2 min

I hate gay choirs

Admit it. You probably do, too

Go tell it on the mountain!

Sing it from the rooftops!

This weekend, hundreds of gay choirboys and girls from across North America are descending on Winnipeg for a queer choir festival called Unison.

But you won’t catch me swaying in the pews or raising my hands in the air.

I’m a gay choir curmudgeon.

I’ve tried to like gay choirs. I’ve seen different ones, in various cities. At first, I was drawn by the music. Then, I went for the post-performance snacks. After that, I just went to check out guys.

Now, given the opportunity to see gay choirs from across the continent, I have to admit: I’d rather go to hell.

Let’s start with the dorky outfits. I don’t understand why fashion-conscious queers could be caught wearing rainbow-coloured vests … or socks … or bowties … or even worse, all three at once. No matter what they’re sporting, the costumed conformity of gay choir singers makes me cringe.

So does the music. Isn’t it time for gay anthems like “It’s Raining Men” and “We Are Family” to be retired instead of recycled? I urge the same fate for gay choir groaners like “Coming Out At Christmas,” “Does Your Mother Know?”, “Some of My Best Friends Are Straight” and my personal pet peeve, “The Lesbians’ Picnic”:

Beneath the trees
Where nobody sees
They’ll hide and seek as long as they please
That’s the way the lesbians have their piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicnic

The sheer earnestness of gay choirs always makes me wonder: how can you people be so effing happy?

I’m willing to admit that my fate as a gay choir grinch was probably sealed back in high school, when I auditioned for the annual musical and was immediately cast in a non-singing role.

I’m also willing to acknowledge that gay choirs do a lot of good for a lot of people. Studies show that singing in groups gets rid of stress; more than a few gay choirs have raised cash for worthy causes; and I’m sure gay choirs have made it easier for many queers to come out of the closet.

But it also feels good to come out and say: I wouldn’t be caught dead at the Unison gay choir festival.

I’m sure glad it’s coming to town, though. I want to be the first to welcome all the out-of-province choirboys to their hotel rooms.

I just hope they don’t read this column first.

Unison Canadian Choral Festival runs from May 21 to 24 in Winnipeg. Kaj’s idea of a good time this weekend is the Public Enemy reunion concert, a few blocks from the choir fest. Fight the power!