Sunday, December 10th, 2006
Today was the fourth annual Dayton Gay Men's Chorus Christmas concert, and I took tons of pictures, more of which you can see in the galleries.
Friday, March 31st, 2006
Editorial differences

I took over responsibility for the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus website this month. Our director, Gregg Sewell, set it up, and it looks pretty, but it got stale to the point that our March concert wasn't advertised on it until a week beforehand.

Now, I'm definitely not criticizing Gregg for not keeping on top of the site because when it comes to stale websites, I live in a glass house and because Gregg's responsible for a lot, from picking music to preparing for rehearsals and retreats to finding musicians to getting demo recordings made. But still an up-to-date website can be an asset to an organization, so we're going to do better.

The offensive material
Trying to uphold that spirit, I updated the site after our fabulous March Savory Songs and Decadent Desserts concert to thank everyone who came to that and to promote our Pride concerts in June (the 10th and 17th). I even posted a fun picture taken in the choir room at Shiloh before the concert.

Well, the picture, or perhaps the caption, or perhaps both, was deemed inappropriate by DGMC's officers and board, and yesterday I was asked to take the pic down pronto, which I did. At first I thought it was an overreaction, but I asked my best friend to look at the site and tell me what he thought, and he did think it was a bit much. I do see that it may not have presented the image that DGMC's board would want for the group, and I agree completely that my role as webmaster is to maintain a site that shows what the board wants shown.

So what image should DGMC project? Part of it is that gay men aren't just about sex, which is an important message. Back in 2004, DGMC was disinvited from participating in the All Ohio Boychoir Festival because of what they felt people associate with the word "gay." So I can see that saying on our front page that our director was "getting a little horny with the boys before our Savory Songs concert" might not help our cause.

But do we have to pretend to all be characters from Gay as Blazes, a bunch of noble gay men interested in nothing but culture and good works? Pretending is what it would be. Gay men aren't just about sex, but sex and kidding about sex is part of who we are (a part of who all men are even), as anyone who would attend one of our rehearsals would quickly discover. At times we're like a bunch of junior high boys, laughing about anything that has the slightest sexual connotation.

Nothing to offend here,
and no one to recognize either!
Besides, a staid image, such as the one to the right, which is from our last Christmas concert and appeared on the site until this month, isn't going to convince people like Reformation Ohio's Rod Parsley that we're fine upstanding moral citizens who deserve respect and equal rights. The only thing that might please them is if we posted on our front page that we were becoming the Dayton Ex-Gay Men's Chorus.

One more thing about that pic from December: see anyone you know? No, of course, you don't because you're not supposed to. A concern the DGMC board has is that of displaying photographs or names of people in the chorus who don't want to be identified. There are no photos on the site of anyone in the chorus. Members quoted on the who we are page are identified by first names only.

If DGMC were allowed to have but one message, it should be that we're proud of who we are. I realize that not everyone who's gay feels comfortable coming out or is in a place to do so, and that's fine. But if you're singing in this chorus and marching with us for Pride, you have to have reached a certain comfort level in strangers knowing that you're gay. If you're a gay married Republican Southern Baptist preacher, then perhaps joining DGMC isn't the right decision for you.

DGMC's board is going to work on establishing some guidelines for what goes on the site, and it's going to be an interesting discussion. All opinions and viewpoints have to be considered. And I do see that even if we decide that there's room on the site for some fun pictures from rehearsals or parties, such pictures may not be what we want to showcase on the front page (though I do hope we don't try to lock them up tightly in a members-only section — do we really not want non-members to know we have fun?).

