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Boston Gay Men’s Chorus breaking down barriers

March 25, 2011

Published in Metro

When the “It Gets Better” project began last fall, the members of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus wondered how they could help.

“Then we realized, we’ve already been doing this for years,” says Reuben Reynolds, music director of the 29-year-old group. “This is the reason the chorus came to be: to break down the barriers of society by letting people know us.”

More than 10,000 videos were uploaded to the national project’s website, all of them personal stories meant to inspire gay and lesbian youth facing harassment. The chorus’s 175 members follow suit in their spring concert, called “Our True Colors.”

“We came out years and years ago and have had so many advances here in Massachusetts,” Reynolds says. “But we have to remain ever-vigilant. We still have to tell people, ‘You’re fine as you are.’”

The concert’s program will include popular songs of empowerment such as Katy Perry’s “Firework” and “Defying Gravity” from the musical “Wicked.”

“It’s amazing, the number of straight performers that have been doing music lately about being who you are,” says Reynolds. “I thought, what a wonderful way to talk to young people, through music that they’re used to hearing.”

The theme will resonate with gay and straight people alike.

“Everyone has problems growing up. Some of us have a different set, but we all have them,” Reynolds says.

‘You just have to  be able to sing’

Members of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus are positive roles models; they’re “gay men who have grown up and flourished in society by being true and honest to who [they] are,” explains Reynolds.

You don’t have to be gay to join, though.

“We don’t discriminate,” says the music director. “You just have to be able to sing in a male chorus.”

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