Meet Turkey’s First—and Only—Queer Choir

These lyrics—part of a song titled “Rainbow Anthem”—were being belted out by a group of around 15 young queer people in a cramped room in the small coastal city of Mersin, Turkey. It is one of the last places you would expect to find Turkey’s first and only LGBTQ choir, but that choir is on the front lines of the fight for LGBTQ and other minority rights in the country of 80 million.

The choir members were smiling and casual. At the front of the group, three members hammered out beats on traditional Turkish drums. Occasionally, one of them would break out into spontaneous dance, moving to the front of the room while the other members clapped.

The songs sounded traditional for the most part: They were accompanied by guitars and drums, nothing electronic. Most of them were upbeat, with the choir members singing in quick rhythmic bursts. More @ Slate Photo by Pesha Magid @ Slate

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