Watch: Satiric SF Gay Men's Chorus Video Sends Right-Wing Into a Tizzy

Saturday July 10, 2021
Originally published on July 9, 2021

Troye Iwata in the SF Gay Men's Chorus video 'A Message for the Gay Community.'
Troye Iwata in the SF Gay Men's Chorus video 'A Message for the Gay Community.'  (Source:YouTube)

Right-wing websites are in a tizzy this week over a satiric video posted by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, titled "A Message for the Gay Community."

The video features soloists and the chorus exposing a message of teaching children tolerance by owning the trope that LGBTQ people are out to "recruit" them.

"We'll convert your children / Happens bit by bit / Quietly and subtly / And you will barely notice it / You can keep them from disco / Warn about San Francisco / Make 'em wear pleated pants / We don't care / We'll convert your children," the ironic lyric reads before hitting its punch line: "We'll make them tolerant and fair."

The tongue-in-cheek lyric continues: "We'll convert your children / Someone's gotta teach them not to hate / We're coming for them / We're coming for your children / We're coming for them / We're coming for them / We're coming for your children."

"Hilarious as it was, the joke soared straight over the heads of conservatives and they predictably responded with a torrent of confused fury," writes Yahoo Life.

(Source: YouTube)

While acknowledging it as a "satirical" video, The American Conservative wrote: "This is confirming the worst possible stereotype: the gays are targeting our kids.

Alex Jones reposted the video with the caption: "The song is not shy about what the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus hopes to accomplish, repeatedly singing, 'We're coming for them, we're coming for your children.' That's not creepy or paedophilic at all..."

Right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro disagreed that it was even a parody. "Shapiro saw the group's words as 'pretty solid evidence' that the so-called 'indoctrination of kids' is indeed the intent of the radical left, as he's long been complaining about, if anyone is still listening," writes PinkNews.

"So basically, what you're saying is the song is not actually a parody?" Shapiro asked.

"What you're actually suggesting is that while the song is done in the mode of parody, the underlying message — that we wish to teach your children our values — that part is correct? We're making your kids more tolerant and fair by teaching what we want to teach them in schools?"

However, disagreement over the intent of the video turned ugly when members of the chorus began receiving death threats, according to the Chorus' director, Chris Verdugo.

"In response, the chorus removed the video, by setting it to private-only mode," reported Yahoo Life.

"It was a difficult decision, because we are an organization whose mission really is both artistic but also activist," Verdugo told Yahoo Life. "We are the first gay men's chorus on the planet. ... We are a social justice organization ... so it's very difficult for us to decide to take down that video. But the soloists — who are not in the chorus but, in their own right, rising Broadway stars, have received death threats."

Members of the SF Gay Men's Chorus perform A Message for the Gay Community,"  

While the video has been deleted from the SFGMC's YouTube channel, it has been reproduced on other platforms. Its visibility has allowed critics to identify members of the chorus, share spreadsheets with their names, and has even led to members being harassed — even at their places of work. "All over a satirical piece of music," said Verdugo, noting that the chorus has been working with both the local police and FBI concerning the threats.

that some chorus members are receiving death threats. In response, the SFGMC issued a statement that they are not backing down.

The song, with music by Tim Rosser and lyrics by Charlie Sohne, "was commissioned several years ago by the Oakland Symphony ('a heterosexual organization,' notes Verdugo)." Yahoo Life also noted the number was "picked up as part of the SFGMC's program after the artistic director heard it performed and loved it. The chorus had performed it in public several times before the pandemic, and it was always well-received; releasing the video recently, as part of a series, was just a way of keeping up engagement in the absence of live performances."

The meme of the predatory gay has long been a favorite of the anti-gay pundits since Anita Bryant waged her homophobic campaign back in the 1970s. "For the former Florida beauty queen and her Save Our Children group, it was the alleged plans of gay men and lesbians to "recruit" in schools that provided the fodder for their crusade," writes the Southern Poverty Law Center. It has persisted since then through the efforts of political lobbying groups such as the Family Research Council (which the SPLC has called "the most important anti-gay lobby in this country" in 2011). But research by the SPLC debunks the myth. "According to the American Psychological Association, children are not more likely to be molested by LGBT parents or their LGBT friends or acquaintances," the report writes.