Josh Rittberg

Arts and Culture Editor

Millersville Junior, Angel G. Martinez is a Theatre major here at the university, who isn’t trans himself, but is a strong ally of the community. After noticing over his time at the university that trans and non-binary voices were getting silenced, he decided to start his own choir. This choir is intended to bring together those who feel like their voice is not being heard on campus. Martinez says that “There are people not passing or choose not to transition yet they still identify.” Sadly, we are living in a world and time where trans, non-binary and LGBTQ rights are not being treated with respect and justice. This makes this choir more important than ever on campus.

Martinez intends this group to be less formal and “more like a family”. He hopes for a more “accepting and nurturing environment” for this choir. Martinez   believes that “the music sounds better when it is a family, when there is cohesion together.” The choir currently has five to six members but he hopes that there are more members to join over the coming years. Martinez is a male soprano/alto himself and hopes through this group to “diminish the amount of discrimination and stigma against voice variants and those who do not identify as the norm.” Music is a universal art and one that has the ability to bring joy and a sense of community. These are two main aims of this group.

It was not easy as a college student for Martinez to stand up and actively make a change. He had to go out and actually encourage students to speak up. He hopes that in the future for students “to not be a bystander, because being a bystander and watching things happen is just as bad as you doing the action.” Currently, the group is working on Christmas music and probably will do some caroling around holiday time. He hopes eventually that his group is viewed as “Just another choir, and that its sole identity is the choir that welcomes LGBTQ students.” He hopes it includes everyone and accepts everyone. This group is trying to show that they are just as much a choir and part of the music community as everyone else. In terms of the Millersville LGBTQ community, Martinez wants to see “More outspoken students and that they take concern towards what is happening to the group.”

He hopes for more outspoken students so ultimately no “discrimination happens and that at least Millersville is a safe place.” He hopes that this choir says to those in the Millersville community “Look what they can do and look what their sound can sound like regardless of who they are.” This choir is still beginning, but hopefully through more representation over the years, this group can serve as a safe haven for those who are LGBTQ to feel loved but also as a beacon of acceptance and hope for the Millersville Community.