San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus cancels tour abroad to visit red states

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus was planning to take their 40th anniversary tour to far off places, like China and Cuba, but the results of Tuesday's election prompted a change in plans.

The chorus is now planning to tour the red states, places like Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, and visit communities faced with discrimination.

Director Tim Seelig rehearses with some of the members at their Castro Street office.

"In response to the election, 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. And also hopefully change some hearts and minds."

The tour will begin the summer of 2018, right before midterm elections. Chorus members say their songs are a form of activism. Singing together has helped them heal and ease fears they say many in the gay community feel about a Trump presidency.

"There's such a change in the energy within the chorus when we started thinking about this, because all of a sudden we were engaged, we were active, we were committed, we were doing something," said Steve Huffines, chairman of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

Meanwhile on Mission Street, Rebecca Goldman and friends pass out what they call notes of peace.

They say, "we love you" and "we're here for you."

"I'm hoping that we pass out the notes and people see that people around them in their communities care about them and love them and are looking out for them," Goldman said.

She says at a time when our nation is so divided, it's more important than ever to come together and spread love instead of hate.

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