We have been singing for our lives since 1992! Back then, some members of our queer community got together to start Toronto’s first 2SLGBTQQIA+ chorus. Our first concert, led by founding Artistic Director John Schrag, was on Valentine’s Day, 1993, and daringly called “Sex and Chocolate”.
The world was a different place in those days. Basic queer rights in Ontario had only been passed through provincial parliament in 1986 and AIDS had killed thousands, with no good treatment in sight. Coming out to friends and family was extremely risky, leaving many in the community alone and in need of support. Standing on stage and singing as an openly queer choir was act of defiance, and an opportunity to put a very different face on the community than that seen on the news.
Through the many years of change, Singing Out has been there, protesting, entertaining, celebrating, educating, and changing hearts through music. We’ve shown how very different kinds of people can work together to make something wonderful happen, starting by learning to manage a little harmony.