'Singing reminds people we are united': Queer Durham chorus promotes social justice through music

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- For nearly 40 years, the sounds of social change have echoed throughout the halls of local churches, theatres and festivals.

"We are a chorus of feminist, LGBTQ singers. We are women identified, trans, non-binary singers. Our mission is to be a beacon of love, equality and justice through the healing power of music," said Kristen Stinnett, artistic director of the Common Woman Chorus.

Practice sessions shifted online once the pandemic hit causing the 90 members to forge ahead with important work.

"We need hope. Times are hard. Times were hard before COVID. Times were hard before George Floyd died. He wasn't first," said Stinnett.

The chorus represents a safe space for members like Michelle Pooler.

"You are boldly and unapologetically loved by people. It's safe to be queer. I get to just be completely myself. I don't have to talk about my identity, but if I do I will be embraced and celebrated," said Pooler.

The Common Woman Chorus has found common ground and continue lifting their voices in song.

"We just have to keep singing for that to remind people that we are together and we are united," said Stinnett.

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