NEW YORK – The Big Gay Sing is New York City Gay Men’s Chorus’ most awaited annual sing-along concert to welcome the spring.
Audience members got to sing out loud and strong to fight prejudice, stigma and bias.
For 36 years in a row, the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus has been a fearless champion for love, equality and acceptance through song.
“It’s a celebration of equality,” said Rex Daniel Lomboy of Houston, Texas. “I guess everybody has the opportunity to express themselves, the song selection was amazing.”
This year’s theme is “Mind the Gap.”
“We were paying tribute to British, UK performers, rock singers,” said Skie Ocasio, membership and social team chair of the Men’s Chorus. “We’re bringing you all together in a harmonious, all-equality event that’s called ‘Big Gay Sing.’”
From singers to dancers, this diverse group of performers included a number of Filipino Americans.
“If you can share your story, through music, with another person, they will always see you as a human being,” said baritone Larry Tantay. “They always connect with you and I truly believe in that.”
Second tenor Christian Tanja said they enjoy themselves by supporting each other.
“Our core group of Filipinos and “Gaysian” members, we like to go out and eat, outside of the Chorus and outside of the rehearsals,” said Tanja. “We get together to really have a good time.”
It was also a tribute to glam rock artist and LGBT icon David Bowie, who while on the cusp of his fame in the ‘70s came out to the world as gay.
“He was a pioneer for us,” said second tenor Steven Nash. “He let us be us, he let us put zigzags on our face, he let us wear platform heels, he let us go crazy and allow us to be us in a safe environment.”
Chorus members believe in the power of music not only to promote their causes but also to influence people’s perception and bring people together, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
“As a performer, you know as a singer, a dancer, being part of this organization, it can make a big difference to people’s lives,” said choreographer Syville Padayo. “I wanted to be part of that.”