What’s with Gay Men’s Choruses?

The DC Gay Men’s Chorus — well, their official name is the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington — is one of the best of these type of Queer choral ensembles. But since the official name of the nation’s capital is the District of Columbia (and not Washington DC since there is no Washington in DC), the Chorus should be named the Gay Men’s Chorus of the District of Columbia since again, for the thick people, there is no “Washington” in DC. DC and Washington are synonymous; they mean the same thing for the illiterates who show up here. As a former District resident, I know of what I speak. The locals in the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia call the nation’s capital the District, DC or Washington. The sheeple, tourists and corporate media call it “Washington DC” in part, because they don’t know any better! It’s always good to cater to ignorance, isn’t it? [sarcasm intended] And if the nation’s capital was called by its official name (District of Columbia), there would be no need for one to say, “Washington state” every time one refers to one of the 50 states located on the West Coast of the non-United States.

So, the main question here is: Are gay men required to sing show tunes, music from Broadway musicals and little tacky ditties and be like a “Show Choir,” rather than perform the more serious (symphonic) choral repertoire? That’s the impression one is left with. It reminds me of the stereotype that when a Black person dies, it’s required that gospel music be dragged out and played at every Black person’s funeral for some reason. I don’t remember seeing an exception to that.

Black People = must sing gospel music and have it played at their funerals.

Gay men = must sing Broadway musicals and other choral ditties.

(roll eyes) Sigh. So tiresome.

I read this online:

“The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW), is one of the oldest LGBT choral organizations in the United States.”

Oh here we go with that revisionist history LGBT alphabet soup tripe. The thing is, there are no lesbians in the Gay Men’s Chorus so why is the Chorus described as one of the oldest “LGBT,” instead of oldest GAY or QUEER choral organisations? Are there any trans choristers in the Gay Men’s Chorus? Are there any genuine bisexual guys in the Gay Men’s Chorus? Then none of that “LBT” shit applies either. Why is everything today labeled fucking “LGBT?” It’s like a fucking brand name. The Chorus is called a Gay Men’s Chorus, so call it the oldest GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY — is that so fucking difficult for you conservative moronic corporatist assholes to do with your revisionist Queer history — choral organisations in the non-United States.

Someone would likely say to me, “Well you need to understand that the L for Lesbian was moved to first place to show that we support women’s rights.” (roll eyes). Does one not possess any critical thinking skills at all: Listen moron: Isn’t it a fucking given that we support women’s rights? And “women go first” is sexist and chauvinistic. Think the 1940s and 1950s. Has that no occurred to these idiots? We support other people’s rights too but their letters are never moved to first place! Don’t we support the rights of G and T and B and Q, but those letters are not moved to first place. Why not? So does one see how ludicrous it was/is to move the “L” to first place? Doh. What dense fuckers. Originally, the acronym was GLBTQ and that served us well for decades and still would if the corporatist idiots hadn’t changed it.

I feel the need to vent: It doesn’t matter where I’ve looked online, the Queer Revisionist History Cult has struck. They have renamed everything I’ve seen “LGBT.” Even deep in archival material. It was not that to begin with. I’ve had it up to here with these corporatist trash and their fucking revisionist Queer history (that “LGBT” shit; it was originally GLBTQ with the G first because gay men led our Movement, Lesbians did not). And I’m sick of this conformist corporate shit. The conservative, heteronormative, corporatist and conformist “LGBT” assholes are directly responsible for the death of the Queer Movement which came with their order for Queers to “assimilate.”

And speaking of “assimilation,” there are the gay guys who are now in relationships with lesbians. Yes, they’re pretending to be a straight couple, seemingly as a result of gay marriage. WTF? They could have pretended to be a straight couple from Day One, from the fucking start. They didn’t need gay marriage for that. A Hollywood script writer couldn’t make this shit up! I’ve seen this on occasion. Because of their internalised homophobia and gay shame, Mr Gay Guy and Ms Lesbian are pretending to be a straight couple, holding hands and all. Presumably he’s “getting smelly and slimy pussy and inflated tits to be a real man” and she’s “finally getting fucked by dick to be a real woman.” (Roll eyes). Ugh. They call it “assimilating.” It’s called BACK IN THE CLOSET, FUCKERS! Yes, that’s what “assimilating” has done for us. We’ve made enormous progress, haven’t we? [sarcasm intended]

Now someone will likely rush to defend the Gay Choruses by saying — without knowing anything about my choral training and Orchestra Chorus experience (see here, here and San Francisco Symphony Chorus) — “there are different types of choral ensembles.” Well yes I know that. I’m thoroughly aware of that. But that’s not the point. My point is why do the Gay Choruses have to continue to promote stereotypes about Queers by the repertoire they programme?

