You know what’s better than Glee?
The real thing.
Youth Pride Chorus (YPC), part of the LGBT Center’s Youth Enrichment Services (YES) programming here in New York City is one of the most inspiring things I have ever witnessed.
We take for granted even today, many kids get kicked out of their home simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. And with youth coming out younger and younger, many of these kids end up on the street. Even worse, with the budget crisis affecting municipalities across the country, LGBT youth are often a population thrown under the bus.
Although my parents were never really there for me emotionally, thank God I always had the basics (roof over my head, clothes, food). I can’t imagine being homeless at fifteen. It takes a lot of courage to stay positive with so much to deal with.
Under the leadership of Wes Webb (artistic director), Matthew Fetbrandt (music director) and YES staff members, the kids put on two major concerts a year as well as special performances around the city. It’s an intervention really; they get to socialize, learn leadership skills and obtain the social support many of them don’t get from their families.
I fondly remember my time in band in junior high and high school. I played the clarinet (womp womp) and it was one of my favorite classes as a young adult.
The performances are a mix of classic and current pop, rock and folk songs. YPC also has the distinction of performing my favorite cover of Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful. I saw it in person and was in tears. It’s no coincidence the song was recently named the most empowering song of the last ten years, according to a poll conducted by Stonewall, an organization striving for LGB equality. You can check out the performance below.
I’m so proud of “the baby gays.” For more information on YPC, check out their facebook page. And if you’re able to, please donate to YPC and help support the next generation of LGBT superstars.