The Lavender Pen Tour

Honorary Committee

U.S. Representative John Lewis • Lance Bass + Michael Turchin • Laura Benanti • Dustin Lance Black • Brian Boitano • Bruce Cohen • Wilson Cruz • Senator Diane Feinstein • Senator Kamala Harris • Jake Heggie • Ty Herndon • Ambassador James C. Hormel + Michael Nguyen • Thomas Horn • Cleve Jones • Anne Kronenburg • Mayor Ed Lee • Congresswoman Barbara Lee • Senator Mark Leno • Andrew Lippa • Armistead Maupin + Christopher Turner • Holly Near • Scott Nevins + Philip Hodges • Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi • Pauley Perrette • Dan Savage • Stephen Schwartz • Frederica Von Stade • Michael Stipe • Mikkel Svane • George + Brad Takei • State Senator Scott Weiner • Chely Wright


San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus kicked off our 40th Season by embarking on a soul-affirming, life-changing journey! The Lavender Pen Tour helped share SFGMC's mission of community, activism and compassion throughout the South, supporting our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters and promoting acceptance and love through music. - find the itinerary here

It is our hope that the music encouraged LGBTQ+ people and our allies to come together, provoke conversations and action around civil liberties for all, while raising funds for local LGBT organizations.

This opportunity allowed us to marshal our mosaic of powerful, positive voices to empower our fellow Americans, especially our LGBTQ+ youth, and equally in a hopeful attempt to offer an outstretched hand and have an honest dialogue about the future of our country. We are not looking to argue, to preach or anger, but rather raise awareness, spread acceptance and bring harmony through song.

We joined with local non-profits and LGBTQ+ groups to help raise much-needed funds so they can continue doing their vital work to dismantle these biased and discriminatory laws. 

It is our intention to have the tour fully underwritten so that all monies raised stay in the respective communities.

The Lavender Pen Tour is made possible by generous donations from SFGMC patrons like you.


We will be visiting five states in seven days: Mississippi (Hattiesburg + Jackson), Alabama (Selma, Montgomery + Birmingham), Tennessee (Knoxville), South Carolina (Greenville) and North Carolina (Greensboro + Charlotte). The tour kicks off October 7, 2017 in Jackson, MS and concludes on October 14, 2017 in Charlotte, NC.

To find the itinerary, click here


Harvey Milk, the first openly gay candidate elected to major office in the U.S., has often been referred to as the patron saint of SFGMC. The Chorus’ first public performance was at the candlelight vigil held on the night of Milk’s assassination. It was as if the baton of activism had been passed on. 

In 1977, a year before his death, Harvey sponsored a landmark gay civil rights bill. Mayor George Moscone signed that bill into law with a lavender pen given to him by Harvey. The Lavender Pen remains a symbol of the fight for equality for all and the reason for the tour’s name.


For the Lavender Pen Tour, our 250 SFGMC members will be joined by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC) as our special guests.

OIGC embodies a community of diverse races, cultures and faiths, and brings together 55 singers to inspire joy and unity among all people through black gospel and spiritual music.