Three years ago, Deondray often sat by himself during his lunch period.
A junior in high school, he struggled with being gay, fearing for his and his family’s safety. It was this fear that kept him from believing and having the confidence to pursue his musical dreams. Before class, Deondray would close his eyes, sing softly and he
imagined himself on stage before the roar of an elated audience.
The day Deondray’s class was visited by Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles to teach a Master Class as part of the Alive Music Project, his life changed.
After experiencing AMP, Deondray felt hopeful and inspired. Soon thereafter, Deondray auditioned, and became actively involved in Outside Voices, where found new friends, a safe place to express himself and the courage / inspiration to come out.
Today, Deondray is an active, singing member of Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and had the distinct privilege of performing a solo at the 2013 Holiday Spectacular. He has become actively involved in the Alive Music Program, which allows him to speak to students at schools throughout Los Angeles.
When I was their age, AMP was something that I wanted really badly to come into my life…growing up, there were no positive gay influences around me and because of that I grew up sheltered and shy. Learning about the AMP program, becoming involved with Outside Voices and now the Gay Men’s Chorus feels like home.
This past year, Deondray performed in world-renowned venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. He has gained a new sense of self worth, strength, purpose and gives back to his community by using his voice to educate others.
“Being part of Outside Voices has been a life-changing experience…This is where I belong.”
Transforming individuals and communities through music, art and song is a large part of GMCLA’s mission.
To continue our outreach efforts in Los Angeles County, we need your help. Your gift of $25, $50, $250 or more, allows GMCLA to provide community programs to youth.
With the help of supporters like you, GMCLA is changing hearts and minds in remote locations throughout the nation. By providing resources and solutions, young people like Deondrey don’t have to feel alone and unsafe.
With LGBT youth four times more likely to attempt to commit suicide, it’s critical we further our youth outreach.
Your generous donation in any amount, helps provide these vital youth programs to over 10,000 students across the nation each year. Our youth are counting on GMCLA and in turn, must count on you.