Commuters on their way to work were serenaded this morning by the London Gay Men’s Chorus at Angel Station.
Almost 25 years ago, the nine original members of the London Gay Men’s Chorus sang at Angel Station to raise money for HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust.
This morning, members of the LGMC, in partnership with Transport for London, returned to that spot to raise awareness of World AIDS Day.
A larger group is set to perform this evening at Tottenham Court Road Station, in order to continue fundraising for the Chorus and for THT, and to entertain tourists and weary commuters.
— TerrenceHigginsTrust (@THTorguk) December 1, 2016
“These two special performances are the perfect way to mark and close our Silver Jubilee year,” chairman of the LGMC, John D. Carrion said.
“In the 25 years of its existence, the LGMC has developed into a charity itself, and an internationally performing organisation with over 200 members.
“The Chorus combats homophobia in schools through music via our Youth, Education and Outreach programme, helps raise funds for other charities and works at home and abroad to promote equality.
“It’s therefore fitting that we can return to where it all began to raise money for the Chorus and Terrence Higgins Trust once again, as well as raising awareness of World AIDS Day.”
The chorus have worked closely with TFL over the last few months to deliver their fantastic performances. Ben Lyon, Chair of OUTbound, TfL’s LGBT+ Staff Network, added: “We are proud to be supporting the LGMC’s 25th anniversary performances at Angel and Tottenham Court Road Tube stations. We hope that our customers enjoy the shows and take the opportunity to support both charities this World AIDS Day.”
The uplifting performance from LGMC drew a stark contrast with figures released this morning by Terrence Higgins Trust revealing the ‘deeply entrenched’ myths that many gay and bisexual men still harbour when it comes to HIV.
Of those gay and bisexual men who took part in THT’s research, 30% believed that sharing a toothbrush with someone who is HIV positive can pass on the virus.
Meanwhile, one in ten gay and bisexual men surveyed believed HIV can be transmitted by kissing.
“We’ve come a long way since the AIDS crisis first emerged, when the nation was gripped by panic and fear,” explained THT’s chief executive Ian Green.
“Thankfully, we now know far more about how HIV is and is not transmitted, and medical advances now mean HIV doesn’t have to stand in the way of living a long and healthy life.
“But it’s not over – while science has moved on, we can see today that inaccurate myths from the 1980s are still deeply entrenched in society, both in terms of how HIV is transmitted, and what it’s like to live with HIV.
“Misunderstanding of the virus can fuel stigma and cause immense distress for people coming to terms with an HIV diagnosis. Much more needs to be done to bring the British public up to date with what HIV means in 2016.”
The evening performance by the London Gay Men’s Chorus will take place in the ticket hall of Tottenham Court Road Tube station at 6.30pm, it’s free to attend, and will include songs from their recent special gala concert at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
Find out more about World AIDS Day at tht.org.uk/worldaidsday or search #itsnotover.