The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has become a target for right-wing trolls following the release of a new comedy video.
The song, titled “A Message From the Gay Community,” debuted on YouTube earlier this month. The song, a satirical tune poking fun at the long-standing right-wing accusation that gay people recruit children, notes the gains in visibility and acceptance by LGBTQ people in recent years.
“There really is no escaping it / because even the grandmother loves Rupaul / And the world is getting nicer / Gen Z is more gay than Grindr,” the men sing in the video.
The premise of the song – and a few lyrics out of context – caught the fury of the Republican troll machine. Right-wing conspiracy site InfoWars attacked the choir in an article, accusing it of promoting pedophilia. Members of the choir have also received death threats.
“We received emails, phone messages, threats on all of our social media platforms – not just the choir, but the staff, as well as the soloists who featured in the song,” Chris Verdugo, Executive Director of The Gay Men’s Chorus, told the site SFist. “The [Youtube] the comment that keeps coming to my mind is the one that said “We’re going to put some lead in your head.”
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“Someone on Twitter took a screenshot of the singers in the choir and created a spreadsheet and started identifying them,” he explained. “Some of our members ‘jobs were contacted saying,’ Do you know a pedophile works for you? Or things of that nature. The singers on their social networks have received threats.
Critics of the song clung to a specific lyric in the song as justification. “We are going to convert your children / Someone has to teach them not to hate / We are coming for them / We are coming for your children,” say the lyrics.
The ironic nature of the lyrics is seemingly (and perhaps intentionally) lost on right-wingers already disgusted with the existence of LGBTQ people. SFist further reports that a Twitter user also claimed to have identified men in the video as registered sex offenders. An investigation, however, revealed that the men the user claims to have identified only have similar names and do not match the photographs listed in Megan’s Law’s database.
Meanwhile, the Gay Men’s Chorus has made the original YouTube video private in an effort to protect attendees. The group also reported the harassment to the FBI and San Francisco Police.
The attack on San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus comes at a somewhat ironic moment given the ongoing sex scandals plaguing lawmakers and Republican donors. Currently, Congressman Matt Gaetz is under investigation for sex trafficking of minors. Republican donor Jerry Falwell, Jr. has spent most of the last year avoiding allegations of sexual exploitation of students at the college where he was president of Liberty University. Just this week GOP congressman Madison Cawthorn also faced further sexual harassment loads by a group of women.