Orlando Gay Chorus Sings to Heal but Sends Mix Messages

Today is the one year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida. The partisan messaging on the horrific event that cost 49 people their lives is predictably and painfully cast. Headlines and Tweets like this one from the New York Times confound and frustrate conservatives, and rightly so as they are somehow attacked for the actions of a known quasi-Islamist, Omar Mateen.


Some raged and others pointed out the hypocrisy with facts and dignity.

Sean Parnell is a man who fought the very ideology that cased, stalked, and slaughtered 49 souls that fateful night one year ago today and one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who questions his commitment to protecting both innocent civilians and the freedoms granted to them by their creator. He wasn’t hateful or rude or mean he simply added factual context to the mystery behind the motivation of the man who committed the largest terror attack on American soil since 9/11. And the fact is, Omar Mateen was a radical Salafi-Wahabbi Jihadist who could not find comfort in who he was so he used his faith to justify lashing out and brutally murdering 49 innocent people.

Those are hard, cold facts that one can not sing their way out of no matter how catchy the tune.

Ambassadors of Hope Love And Healing In Orlando

The British Broadcasting Company, as a memorial, did a feature on The Orlando Gay Chorus. A group who has been a constant presence in the year since the club was attacked “singing at dozens of vigils” all over Orlando. A noble goal to help people heal through music, an effort most definitely worth supporting.


Chorus Member Josh Soto, said he felt it was an attack on him personally, because of his Latino ethnicity, sexuality, and his home, Orlando. Which is an understandable feeling, but it’s the way he refers to Mateen as “they”, as if Mateen was a part of some group or organization, like the Islamic State. Hopefully someday Mr. Soto can realize the target is much larger than his three personal bubbles.

After that, the profile on the choir takes a bizarre turn. It talks about the struggles of the gay community 20 years ago which is interesting, but has nothing to with what happened at Pulse last year. BBC’s own Rajini Viadyanathan transitions by saying:

The past year’s also forced many in the group to reevaluate the state of gay rights. While there has been progress the attacks at Pulse also reminds them how far they have to go.

Wait — how did the topic turn to this?

Another chorus member, Shae Callana recalled:

“The timing kinda had us reeling because it was right around the year anniversary of gay marriage (the Supreme Court Ruling that said gay marriage was constitutional) being legalized. It was a slap in the face and a huge wake up call that we have a lot of work to do.”

Now, given the clear motivation of the attacker one would expect to hear about how the LBGT community would help confront radical Islamists, but nope, BBC does not go that route. Viadyanathan skips to what Callana calls her “conservative background” and how gay night clubs become a sanctuary for young people who aren’t accepted as homosexuals by their families which, again, had nothing to do with why Pulse was attacked or how to prevent another one from happening.


It’s not even clear on the “ambassadors of love, hope, and healing” at this point in the profile.

The founder of the chorus group, Joel Strack, rejoices:

Those people who may not have liked having the Gay Chorus in front of the History Center or at City Hall — suddenly they didn’t have a voice to push back

At this point, frustration and confusion sets in and it is hard not to scream at the screen. Mr. Strack should be well aware that no one who ever “pushed back”against the Chorus ever killed 49 people at a gay club because of their “conservative background” which is code for “the portion of Christianity that doesn’t agree with gay marriage”.

Conservative America is not the source of this tragedy, Orlando Gay Chorus.




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