This sounds odd, but I’m not actually certain what I’ve told people. There are, of course, a number of things I’ve kept under wraps, so to speak, but I’ve not really kept track of my secrets. I email certain people and just sort of unload everything in my mind at the time . . . pretty much without a filter. And then I don’t necessarily remember every single word of the tens or hundreds of thousands. But I’ve shared most of my secrets, whether they be related to gender, queerness, my worries, insecurities, fears of being forgotten. It’s difficult to think of something I’m certain I’ve never told anyone. And then if I can, it’s not necessarily something about which I want to blog — really, if I haven’t told the people I trust most, why would I tell the internet? Still, there’s one thing I’m willing to share that I’m pretty sure I’ve not yet told to anyone.
There is a part of me that deeply wants to join the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. It made such an impression on me at my first concert, nearing a decade ago. They are immensely talented, and I miss singing in a choral group. I also appreciate their choice in music — I am so excited about their concert tomorrow night, “Let’s Hear It For the Boys.” The theme of the last concert I attended was divas. They even did a concert devoted exclusively to the music of Cher, which I adored (my cell phone’s general ringtone is Cher; I love Cher).
I miss being part of something. I miss belonging to a group. I miss feeling as though what I’m doing is greater than just me. The Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus is about music, yes, but they also use music as a form of outreach. They use music to build community. As their website states, TCGMC “uses music as a way to transform, educate and heal.” It’s about music, but it’s also about something more.
It’s funny, really, that I would want to be a part of the Chorus because it’s not what I usually seek. The other organizations of which I am part (or have been part) are far more . . . fringey. The Chorus is practically gay mainstream — it’s a 501 (c) (3); it’s the fourth largest gay men’s chorus in the country; it’s for gay men. I’m usually drawn toward radical, queer, trans organizations — people and politics that are usually rare even within the marginalized group itself.
Still, there’s something enticing about the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. Perhaps it’s the music; perhaps it’s the chance to perform; perhaps it’s simply that it was, I believe, my first exposure to any kind of gay culture.
Regardless, it is unlikely that I will ever be a member of the Chorus. At this particular moment in time (or rather, by the time of their September auditions), I doubt they’d welcome me as part of the Chorus. Most importantly, my voice isn’t going to be anywhere near settled enough for real singing after three months on T. In the not-so-near future, I may have a singing voice they’d like, but not by this fall. And even once my voice stops cracking and all that jazz (well, starts and then eventually stops), there are no guarantees that I’d be good enough, in terms of vocal ability and training, to pass the auditions. It also bears mentioning, I think, that I have little faith that they’d accept me as a gay man. So that’s two strikes right there.
And by the time I’m consistently read as male (which I imagine will eventually happen, presumably), and my voice has fully settled (and I have learned how to work with it), I intend to be back in Chicago. Or I will be planning on moving back in such a time frame that making a commitment to the Chorus would not make sense.
So, that’s my secret: I kind of wish I could join the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. I haven’t told anyone because it’s silly, and it’s not going to happen. And, to be brutally honest, I’ve been silent partly because I feel like a lot of people wouldn’t understand why I’d want to join something for gay men. It’s true that I often chafe against things that are exclusively gay (i.e. not queer) or for a specific gender. But there’s still a part of me that identifies strongly with some kind of gay male/gay boy identity — just, perhaps, one that is a bit more inclusive than usual.