Bleu Copas and Christopher Hamblin were each passionate in their own right about equal rights for LGBTQ+ individuals. In March 2012, their two paths crossed at the Tennessee Equality Project’s annual Advancing Equality Day. In between meetings with state legislators, Copas and Hamblin met and exchanged their stories. They realized they both resided in Knoxville and both had dreams of combining their passion for equality and social justice with their love of music. Both dreamed of putting together a gay men’s chorus in Knoxville as a way to strengthen and inspire the LGBTQ community and create bridges with unlikely allies in the area. The Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus already existed in their minds, but it needed to be brought to life.

They returned to Knoxville and recruited for KGMC’s first members and sought somewhere to perform. The opportunity came with the 2012 Breaking the Silence rally, where four men stood beside each other and gave the Knoxville community a taste of what was to come. From that small start, the chorus has grown each year and become one of the largest performing arts and equal rights organizations in the region.

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