social media responded positively to the story, including Will & Grace actress Debra Messing, who retweeted a video of the performance. Music icon Cher also responded with her support for the chorus, writing that she was "so very proud of them."

"It was love drowning out hate, and we did it peacefully and with harmony," Kano told the Washingtonian.

The chorus has used music to challenge protesters before. The publication reports that they did the same at last week's Equality March in Washington, as well as on the steps of the Supreme Court after part of the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down.

(H/T: Bustle)

Cover image via  Africa Studio / Shutterstock


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