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San Francisco Singers at Stonewall

Forty-one-year-old Gay Men’s Chorus recalls its roots — alfresco in the West Village

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus gathered outside the Stonewall Inn on April 30.
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The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, in town because a documentary about the group’s tour of the Deep South played at the Tribeca Film Festival, staged a brief concert outside the Stonewall Inn on the morning of April 30.

The chorus, led by Tim Seelig, performed four songs, including “Singing for Our Lives,” written by lesbian folksinger/ songwriter Holly Near for the group’s first performance following the November 1978 assassination of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The chorus also sang “True Colors,” Cyndi Lauper’s 1986 hit that she has drawn on in her nonprofit work on behalf of LGBTQ youth, the Judds’ hit “Love Can Build a Bridge,” and “If You Were Gay,” from “Avenue Q.”

The chorus members clearly enjoyed themselves singing to an appreciative West Village crowd, and the gathering included veteran singer Bob Ruffo, the only remaining original member of the group.

The documentary at Tribeca, “Gay Chorus Deep South,” directed by David Charles Rodrigues, chronicles the trip the chorus, joined by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, made to communities, many of which, the film’s summary states, are “on the frontlines against intolerance” fueled by faith-based anti-LGBTQ attitudes.

They sing and, yes, they kick, too.
A close-up on the legs in motion.
The chorus is made up of pros, but pros who know how to enjoy themselves.
Bob Ruffo is the last remaining member of the chorus who was there at the beginning in 1978.
Pride has always been integral to the chorus’ spirit.
Tim Seelig at the helm of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
Tim Seelig and the chorus greet their enthusiastic audience.
Updated 12:14 pm, May 1, 2019
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