The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus (SFGMC) and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC) are raising their voices for empowerment, acceptance and harmony this coming week as they head to the Deep South on their first-ever Lavender Pen Tour. Through community outreach activities and nightly concerts, they hope to inspire solidarity and love in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. The group of more than 200 will also be holding a rally for equality on the steps of Mississippi's State Capitol in Jackson, marching in song over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and holding outreach programs with youth along their five-state journey.

Around this time last year, SFGMC was preparing for an international tour to celebrate its 40th season, but as the 2016 presidential election progressed the question they kept asking was, "What can we do to make a difference in our own country?" After election night, it quickly became clear their only option was to take the power of music on the road to states in this country with some of the worst anti-LGBTQ legislation. It wasn’t long before the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, which embodies a community of diverse races, cultures and faiths, voiced their desire to join this effort.

The Lavender Pen Tour will share SFGMC’s and OIGC’s mission of community, activism and compassion throughout the South, supporting LGBTQ brothers and sisters and promoting acceptance and love through music. It is their hope that the music will encourage LGBTQ people and their allies to come together, provoke conversations and action around civil liberties for all, while raising funds for local LGBTQ organizations.

HRC Mississippi is honored to be beneficiaries of a portion of the proceeds from the concert. 

For more information visit  Get your tickets here:

Jackson, Mississippi (Sunday 8 October, Thalia Mara)

Birmingham, Alabama (Tuesday 10 October, Alys Stephens)

Knoxville, Tennessee (Wednesday 11 October, Civic Auditorium)

Greenville, South Carolina (Friday 13 October, First Baptist Church)

Charlotte, North Carolina (Saturday 14 October, Ovens Auditorium)

Filed under: State & Local Advocacy

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