Awhile back, when I was telling mi amigo/my friend about my experience with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, he asked me if I ever had any interest in being in the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. I stalled and slowly said, “No, not really.” He asked: Isn’t the San Francisco Symphony Chorus supposed to be the best around? I said: Yes, it’s supposed to be equal in excellence to that of the San Francisco Symphony. That’s why we are the Orchestra’s own Chorus.

I remember in the early 1980s, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus went on tour and performed in the Kennedy Center. They were a very polished, stellar Chorus at that time and (I think it was iconic Paul Hume of The Washington Post) who compared them to the DC Orchestra Choruses regarding choral excellence: Norman Scribner’s Choral Arts Society of Washington, Dr Paul Traver’s renowned University of Maryland Chorus and Robert Shafer’s Oratorio Society of Washington were the dominant three that performed with the Kennedy Center’s National Symphony Orchestra and other (inter)national guest orchestras. I explained to mi amigo that I’m a symphonic choral person and I don’t know of any Gay Men’s Choruses that are symphonic choral ensembles, unfortunately, and for some odd reason. I don’t know why that’s the case. Also, because I have no interest in the stereotypical repertoire that seems to be expected of a Gay Men’s Chorus, and the repertoire that they do. Some of that repertoire our High School Chorus performed when I served as piano accompanist for them. And I can remember back in elementary school singing some of this stuff. Are we back to “Row, Row, Row your boat” in three-part harmony with a Gay Men’s Chorus? At least we sang with a straight tone in elementary school. No annoying noticeable vibrato.

The fact is: Not all choral music or choral music arrangements are good music and some of the stuff that these choral directors select is, well, rather tacky. I know from experience that there’s a lot of tacky music out there but it “swoons the hearts” of the sheeple audience. The sheeple don’t know good music from bad music when they hear it, and that can also be said about some choral directors. Some choral directors don’t believe in the concept of perfect intonation — one of the foundations of choral excellence — so they let their choristers sing any old way they want to, in part, because it’s easier that way. It’s far less work for the lazy and possibly inept and incompetent Chorus Director who doesn’t know how to achieve choral excellence with his or her Chorus because they don’t have the training. Even with the training, some Chorus Directors allow their Chorus to sing however they want. Take the late John Oliver, for example, and his Tanglewood Festival Chorus. He had the training. Presumably that’s why Seiji Ozawa named John Oliver the Director of Vocal and Choral Activities at Tanglewood and asked him to start (what became) the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (TFC), the Official Chorus of the BSO and Boston Pops Orchestra. The TFC was one of my favourite Orchestra Choruses in their early days. But after awhile, the TFC became to receive criticism. I remember hearing a reduced Tanglewood Festival Chorus sing in Washington National Cathedral for Senator Kennedy’s funeral. I hadn’t heard them in years and I said to myself, “Well good lord, what’s happened to them?! That’s Tanglewood?” They sounded awful with wobbling and fluttering soprano voices, quivering altos. They did not sound like what one expects from the Official Chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops. Not at all. For example, under Oliver the soprano and alto sections in particular did not sing with perfect intonation and the Chorus started getting criticism from the BSO’s orchestral conductor and members of the BSO. My guess is that John had apparently gotten too chummy and friends with some of the choristers who should have been asked to leave and were dragging the quality level of the Chorus down. That, too, is a problem.

Question: Why can’t a Gay Men’s Chorus perform symphonic choral works for Men’s voices like the Men’s Chorus of any Symphony Chorus would perform?

There are many Anglican canticle settings for men’s voices. Pre-COVID19, they were performed often by the Men of the Cathedral Choir of various Cathedrals and a few parishes (who had the caliber of choristers required to perform the pieces) when the trebles/boys were away or on Summer holiday. On occasion, a Gay Men’s Chorus will perform in a church. Well, using the church’s pipe organ, why not programme some of the Anglican repertoire — such as the canticle settings for men’s voices by Herbert Howells — and other Anglican composers exclusively for men’s voices? That’s not done to my knowledge. Why not?

