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    Celebrating 40 Years of ‘Tales of the City’ and a New Beginning for Me

    gmc1(Editor’s Note: We are tremendously honored to be launching a new column in the San Francisco Bay Times authored by Dr. Tim Seelig, who is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Whether he is deftly conducting the hundreds of talented singers in the Chorus or writing this column, his brilliance and engaging, warm manner are so evident. Both his words and his music seem to always emotionally connect with others. In concerts, he has us both crying and laughing our hearts out, seemingly within minutes. We are stoked about this new adventure with him, and hope that you are just as curious as we are about what’s in store!)

    When I was approached about doing a regular column for the San Francisco Bay Times, I was thrilled. My next thought was, “What ever will I write?” I then excitedly shared this opportunity and my worry with my friends. Most said, “How will they keep you to under 600 words?” People say the Seeligs can just talk until they think of something to say! Well, this same thing happened to me some years ago when a publisher asked me to write a book. I said, “I’m not old enough to write a book!” He suggested I look in the mirror. Now there are six books! Apparently, I had a lot to say.

    The column is my opportunity to share random musings with you once a month–no subject matter restrictions! It will be wide ranging: from food to travel; from dogs to husbands; from family to life in the city by the bay. There will be a little music thrown in from time to time to appease my employer–an eighth note here and there.

    gmmc

    Why “TLC: Tears, Laughs and Conversation”? Well, I must admit that artists and musicians are sometimes known to have “wide emotional palettes”! Just sayin’.

    The timing of this new adventure is amazing. In one month, readers worldwide will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first installation of stories about our friends at 28 Barbary Lane penned by Armistead Maupin. Of course that first article would become the international phenomenon, “Tales of the City.”

    If you are going to invest your time in reading what I have to say, perhaps it is good to share my “stats,” since that is the first step to getting to know someone these days.

    Name: Tim

    Height: 5’9”

    Weight: 195 (After one year in San Francisco, my Doctor asked, “Are you just eating your way through the city?” I proudly said, “Yup!”)

    Age: Not nice to ask in polite company. Hint: I got Medicare as a gift for my last birthday.

    Relationship: Married (to the best guy ever).

    Children: 2.  Both happily married.

    Grandchildren: 2. Both girls!

    Now, for the “Why me?” Well, there are so many answers to that. When I applied for the job at San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, they asked what was the best thing I would bring to the job. I answered, “Empathy.” They thought I had misunderstood the question. I simply said, “There is very little the singers or audience members might have experienced that I have not shared in some way or on some level.”

    Married (to a woman). Divorced. Children (and Grandchildren). Opera singer (in Europe). University Professor (4 decades). Southern Baptist minister of music–when I came out (OK, that’s an entire series of articles in itself.). Author. Speaker. Conductor of LGBT Choruses since 1987! Currently, the very grateful conductor of the first gay men’s chorus on the planet! It’s been a wild and fabulous ride. And I hope to share some of it with you.

    Now, I am celebrating the beginning of this new adventure–with you! In one month, I’ll be back with article #2–and joining the one and only Armistead Maupin on stage at Davies Symphony Hall with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony. What a way to celebrate Armistead’s last 40 years, and a new beginning for me. Please join us!

    I look forward to sharing lots of TLC: Tears, Laughs and Conversation (and Tender Loving Care).

    Tim

    P.S. 590 words. I did it! I’ll let my friends know.

    Dr. Tim Seelig is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.