Regardless of how DGMC's site develops, I am glad that there's a site over which I have exclusive editorial control. may get stale from time to time, but if I ever feel like saying something, I've got a place to say it!
Monday, December 20th, 2004
With our most demanding performance season since June over, the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus had a holiday party tonight at our host bar, Collector's, where one of our accompanists, Ms. Raymonde Rougier, plays and where our president, WYSO host Jerry Kenney tends bar. This was one event to which I didn't bring my camera, but John, one of Collector's owners, covered that and even arranged for Santa to come. We each got to sit on Santa's lap, and John e-mailed us our pics afterwards.
Sunday, December 19th, 2004
Today was the final Dayton Gay Men's Chorus concert of the season. Pictures are online in the galleries.
Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

I had a busy day today. First I went with my mother, her friend Nancy and my uncle Bill down to Cincinnati to see the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. We lunched afterwards at Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse. More pictures are in the galleries.

We saw something scary on the way home, namely this gigantic statue of Jesus rising out of the earth in front of Solid Rock Church in Mason along I-75. Talk about retribution theology and putting the fear of God into you! (Update: Solid Rock Church spent $250,000 on this statue!!)

Then this evening was a performance by the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus for PFLAG Dayton (which meets at my church). Pictures are in the galleries. You have one more chance to see us this month.

This is supposed to make you
feel good about Jesus?
Sunday, December 5th, 2004
Pictures of last night's Cincinnati Men's Chorus concert in Dayton, at which the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus sang a few songs, are now online in the gallery.
Friday, December 3rd, 2004

DMGC logoUpcoming Dayton Gay Men's Chorus events

I probably should have posted this sooner, considering that the first of these events is tomorrow, but if you live in the Dayton area you have several opportunities to see DGMC, of which I am a part, perform. All the events are free, although donations will be accepted.

Saturday, December 4th, 7:30pm, St. John's UCC, 515 East Third Street, Dayton
This is actually a performance of the Cincinnati Men's Chorus in Dayton, but DGMC will be doing a preview of some of our songs. This event is always very popular, so arrive at least by 7pm to be sure of getting a seat.

Tuesday, December 14th, 7:30pm, Cross Creek Community Church, UCC, 667 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Centerville
DGMC will be performing as part of Dayton PFLAG's holiday program (following their annual meeting). Bring a dessert to share.

Sunday, December 19th, 3pm, St. John's UCC, 515 East Third Street, Dayton
Starting a new tradition, this will be DGMC's first annual Christmas concert.

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

My first event today was a family luncheon at Applebee's. My uncle Will's birthday was the 16th and my uncle Bill's is the 26th, so today was a celebration of both. My sister's in-laws came too, so the event was in part a celebration of Jackie's retirement. (Yes, Larry is wearing a Bush pin. No further comment.)

My second event was Saturday evening worship at Cross Creek. I usually go on Sunday mornings, but since I was going to visit my friend Keith's church on Sunday I decided to go to Cross Creek tonight. The Saturday service, at 5:30pm, had fewer people (at least this weekend), but was a fun opportunity to talk to people I hadn't seen in a while.

My third event was the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus performance as the opening act for the Rubi Girls at Celebrity. Our sound check was at 8pm, but we didn't go on until 10:30, which left lots of time for getting loosened up. As often happens when there is alcohol there was some nudity, which I probably shouldn't mention lest it attract more Google Image searchers. Despite some troubles during practice with the piano, our performance went pretty well, and, as always, the Rubi Girls were fabulous!

Saturday, June 19th, 2004

Today was the Pride Dinner in Dayton. I forget how many there have been, at least 10 years, probably more. This year's was special for two reasons, the first being that it was the first at which the Dayton Gay Mens Chorus, of which I am a member, performed, and the second reason being that it was the first held in the Winter Garden of the Schuster Center, a much more spectacular venue than the Convention Center. I didn't get to see all the drag queens since the Chorus held a final rehearsal during the parts of the show before us, but Dr. Bob was gracious enough to take pictures with my camera, so now you have visual proof that I am in fact part of the chorus.
Saturday, April 10th, 2004
You might remember that I've been singing in the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus. A few months ago we got an invitation from the Dayton Boys Choir to participate in the All Ohio Boychoir Festival on May 22nd at the Schuster Center. I know what you're probably thinking -- why would a boys choir invite a gay men's chorus to sing with them? That would just be inviting controversy, wouldn't it?

