The concept of “Asia”, particularly as a cultural signifier, has always been problematic. It assumes a high degree of commonality across what is the world’s largest continent, and has been used to homogenize and “other” what is a hugely diverse swathe of people. When Proud Voices Asia, the Asian LGBT choir network was set up, one of its greatest challenges therefore lay in trying to find coherence in this variety, not just in general terms like language or social structure, but more specifically in concepts like “queer”, “choir” and “activism”, while celebrating the multiple contexts in which they exist.
Many in GALA choruses see the times shifting around them. My own chorus now has a few cisgender women singing first tenor, post-transition transmen in three different sections, 6-8 straight cisgender men at any given time. At various times, we have had transwomen members, singing in various sections.
These are specific steps to have a meeting resulting in a list of possible board candidates.
I have sung in one GALA chorus or another for thirty years. I have attended every GALA festival since 1989: I participated as an alto in a lesbian chorus and as an alto in a mixed chorus, then post-transition as a bass in a mixed chorus and as a baritone in a men’s chorus. Each festival I’ve attended has brought with it an experience of marginalization.
New Harmony Task Force members regularly have conversations with individuals, and chorus committees, who are struggling to convince chorus leaders and chorus members to embrace the important work of Equity, Access and Belonging. We’ve collected and crafted a few ideas for you to try.
If you want to learn about resolving conflict you might like this book.
Conversations on Faith and Religion Discussion Handout.