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various voices

'Music levels the playing field between gay and straight people'

The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus is one of 50 choirs in Dublin for the Various Voices festival this weekend.

New York City Gay Men's Chorus's Photos - New York City Gay Men's Chorus | Facebook Members of the New York City Gay Men's Chorus. Facebook Facebook

IT’S HARD TO hate someone that you’ve just sung a song with. It shows that we’re human beings like everyone else. Music levels the playing field.

These are the words of Charles Beale, the artistic director of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus – one of 50 LGBT choirs in Dublin for the Various Voices festival this weekend.

The Chorus is one of the main attractions at the festival. They will perform their show Big Gay Sing in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre tomorrow night.

Almost 100 singers, some of them Irish, will take part in the performance, which will raise funds for Marriage Equality ahead of next year’s referendum.

Beale said that members of the chorus felt particularly compelled to raise “vital” funds for the organisation.

We have marriage equality in New York State so it’s great to be able to give back a little.

He added that the show “connects people to the gay community” and has the potential for real “political impact”.

“We’ve become famous for doing big events around the world. It’s fantastic to be able to offer the Marriage Equality campaign in Ireland essentially a free gig from a bunch of New York singers.”

Beale said the show, which premiered in New York this spring and will be hosted by Panti Bliss, is “full of all the gayest songs in the world”.

“The clue’s in the title: it has to be extremely gay. Why sing one Madonna song when we can sing seven? Let’s not have one drag queen, let’s have 15!”

Gay men in the audience should leave thinking ‘I never need to need to see another Gay Sing in my life.’
It needs to be pink. It needs to be fluffy. It needs to be extravagant.  It also needs to be big: more over the top than you can imagine.

‘Incredibly proud’

Various Voices is being hosted by Glória, Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir.

Festival Director Ian Doyle said that Glória is “incredibly proud” to have brought the event to Dublin – the first time it has been held in Ireland.

Various Voices Dublin 2014's Photos - Various Voices Dublin 2014 | Facebook Facebook Facebook

“It’s hugely important for the LGBT community to be able to host an event of this size,” Doyle stated.

Through music you can really engage with people in a different way.

A number of free choral performances will take place today and tomorrow as part of ‘Singing in the City‘. All of the concerts will be streamed live on AerTV. Venue and ticket information is available here.

Various Voices takes place every four years and was last held in London in 2009.

Read: 59% in new poll think you’re not homophobic if you oppose gay marriage

Column: Are you frustrated by the number of ‘gay’ stories in the media? Then read on…

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