The chorus has re-routed a planned 40th anniversary tour to include performances in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, as well as other U.S. states that voted in Trump’s favor, in an effort to “change hearts and minds” in those communities, ABC 7 News reports.
Director Tim Seelig told the news outlet that the chorus had originally planned to visit nations where LGBTQ people face heavy discrimination, including China and Cuba, on its 2018 tour. Once the election results rolled in, however, the men nixed those plans and opted to stay domestic instead.
“We decided we have as much work to do at home as we would do abroad,” Seelig said. “We want to go to those places that are still strongholds of this kind of discrimination and bigotry, and bring our voice. And encourage people there with our music.”
Executive Director Chris Verdugo echoed those sentiments in a statement on the chorus’s website, noting that “we, as a country, have a long road to travel.”
“Our LGBT youth fear what their future might look like. We have a duty to them and an obligation to protect the freedoms we have rigorously fought for,” he said. “We believe this tour is a step in the right direction that will build bridges of understanding, compassion and empathy.”
Along with the tour announcement, the chorus released a video featuring a performance of “Light,” a ballad from the Broadway musical, “Next to Normal.” The clip, which can be viewed above, proclaims, “As we move into the unknown, it is our duty to defend and protect the advances we’ve made, to fight for our lives, keep hope alive, and bring forth the light.”
The news also caught the eye of Broadway and television star Laura Benanti, who has collaborated with the chorus in the past. The Tony-winning singer-actress has made no secret of her own views on a Trump presidency through a series of hilarious impersonations of Melania Trump on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and offered her praise on Twitter.
No doubt these guys deserve a round of applause for vowing to fight the racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia which fueled so much of Trump’s campaign in the first place.