Tampa Bay Times – GMCLA brings ‘It Gets Better’ to Straz

Christopher Spata – Times Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 5:00am – At 13, Tyler Houston was outed by a family member who’d read his personal diary. By 16, he was kicked out of his father’s house for being gay. He was stuck in a small, conservative town.

He’d tried to harm himself. His mother, struggling to find a way to help, turned to Google.

She typed in “gay guys who sing.”

“The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles was the first thing that came up,” Houston, now 26, said. “She sent them an e-mail simply saying, ‘My son is going through a hard time. Can you help?’ ”

The outpouring of encouraging letters and emails Houston got back sparked a turning point, he says. The support came not only from members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, but from people around the country. People shared stories of obstacles and triumphs.

Houston got older. He left that small town. He became a member of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles himself.

It got better.

The show is 7:30 p.m. Friday (March 24) at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $25-$45. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.