Or consider this: Have you ever heard an announcer at a microphone say, “this is a performance of the Busoni Piano Concerto in C, Op. 39 with pianist [name of pianist] and [name of the orchestra]. Also assisting is the Gay Men’s Chorus of [name of city]?” That’s because there’s a choral section in the Busoni for a Men’s Chorus and often the performance involves the Men’s Chorus of a renowned Symphony Chorus. Why not invite a Gay Men’s Chorus to perform that? Perhaps because most or all Gay Men’s Choruses don’t have the reputation for being a symphonic Chorus? Well why not? But rather a Chorus that performs show tunes, Broadway musicals, spirituals, “contemporary” syrupy, (what sounds like) “womanised” choral drivel and the like? Some of these Gay Men’s Choruses take on a “Show Choir” reputation. It’s quite a stereotype.

For a Gay Men’s Chorus, it seems that it’s required that the repertoire be immature. Is that the word I’m looking for? Silly, sentimental, overly emotional (like many females)? So there’s Broadway shows — you gotta have that as if all gay men are into Broadway musicals (I’m not at all)! — it has to be syrupy, childish, and “womanised” (I’m not talking about feminist) music. And what happened to choral excellence with some of these ensembles and the concept of perfect intonation (one of the foundations of choral excellence)? Some of these Choruses sound like they’re not too far from being out of nursery school with their low maturity level including the repertoire they perform.

Gay Men can sound like men. They don’t have to sound childish, immature and “womanised” — as if they’re trying to emulate some well-known female vocalist — or like “drippy pussies” like we’ve heard from some of these Choruses. What’s the point of that? There are many gay men in the world’s major Orchestra Choruses — there were many gay guys in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus when I was a chorister with them — and we/they sounded like men. They don’t sing like a guy trying to sound and look like Barbara Streisand. All that does is to promote an outdated stereotype about gay men and that’s what these Gay Men’s Choruses do, from the ones I’ve seen.

Which is quite curious because these days I don’t know any “flaming” Queer guys anymore — well there’s one on U-toob I’ve seen but he’s the one exception — and “flaming” is definitely out-of-style today and looked down on. That’s because Mr Jock Bro is now “in” and has been since Queers were ordered to “assimilate” with the breeders/straights. Other than some of a certain older generation, most people would not understand “gay camp” at all and wouldn’t find it funny. “Flaming” and “gay camp” have been dead ever since “gay assimilation” began and “gay assimilation” was the death of our Movement (immediately after gay marriage became legal in the non-United States). Today — since “assimilation” — many (most?) Queers are all about being Mr Corporate Sports Jock and pretending to be bi even though they have zero interest in females. It’s their way of running away from that dreaded “gay” word and its negative connotations. So, to “blend in”/assimilate with the obnoxious straight jocks, many Queers are now pro-US flag-waving military idiots. The opposite of the way it used to be. At the height of the Movement, Queers were very anti-military, had no interest in the US flag because we rightly saw it for what it was/is (it stands for US imperialism worldwide).

When I was in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus we wore our SFSymphony Chorus t-shirts around The Castro. I haven’t seen a shirt like that in years. The only t-shirts I see guys wear these days are that of US-flag waving and or of the US Military Industrial Complex — when did Queers get all hot for military and for war? — with the words “Army” or “Navy” on them, something connected with the conservative Military Industrial Complex Killing Machine. That, too, is a result of “assimilation.” Trying to be like and emulate the fucking breeders as if they are the superior sexuality. Who the fuck puts the dysfunctional breeders up on a damn pedestal considering their over 50% divorce rate? “What the fuck has happened to my fellow Queers?” is what a Queer blogger in NYC asked a number of years ago. I agree with him. I have trouble relating to today’s Queer so-called “community.” It’s as if they’ve gone insane since gay marriage became legal and ever since the order was given by the corporatist assholes to “assimilate.” And many, if not most Queers today are pro-US Military. Mind-boggling. One wonders: Why do Queers want to kill other Queers? No one has ever answered that question for me. But this is what has happened to the so-called “Queer Community” as a result of “assimilation” and trying to be exact replicas of the breeders. The corporate trash at those elitist organisations at the national level that demanded that Queers “assimilate” with the breeders should lose their jobs. What a bunch of useless and short-sighted assholes. And they live with illusions of grandeur that they know what’s best for Queers. Any fool should have foreseen/predicted this outcome. When one is told to “blend in” with the majority, one tries to act like them (translation: Go back in the closet and pretend to be straight, laugh at their homophobic jokes in order to fit in. Start acting like sports jocks). It should be pointed out that the jocks are the assholes who bully gay guys on sports fields, in the locker room and make the usual “faggot” jokes. “Assimilation” and becoming conservatives pretty much started during the Obama regime and Queer’s new-found messiah Obama. Those who were paying close attention know that Obama’s policies overall were to the right of those of illegitimate George W Bush because Obama/Biden greatly expanded on the Bush/Cheney agenda. But Obama played/worked the Queer so-called “community” and said the word “gay” occasionally in a positive light so Obama became the messiah figure for most Queers.

