SINGING FOR OUR LIVES The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir head to the South, singing our message of equality and inclusiveness with the Lavender Pen Tour. In October 2017, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus (SFGMC) the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC) will visit North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama—states that have sought to legalize bigotry and intolerance with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. In these states, we will join with local non-profits and activist groups to help raise much-needed funds so they can continue doing their vital work to dismantle these biased and discriminatory laws. It is our intention to have our tour fully underwritten so that all monies raised while in the South stay in their respective communities. Help us raise our voice for those in need.
Why is it called the "Lavender Pen Tour"? Harvey Milk, the first openly gay candidate elected to major office in the U.S., has often been referred to as the patron saint of SFGMC. The Chorus’ first public performance was at the candlelight vigil held on the night of Milk's assassination. It was as if the baton of activism had been passed on. In 1977, a year before his death, Harvey sponsored a landmark gay civil rights bill. Mayor George Moscone signed that bill into law with a lavender pen given to him by Harvey. The Lavender Pen remains a symbol of the fight for equality for all and the reason the tour has been given that name.