Preaching Pride to the Choir Preaching Pride to the Choir

NICOLE: Behind these sacred walls, everyone is welcome.

MARK MILLER: “We’ll take you in here.”

NICOLE: Especially if you love to sing.

SUZE CLEMONZ: “It was for me to sing with people I identify with.”

NICOLE: Each Monday night, the Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus is ready to share their pride, through music.

JEAN SWANGER: “For a lot of people, joining this group was the first way they basically had to come out to the public.

NICOLE: This chorus is all inclusive, all the time. It’s a safe space for singers to be themselves.

DANIEL MCMASTER: “I mean, I was closeted for my whole life. I had nothing.”

NICOLE: Having a chorus like this one in Central New York is extremely rare. Out of all 270,000 choruses nationwide, only 200 are LGBTQ+. That’s less than 1%.

TEAGAN PEACOCK: “Having representation and a community within Central New York is just so important for our members, so important for our community to be able to see that we’re here.”

BRIAN ACKLES: “One, two, softly go.”

NICOLE: Brian Ackles is the conductor of this group. He’s seen how they’re not so worried about finding that perfect pitch – but more about building that perfect community.

BRIAN: “Wherever you want to sing. Wherever you fit in our choir. You fit and come join us.”

NICOLE: Jean – met her wife here.

JEAN: “We’ve been together 30 years. And we basically met here at Chorus.”

NICOLE: Mark? He’s found lifelong friends.

MARK: “All of my friends in Syracuse are from this group or related to it.”

NICOLE: And it’s given Daniel – a family.

DANIEL: “It’s what I didn’t have.”

NICOLE: This chorus is made up of so many different voices that all sing the same song. Accepting who you are can be beautiful. Reporting in Syracuse, Nicole Aponte. NCC News.

Related Articles