May 28, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Honoring Gay Rights & Civil Rights Activist Bayard Rustin

On this day in history 67 years ago, gay civil rights organizer Bayard Rustin was arrested on a discriminatory, anti-gay “lewd conduct” charge for having consensual sex with two men in a parked car in Pasadena. 

Fast forward to 2020 – today at 12:30 p.m., Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) will hold a press conference on behalf of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus and the Legislative Black Caucus. They will be asking Governor Gavin Newsom to issues a posthumous pardon to Rustin. 

Now, fast forward to this weekend – LGBTQ+ Long Beach chorus group, South Coast Chorale, is performing “The Man Behind the Dream.” This piece is a narrated choral work honoring the life of Rustin as a Gay Rights and Civil Rights activist. The Pride LA spoke with Chris Smith, the Artistic Director of the SCC. Check it out: 

In one sentence, what is South Coast Chorale?  

The South Coast Chorale is a musical voice of acceptance, inclusion and equality.

Can you elaborate more? 

As the official LGBT Chorus of Long Beach, the South Coast Chorale uses music as an entertaining and educational vehicle to build bridges between communities and remind us that we are all more alike than different.

How did the group come to be? 

The South Coast Chorale was founded in 1990, when a small group of individuals got together through their shared love of singing and a desire to have a safe place to express themselves through song.

Can you tell me a little bit about the Bayard Rustin performance? 

“The Man Behind the Dream” premiered in 2018 by six LGBT Choruses across the country.  This multi-movement piece, with music by Steve Milloy and lyrics by Vanessa German is set for chorus and spoken word, honors the life and work of openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.

Photo: Facebook

A mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, Rustin was pushed to the margins of the movement due to his sexuality. For the Inland Empire premiere, the South Coast Chorale will be joined by the Raincross Master Chorale, the Riverside Resistance Revival Chorus and the UCR Chamber Singers, accompanied by a live band and video projection.  The concert will also include a performance by the DC6 singers of Los Angeles.

Why select this performance?  

Rustin’s story is a powerful piece of history that must continue to be brought out of the shadows. With the success of our premiere performance in 2018, we felt the piece needed to be performed again in a new location in an effort to promote and encourage building bridges between all communities.

What about it do you like the most? 

The piece is full of fun, touching and powerful music that has left a positive and lasting impact on the singers and audiences alike.  Plus there’s something for everyone with all the various musical styles.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the performance?  

Photo: Courtesy. SCC rehearsal for “The Man Behind the Dream”

We hope audiences will leave the performance with a deeper understanding of the diversity in the dream for civil rights and that everyone must work and march together in this continuing movement until there is equal rights and acceptance of all people.

More information about SCC and the Bayard Rustin performance can be found on our website at sccsingers.com.  Tickets can be purchased at riversidelive.com and using code MBD10 at checkout will save $10 per ticket.

Related Posts

Long Beach Community Creates Own May Pride Weekend

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

By Susan Payne A Pride event in Long Beach, historically held in May, was moved to July this year, but...

Conflict Continues Over Third Grade Teacher’s Gay Pride Videos Played Over Zoom; Teacher Receives Threats, Involuntary Transfer

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

By Susan Payne Nearly one year after a Glendale Unified School District third grade teacher showed videos celebrating gay pride...

Venice Pride Festival and Parade Around the Corner

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Live music, DJ sets, Sunday parade and more come to Venice Beach Recreation Center June 4 & 5  By Staff...

Trans Fans Praise Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Auntie Diaries’ Track

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Susan Payne “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” by Kendrick Lamar wrestles big issues, but his track “Auntie Diaries”...

LGBTQ Center Long Beach to Host Final Do Say Gay Workshop Friday

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Susan Payne Join LGBTQ Center Long Beach this Friday for its final Do Say Gay art workshop that explores...

California Trans Child Molester Faces New Kern County Murder Charge

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Susan Payne After authorities recently charged Hannah Tubbs in connection to a 2019 robbery, the convicted 26-year-old trans child...

Happening Now: West Hollywood’s LGBTQ+ Arts Festival

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Susan Payne Happening now through the end of June, WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival celebrates the artistic contributions of...

Alcohol a Factor in Griffith Park fatal Hit and Run of Senior Gay Cyclist

May 13, 2022

May 13, 2022

77-year-old Andrew Jelmert killed in April 23 hit and run training for AIDS/Lifecycle By Susan Payne The Los Angeles Police...

Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Receive LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader Designation

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals recognized by Humans Rights Campaign  By Susan Payne This year, Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals in southern...

‘Match the Stars’ During MisMatch Game Performance Benefitting the LGBT Center

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

By Susan Payne An unstoppable comedy phenomenon is set to reach a $200,000 goal in money raised for the Los...

Confidential Settlement Made With Many LGBTQ Students at USC Over Alleged Doctor Misconduct

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

More than 80 former patients accuse Dr. Dennis Kel of sexual battery, harassment and inappropriate remarks By Susan Payne In...

Audio Meets Reality in ‘Being Trans’ Podcast Series Showcasing the Lives of Four Transgender Individuals of the LA Area

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

Through narrative-style storytelling, BEING Studios gives listeners an intimate, first-person access into the worlds of people they may not otherwise...

Orange County Man Faces Federal Charge on Suspicion of Making Anti-LGBT Threats Against Merriam-Webster

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Jeremy Hanson of Rossmore charged in connection to October threats  By Susan Payne  An Orange County man faces a federal...

Palm Springs Approves Universal Income Pilot Program for Transgender, Nonbinary Residents

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Payments to start in 2023 By Susan Payne A guaranteed income pilot program that would provide transgender and nonbinary residents...