These days, Queers are also wearing their wedding ring on the same hand as the breeders so they can be easily confused for being straight (some gay shame, have we?). WTF? It’s called “assimilation” according to the assholes who urged Queers to “assimilate.” [scream]. Apparently, the breeders are to be placed on some pedestal to be modeled after as if they are the superior sexuality. That’s the impression one gets from the “assimilation” idiots.

So again, why can’t a Gay Men’s Chorus perform high-quality symphonic choral works instead of repertoire one expects to hear from a High School Chorus or a “Glee Club?” (cringe, I never have liked the name Glee Club).

I remember when the conservative assholes — mostly elitist homeowners and busy-body merchants — in San Francisco’s Castro ordered the so-called “gay community” to mature [translation: become conservatives, which they did by the way] around the same time that gay marriage became legal and we got a city-wide nudity ban and San Francisco began its shift to the right. To me, maturing does not mean to be conservative. If these Choruses would change their repertoire to symphonic choral literature — rather than being an ensemble of show tunes and the syrupy little ditties they sing — that would help to erode the stereotype that Gay Men’s Choruses have attached to them. Some of the stuff they sing sounds like it’s right out of some right-wing evangelical church minus the Praise Band. Mi amigo/My friend asked: Why don’t they try to sound more like George Michael, or Elton John and other Queers who sounded good.

Then there are those Choruses that have to stand up there and sway as if they’re in a Gospel Chorus. (roll eyes) Sigh. And why is the accompaniment for these Choruses piano? Piano is used to accompany because that’s the easiest and cheapest. Can’t they find some small chamber orchestra who would gladly work with them, or can’t they form their own orchestral ensemble? Can’t they market themselves as more of a symphonic Chorus, so they would be invited to perform with or augment the local Orchestra Choruses?

From my research, unfortunately the Queer revisionist history movement has struck again. Over the years I’ve seen ads for the Gay and Lesbian Chorus of [city name]. But with Queer revisionist history, being chauvinistic and sexist is now the priority and putting the “ladies (lesbians) first,” I found that they’re now called Lesbian/Gay or Lesbian and Gay Chorus. Why are lesbians first? As I have said umpteen times, gay guys led our now-dead Movement. Lesbians did not lead our Movement. So why do the conservative corporatist trash insist on putting lesbians first when they don’t deserve first place in that ludicrous alphabet soup LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ+++++++++ mess?

https://i.pinimg.com/236x/55/d1/90/55d1900eee69ac7d6a17959feeca16d2.jpg

And considering what the far-right has done to “LGBT” (see above) one might think that Queers would abandon that “LGBT” rubbish and use the word Queer or Gay. Period. Queer and Gay are inclusive. That alphabet soup nonsense only divides us into this group and that group leading to infighting. Leave it to the corporatist Queers to ruin things for us. The assholes. I thought Queers wanted to be exact replicas of the breeders? Well, the breeders don’t have any letters/silly acronyms. They’re just called straights or breeders. Why can’t Queers be called Gay or Queer? Oh that’s too easy. We want to make it as complicated as possible by using this long string of letters. And how many more fucking letters? You can see the official acronym at that link.

Can you imagine a programme featuring the combined Gay Men’s Chorus and a Lesbian Chorus immaculately trained in choral excellence and performing the Brahms’s EDR (Ein Deutches Requiem) with a Queer Orchestra, using soloists from the Chorus? Or Queer-boy Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis or Ninth Symphony (with the quartet using non-operatic soloists from the Chorus singing with their “choral voice”)? Any of that would be historic when performed by an all-Queer Chorus and Orchestra.

Someone would respond to that suggestion with a wall of resistance by saying: “You need money to do that.” But there is money and plenty of it. The wealthy Queers who worship those elitist and now-irrelevant thoroughly corporatist and pro-Establishment Queer organisations at the national level who are directly responsible for the death of our Movement, they have money. They’re the ones who can afford $500.00+ a plate lavish dinners to rub shoulders with other wealthy Queers of their same or higher income bracket to honour tech billionaires and other wealthy “celebrities.” Why can’t they fork over some money for The Arts and to fund a highly-regarded Queer Orchestra of stellar musicians? (I’m not holding my breath that this will ever happen). Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

Chorus: Use your scores.

Why are trans people considered part of the Queer so-called “community?”

What’s the official acronym?

Some thoughts from Lea DeLaria here and here.