Thursday, July 14, 2005

"Every Voice Counts, Even the Voice of an Alto Sax"

from the article in The Vital Voice:

Healing Pride -- Despite controversy, our community celebrates

by Colin Murphy, Senior Staff Writer

Dr. Lee Borrine, Director of Fruit Jam Jazz and member of the GLBT musical band "BandTogether" has attended every PrideFest since moving to St. Louis in 1984. Borrine was enjoying watching the parade following BandTogether’s finishing the parade when he heard the hate speech from the loudspeaker of Rev. Philip "Flip" Benham, Director of Operation Rescue/Operation America.

"I thought, ‘no, it couldn’t be, not in this day and age, that guy is preaching hate,’” recalled Borrine. "He’s raining on our parade."

Immediately wanting to do something, Borrine gathered a handful of members of BandTogether, some reluctant, who were still in the area. The alto saxophone player then led the band of about 15 members to the tune of "Tilt at Windmills’ and drowned out the North Carolina clergyman until he was asked to leave by St. Louis police.

"When he was silent, we were silent; when he spoke, we played; when he spoke louder, we played louder," explained Borrine. "The moral of the story: Nonviolent action can make a difference. I had been depressed since the presidential election last November. This one small victory went a long way toward reinstating my hope. It proved that every voice counts, even the voice of an alto sax."

Colin Murphy also reports on other aspects of the June 2005 PrideFest in St. Louis, including other controversies and the extreme heat.

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