Welcome to I Rise, the third and final subscription concert in GMCLA’s 38th concert season. GMCLA has positioned itself as the “voice” of the gay community in Los Angeles and is, in fact, one of the oldest, continuous, LGBTQ organizations in Los Angeles along with the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Founders Metropolitan Community Church.
I Rise is a unique and historical concert for us that is unlike anything GMCLA has done before. This concert explores the intersection of Faith Communities and the LGBTQ Community; creating a discussion throughout our communities with the hope of creating positive change.
I Rise will cause you to step out of your comfort zone and to reflect on pre-conceived notions of what it means to be LGBTQ, a person of faith, or not associated with a faith community at all.
I Rise is also personal, in that the stories shared throughout the concert are personal stories from GMCLA members. Some are positive, some are funny, some are heartfelt, some are tearful, some are horrifying, and some are empowering. It is important that GMCLA continues to do work that is based on our mission, that reaches beyond the sets, costumes, lights, and dancing to tackle difficult issues to empower and heal our community.
GMCLA has proven itself to be a world-class choral organization that creates unique concert experiences while representing LGBTQ culture in everything we do. For nearly four decades, we have addressed controversial issues relevant to our community including the AIDS crisis, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Gender Equality, Violence Against LGBTQ People, Marriage Equality, LGBTQ Parenting, Racial Inequality, and Acceptance of the Transgender Community.
Our community has dealt with these issues through political action, force, and protest which has often been met with resistance and violence. You have only to look at the Black Cat Uprising, the Stonewall Riots, Harvey Milk, ACT UP, Matthew Shepard, and the Pulse Massacre to see the challenging road we’ve travelled. GMCLA is unique in that we use our voices, our stories, our music to express the inexpressible and to the change the world.
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. – Dalai Lama