San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus (SFGMC), according to Wikipedia, is the world's first openly gay chorus, one of the world's largest male choruses, and the group most often credited with creating the LGBT choral movement.
July 2021 "pedophilia" controversy
SFGMC generated controversy when they released a song on YouTube on July 1, 2021 titled "A Message from the Gay Community". The lyrics were by Charlie Sohne and music by Tim Rosser with the chorus featuring lead vocals by Troy Iwata and Daniel Quadrino. The song talked about "converting" children to the gay rights movement, and included lines such as "We're coming for your children", "You won't approve of where they go at night", and "You think that we'll corrupt your kids if our agenda goes unchecked... Funny, just this once, you're correct". There was a strong negative reaction to the song online from right wing outlets, with TMZ reporting that the group received death threats, and the video was temporarily set to private before being restored on July 9 along with a statement from the group.
Social Media Conservatives appeared to misinterpret both the satirical nature of the performance, and its attempts at promoting tolerance - particularly among the children of non-LGBT people.
Alt-Right personality, Alex Jones, for example, opined:
- "The song is not shy about what the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus hopes to accomplish, repeatedly singing, ‘We’re coming for them, we’re coming for your children.’ That’s not creepy or paedophilic at all…"
SFGMC then released a statement:
- “The far-right conservative media found our ‘Message…’ video and have taken it as their cause. This has all happened in the last 24 hours and it continues to pick up steam [...] They have taken the lyrics out of context to support a narrative that suits their intolerant and hateful needs. It is obvious the tongue-in-cheek humour is lost on many [...] As a result, we have seen the user comments on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram become increasingly alarming. Emails to individuals and the chorus office are vitriolic – including threats of harm. [...] [the controversy] proves that our message is critically necessary in today’s world… we will continue to counter the message of hate by teaching young people to be tolerant and fair.”
Right-wing commentators then reacted with further outrage, stating that in the SFGMC's own words, the video could not have been satirical. One fringe website named "Evangelical Dark Web" even attempted to imply that SFGMC likely contained numerous sex offenders - leading to a further wave of controversy on social media. The methods used in this matching process are likely to be questionable.
- Emma Powys Maurice (July 9, 2021). "Right-wing cranks flip out over hilarious Gay Men's Chorus song about grooming kids and teaching tolerance". Pink News.
- FOX News on the controversy
- San Francsico Gay Men's Chorus We're Standing By Controversial Song ... In Face Of Death Threats. TMZ.
- Evangelical Dark Web - Suggests numerous RSOs in SFGMC
- Misbar Fact Check