The Austin Gay Men’s Chorus is pleased to roll out its new look! We are grateful to the expertise of Studio Dzo in guiding us in this process.
The logo has several messages that reflect who we are.
The vibrant colors and different fonts for each character drives home the concept, that like the gay community, Austin Gay Men’s Chorus is made up of amazing individuals with unique backgrounds, experiences. We are not a monolith!
The cropped characters highlight the concept of the power of the collective and when a group of individuals come together they are greater than the sum of their parts
Intended to be disguised within the “G” is the well-known universal symbol for equal rights as well as a hint at the rainbow.
Why did we change names?
In 1988 the AIDS quilt came to Austin Texas. A men’s choir sang. The Turtle Creek Chorale, from Dallas, inspired 5 brave men to dare to believe that such a group could exist in Austin. A whole decade earlier, a chorus in San Francisco was the first in the nation to use the word “gay” in their name. At the time it was brave, even for San Francisco. A decade later it was still unthinkable in Texas. From Turtle Creek to Alamo City to Montrose, it was just too controversial. The choruses could exist as a safe place for gay men, but subtly, quietly. They couldn’t wear ‘gay’ on their sleeves.
However, the decision to be safe, and “in the shadow” was not an easy one. The Capital City Men’s Chorus debated the “gay” word from day one – literally. While they chose against it, they did take some subtly bold actions. An early version of their logo contained a pink triangle. Starting as the symbol which the Nazi’s forced homosexuals to wear, it had become an underground symbol embraced by the LGBTQ community.
In the early days of the Chorus many men wouldn’t invite co-workers to performances in case someone figured it out that all (or most) of the singers were gay. There were many members who refused to allow their real names in concert programs.
While always being known quietly as a “gay men’s chorus” a new logo, emphasizing the rainbow, wasn’t adopted until Season 23. We were making progress!
Even though “gay” wasn’t in the name, the Chorus openly put on a PRIDE concert every spring. They used some provocative images (shirtless men!) and titles like “Which Way Do You Swing” for a Jazz focused concert. And then there were the midnight cabarets. They were NOT subtle … but they were also tucked away, small ‘family’ affairs.
For 30 years, the CCMC has been growing in pride. And after season 25, we began to highlight and display a new mission statement prominently. “Gay men and allies” are the first four words!
We know we are a gay men’s chorus.
Our audience knows we are a gay men’s chorus.
After 30 years of growing acceptance and pride in our identity it is time to call ourselves what we are: The Austin Gay Men’s Chorus.
Claiming our name is the next chapter in our coming out story. From a position of ‘truth in labeling’ we can continue the conversation about being a completely inclusive community. We’re not just an inclusive men’s chorus, we’re an inclusive gay men’s chorus; open to any person willing to join together with us to change minds, transform lives, and build community!