Today is World AIDS Day - a day to remember those who we have lost, cherish their memories and celebrate their lives, while we continue to build up our community and look for a cure. The Chorus has lost over 300 members to HIV/AIDS since 1981, and we sing for them each time we take the stage.
Many of you are familiar with this photograph, taken in 1993. The caption reads "The men in white are the surviving members of the original San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus The others represent those lost to AIDS." The photo was taken by Eric Luse for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Today, we are performing in two different programs - a SFGMC ensemble concert in Berkeley, CA and Grace Cathedral's World AIDS Day celebration program in San Francisco. We will continue to hold the brothers we've lost to HIV/AIDS in our hearts and in our voices on stage.
This year, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation asked our Artistic Director Dr. Tim Seelig to participate in their #ShowUp4AIDS campaign. We wanted to share Tim's contribution with you.
World AIDS Day is filled with emotions and too many beautiful faces. I am thrilled to lend my face, as an HIV+ man, to the SF AIDS Foundation initiative. It is easy to forget the horrors we have experienced. It is also easy to forget those of us still living with HIV. This is my message to all:
I am here. I can't be ignored, disrespected or shamed because of my HIV status. I will show up and stand up and sing out whenever and wherever I can. Emotions today: grief; anger; determination; deep love and gratitude.
- Dr. Tim Seelig
Artistic Director, San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
Please join us in celebrating World AIDS Day and working to find a cure.