Duong talks through a busy Pride for him and the choir and how this year has been particularly poignant. He talks of how thankful he is to those who have campaigned for our rights over the past 50 years and how the past few days have given him a new perspective on being human as well as LGBTQ+.
Wednesday 30th June
After a full on weekend performing with our friends Voces Gaudii and marching in Warsaw Pride the choir were back 72 hours later at the Science Museum lates. We’ve performed here before, so it was familiar territory and is always a fun gig. It was the first opportunity for many of our members to perform some of our new repertoire and the audience were really enthusiastic throughout our two sets. Some of us also partied into the small hours.
Friday July 1st 2022: Afternoon
Charly picked me up on the way to the Gay Liberation Front march at midday. We carried the Pink Singers’ banner, excited and happy, as we knew there would be brothers and sisters marching with us.
Fifty years is a long time in LGBTQ+ history, but it is even longer in the lifetime of human being. The Pink Singers are so fortunate to have Philip as one of our members and I am so proud of what he has done for the LGBT+ community. Philip was there in 1972. He was part of the Gay Liberation Front and he was involved in the first Pride march in London.
When the original marchers from 50 years ago stood together under the rainbow flag to start the 2022 Gay Liberation Front march, I could not hold back my tears. Being queer today is not an easy life, but I realised that I have taken so much for granted. And without Philip and all the members of the GLF who stood up for what they believed in and who have relentlessly campaigned over the years, I know that my life could be so much worse.
Philip, thank you very much for fighting for us, for teaching us not to give up and for telling your story. We love you!
Friday July 1st 2022: Evening
I went from the march to perform with the Pink Singers at the Liberal Judaism Synagogue. I confess that I know very little about religion (not just the Jewish religion, but other religions too). I grew up in a non-religious household and whilst every street has a pagoda, they were more like communal gardens than a holy place. Having said that, I am aware of being respectful of any religious space.
As with any other performance, the choir first warmed up, got organised and then got ready to be on stage. But this time things felt different. I don’t know whether there is a strong connection between the LGBTQ+ and the Jewish communities but what I did see was that music and love connected us all. The synagogue was filled with emotions from warm hearts. Audience members of all ages clapped, danced and sang with us and above all, joined our love. It was very touching that after our performance, many people came to us sharing their feelings about our music. I realised that there should be no barriers between humanity. No one was born with prejudice and no one should be judged by their sexuality, gender or faith. I learnt a beautiful lesson on that night.
Saturday, July 2nd 2022
This year The Pink Singers again sat out the main Pride in London parade while the organisers are working on some equality and diversity issues. But we still celebrated Pride by gathering at a picnic in Embankment gardens. It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and it was an opportunity to catch up with people that I haven’t seen in a very long time. We sang (as if we ever don’t) and felt the rainbow atmosphere from London. There were lots of Pinkies hugs and kisses after watching and waving to LGBTQ+ friends in the parade. I could not ask for more.
Sunday July 3rd 2022
To round off a full-on Pride week the choir gathered together to record the audio track of our next video. It will be super special as it is being done with a brand new artistic idea visually. All will be revealed soon…. Can you guess what song it is?