2017 was a year of progressive calls to action to stand up for LGBTQ rights, not only in America but also on the international stage. Worldwide we witnessed triumphant victories as the community led new conquests, striving to end age-old traditions in exchange for clearing a new path for future generations. Although it was a trying year, we are united and will continue our work to make the community heard and accepted.
Let’s rewind the clock and recount some of our 2017 challenges and achievements.
#1 Transgender Persons in the Military
Back in 2016, the Pentagon lifted the ban on transgender individuals serving openly in the armed forces, but 2017 brought threats from the new administration to reinstate the ban. Luckily, the lawyers were on the case, suing in federal courts across the country to block the ban from taking effect. For now, the Pentagon is under court order to accept transgender recruits. We’ll have to wait and see how this shakes out in 2018, but signs point to a swell of support for transgender military service.
#2 Elections: Domestic & Abroad
2017 was an exciting year for electing LGBTQ candidates. Seventy-one candidates ran, and more than half won their elections. Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person elected to the Virginia General Assembly and Lisa Middleton was the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California.
Electoral victories aren’t just happening at home. Abroad, Serbia elected Ana Brnabic, the country’s first female and openly gay Prime Minister, and Ireland elected its first openly gay Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar.
Can you believe 2017 came to an end? Neither can we! With all the work we’ve done in the community, along with musical performances that packed a punch, this year we’ve got some resolutions of our own to shine forthright into 2018!
When each year rolls around it is always a good gesture to think, “What can we do to improve our mission?” and “What are our goals and hopes for this year’s musical season?” When pondering these questions, we’ve come up with resolutions sporting purposeful deliverance of our organization’s mission, making this year great!
Gateway Men’s Chorus’ community involvement in the LGBTQ community exemplifies part of our mission. Moving forward in our continued efforts of support and activism, with the principles of inclusion and diversity, we seek to further protect rights of all in this year’s show We Will Rise, on March 16 and 17; diving into hot bed topics of the socio-political nature, mental illness, and transgender rights to name a few. This concert, and other special events, are created with intent to help spread the mission for the purpose of the greater good...and through the artistic power of musical performance.
Our resolution is to inspire musical artists, LGBTQ community, along with supporters and activists through voice - where no voice can be silenced. The goal is to continue being the voice for inclusive rights and acceptance of “everyone.” Together, you and Gateway Men’s Chorus can make a difference, one step at a time.