Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles provides equal opportunity

Sat. April 30, 2011 7:22 AM by News Staff

Los Angeles, CA - The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles has welcomed two openly straight members reports the Los Angeles Times.

Last month 24-year-old Chris Yraola, who had been in the ensemble since February, came out as straight to the group.

"It was an important moment," says executive director Thom Lynch, who told the Times that he believes it represents the evolution of the 32-year-old chorus.

Yraola was not the first. 24-year-old Jordan Bell, a second-year bass, had previously come out as the ensemble's only openly straight singer.

"There was a point in the early '80s when just having a group of gay men standing and singing was political and made a statement, Lynch said. "These days, groups like ours are committed to making spectacular music — which attracts a wider range of singers and audiences. It's not that the political isn't there. But now, the way to make that statement is to be as good as we can be."

Bell says he's learned a lot over the past year, including a sense of caring and commitment.

"I joined for musical reasons, but I stayed for the community experience," he said.

Related: Read the full feature story in the Los Angeles Times