Gay Men’s Chorus of LA Partners with Gender Nation To Bring LGBTQ+-Friendly Books to Children in Schools
(LOS ANGELES) – DECEMBER 10, 2018 – One of the nation’s most renowned choral organizations, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) has partnered with Gender Nation, a groundbreaking new organization that works with schools and school districts to provide them with age appropriate books that explore issues facing LGBTQ+ youth and their families. GMCLA believes providing access to these stories in school libraries will help all kids feel more seen and heard, as well as encourage compassion and empathy in all students.
“LGBTQ+ youth are three times more likely to consider suicide than heterosexual youth, and five times more likely to attempt suicide. But one connection to the outside world can change that,” says Gender Nation co-founders Morgan Walsh and Keiko Feldman. “Gender Nation empowers and validates children through access to uplifting, inclusive stories that demonstrate the full spectrum of sexuality and gender identity.”
Gender Nation was founded by Walsh and Feldman, two moms who want a more inclusive world for not only their own kids, but all kids. Feldman’s 18-year old son, Zach Johnson, was honored at last year’s GMCLA Voice Awards with its first-ever Rising Voice Award. Last month, Gender Nation delivered 400 books to be placed in all of the elementary schools in the Glendale Unified School District, as well as a handful of schools in LAUSD.
“Imagine being a young LGBTQ+ kid and seeing a book in your school library that you identify with, that tells your story,” said GMCLA Board Vice-Chair Steve Holzer, who brought the two organizations together. “It could make all the difference in that young person’s life. I know it would have made a difference in mine. I’m thrilled that GMCLA is teaming up with Gender Nation to make sure all young people know that they can be – and become – exactly who they truly are.”
“GMCLA is absolutely thrilled to begin this partnership with Gender Nation,” said GMCLA Executive Director Jonathan Weedman. “Their mission so perfectly aligns with our own, and we look forward to working together to share our message of acceptance and understanding with our precious children.”
Gender Nation will have an information table at GMCLA’s upcoming “Holiday Spectacular: Calling All Angels,” which will take place on December 15th and 16th at Glendale’s Alex Theatre. Visit www.gmcla.org to purchase tickets or for more information.
In the last few years, GMCLA has expanded its outreach through various exciting new projects and programs. Their Alive Music Project allows them to perform in schools, promoting an anti-bullying message of inclusivity. They’ve also partnered with the Arts For Incarcerated Youth Network to work with incarcerated youth in Los Angeles County’s juvenile correctional system.
For more information on GMCLA, visit www.gmcla.org. For more information on Gender Nation, visit www.openbooks.org.
About Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA)
For 40 years, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles has built an international reputation for musical excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the Los Angeles community. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the last important links to a glorious tradition in music,” GMCLA is one of the country’s largest male choruses with over 299 singers. GMCLA has commissioned more than 600 new works and arrangements, released fifteen albums, appears frequently in film and on national television, and is the first openly gay chorus to tour central Europe (1991), broadcast over Russian television (1999), tour South America (2006), and perform for two sitting U.S. Presidents. GMCLA also has an extensive youth outreach program that brings a message of love, acceptance, and hope and has reached over 75,000 students in the Los Angeles area through our Alive Music Project, Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network, and Partnership for LA Schools.