In a brilliant act of resistance, the Washington D.C. Gay Men's Chorus used their voices to drown out homophobic street preachers in Tennessee last weekend.
The group has been touring through the south for a Southern Equality Tour, according to The Washingtonian, and made a pit stop at the Knoxville Pride parade, where they performed.
Thea Kano, the group's artistic director, told Washingtonian that she had noticed a group of about eight protesters when they got to their performance area. And when they left, the protesters were still there.
Kano asked the bus driver to stop the bus, and the chorus formed a big circle around the street preachers, who were carrying "Jesus can save you from your sin" and "God hates homo sex" signs.
"This particular protester started walking across the street and shouting at us, so I blew the pitch pipe and told [the men] what we were going to sing and ushered them into a big circle, and we sang maybe four songs,” Kano told Washingtonian. “He was walking along and shouting in our faces and we kept singing.”
Their songs of choice? "Make Them Hear You," from Ragtime, "We Shall Overcome," and the national anthem.
That last one seemed to upset the protesters the most, but it provided a particularly powerful moment for those in the chorus and the crowd who gathered to watch.
“As we were singing the national anthem, this woman who wasn’t with our group broke into the circle with a big rainbow flag,” Kano told Washingtonian. “It was love drowning out hate, and we did it peacefully and with harmony.”
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