That thought crossed our minds too, but it is 2004 so perhaps people are mature enough to realize that gay men are not pedophiles and that merely seeing a gay man is not enough to turn a straight boy gay. Perhaps the Dayton Boys Choir realized that surely some of its members are gay and that having a group of proud, gay men singing in the concert would provide them with some good role models.

Well as it turns out that in fact would be too much to ask. The Dayton Boys Choir let us know last week that they hadn't realized we were gay. Unlike the Cincinnati Men's Chorus (a great group that does a lot for the Cincinnati gay community but nevertheless a group without the word "gay" in its name), "gay" is a part of the name of the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus. Did the management of the Dayton Boys Choir really not notice that little 3-letter word in their correspondence with us?

True or not, they now feel that since the All Ohio Boychoir Festival is a part of the Victoria Theatre Children's Festival, they can not stand any controversy. So we're invited not to be a part of the concert.

We've decided not to make a big deal about it. Pick your battles and all that. I did send a personal letter on my own expressing disappointment, however. I understand that homosexuality is still controversial but am disappointed that the Dayton Boys Choir management isn't brave enough to stand up for what's right. Boys don't turn gay just because they know gay people (boys don't turn straight just because they know straight people). And if a pedophile wanted to gain access to boys in a choir, it'd be a hell of a lot easier to be closeted and volunteer for the boys choir than it would be to be openly gay and try to molest a boy during a concert.

At any rate, if you want to send an e-mail to the Dayton Boys Choir about all this, you can reach them at these addresses:
Butch Brown, president
Will Harris, vice-president
Cindy Boyer, trustee
Elaine Bonner, secretary
David McCoy, trustee
Brendan Greaney, trustee
Harvey Canty, trustee
Nanci Hames, trustee
Tim Brown, trustee
Ken Fink, parent representative
Brian Ross, parent representative
Mike Owens, parent representative
Don Eadie, parent representative
Monday, November 24th, 2003
Did I mention that I joined the new Dayton Gay Men's Chorus? We started practicing eight weeks ago (practices are Mondays from 7:30pm to 9:00pm at Eternal Joy MCC). I just decided to join for fun -- I've never had voice lessons and can't read music (well I knew how to read treble clef since I played violin when I was a kid, but I'm singing baritone and can't read bass clef). And it has been fun.

Some of the guys go out after practice for drinks and something to eat. They went to Fricker's a few weeks ago (I didn't go, still being deep in school work) and said they felt uncomfortable being the only gay guys in a straight crowd. (Derek and I went to Fricker's in December, and yes, it's a fairly heterosexual place, but that doesn't bother us.) Two weeks ago I did go with the guys, to Cold Beer and Cheeseburgers, another fairly straight sports bar/restaurant (albeit one that is gay-owned, or so I've heard -- do the straight boys there know that or care?). We were seated directly under the big screen TV so we had a good view of Monday Night Football, not that we watched. I outted us by asking for Zima (they don't have it so I settled for Skyy Blue).

So this week the guys definitely didn't want to go to another straight sports bar. One of them suggested Spaghetti Warehouse downtown, a very gay friendly place. When we got there, about 9:45pm, we found that they close at 10. What to do? Well, we went around the corner to Bimini Bill's, you guessed it, another sports bar. The funny thing about this place is that except for deli sandwiches all the items on its food menu are seafood, and its web site confirms that they want to be known for their seafood. I did order the cajun shrimp, pictured to the right, and it wasn't bad, but when I think of seafood in Dayton, I think of Jay's. Still we had a good time at Bimini Bill's, ignoring the two big screen TVs showing college basketball and Monday night football and instead watching the college boys and listening to mostly bad straight karaoke. BTW, Bimini Bill's does have Zima.

And in case you're curious, the first performance of the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus will be this Wednesday night, the 26th, at the DLGC's Thanksgiving dinner at 6:30pm at Shiloh Church located at North Main at Philadelphia.
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