Ensemble Statement: "The GenOUT Youth Chorus – an outreach ensemble of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC – is one of only nine ensembles for LGBTQ+ and allied youth in the US. GenOUT’s mission is to give queer and allied youth a voice and connect that voice to community. Through performing, GenOUT gives LGBTQ+ youth an outlet to be their authentic selves, be active participants in social justice, and use their voices to affirm, educate, and inspire. GenOUT is a place of belonging for a population of youth who do not see themselves reflected equally or positively in their schools and communities. GenOUT’s program includes weekly rehearsals (divided into rehearsal, community-building, and social justice segments), two retreats, an annual summer camp, a dozen outreach performances, ten mainstage concerts, and free one-on-one lessons. GenOUT’s adult leadership – a diverse team made up of adults from the GMCW and broader communities – are role models of core values like vulnerability and honesty, and skills such as communication, listening, and planning. GenOUT is a self-selected choir: the only requirements for joining are a love of singing, a commitment to using your voice to promote social justice, and a desire to work with others. More than 150 students from over 60 schools in the DC area have sung in GenOUT since its founding in January 2015. The ensemble is committed to equity of access and representation, evidenced by a long-term plan to increase membership of youth of color and youth from underrepresented areas. GenOUT’s support system includes a network of 154 schools, 22 organizations, and 81 faith communities. GenOUT will always be important as long as LGBTQ+ youth are stigmatized, bullied, and experience higher rates of homelessness and suicide. GenOUT uplifts queer youth and gives them a platform where they can exercise their full potential."