San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus sings for activism in Park City

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) sings at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. SFGMC’s mission is to bring community, activism, and compassion through its music. Photo courtesy Peter Zimmerman

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) sings at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. SFGMC’s mission is to bring community, activism, and compassion through its music. Photo courtesy Peter Zimmerman

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus sang for community, compassion and activism on Feb. 13 in Park City. The 75-member group, which has engaged in community activism for nearly 40 years, values evolving society’s views toward the LGBTQPA+ community through its music.

On Jan. 15, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) and it’s artistic director, Dr. Timothy Seelig, presented a check of $30,378.32 to the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, a local K-5 public school in San Francisco. The funds for the check were raised from the SFGMC’s holiday concerts.

“The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus sings to change the world around us,” said Seelig in a press release for the event. “There is no better way to do that than to invest in the children right in our own community.”

The SFGMC is deeply connected to activist and politician, Harvey Milk, from whom the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy was given its name. The group congregated and sang on the steps of the San Francisco City Hall for the first time after hearing of the assassination of Milk in 1978. The group has been singing and participating in community activism ever since.

Some of the LGBTQPA+ community at Westminster College raised the level of awareness on campus recently.

“The work that students are doing as part of, for example, the Be A Human campaign has really been primarily targeted in educating everyone on campus,” said Karnell Black, acting dean of students. “Not only educating but allowing space for the conversations to happen. If we acknowledge what’s going on, that’s how we can move to a better place. ”

When asked what students can do to be an activist, Black suggested finding ways to be engaged that ultimately leads to creating positive change for the community.

“Be in solidarity with people, challenge the status quo and listen to the other side,” Black said. “At the end of the day, activism is uniting. Unity comes when we have a better understanding of each other. When we challenge each other to think differently or more broadly or more inclusively, activism allows for unity to happen because it allows for the conversations [to happen.]