Meet “Iridis”: the First LGBTIQ + Choir in Central America

    So far with 32 members and growing

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    Two years ago “Iridis” was born, the first openly LGBTIQ + choir in Costa Rica and Central America. It did so with the firm intention of becoming a space for sexually diverse people to express themselves in a fraternal and non-judgmental environment. This was explained by the director of Iridis, Luciano Solís, who added that it is about bringing music with messages full of self-esteem, respect and equality.

    “The initiative arises from my personal experience. It was my journey to recognize myself as an openly homosexual person. But also how choral music provided at a crucial moment the support and stability that I needed to give a direction and meaning to my life”, Solís said.

    The culture of this type of choir was born in the late seventies. These groups appeared in response to the visibility and empowerment campaign of famed gay councilor Harvey Milk. The first choir of this format took place in California and was called the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chrorus.

    Two years of learning and growth

    Since its appearance and until now, Iridis has 32 members, who come from different parts of the country and Latin America. They are people who have a deep love for choral music. But also for sharing life experiences that allow them to continue growing in a safe environment. “We have been fortunate to have great talent from our members and the support of various entities for the use of appropriate spaces for calls and rehearsals,” added Solís.

    Among the members there are:

    6 sopranos

    8 high

    12 tenors

    6 bass

    Iridis recently held an audition for new members. And soon he will make another extraordinary one.

    All are welcomed

    When asked if it is an exclusive choir for sexually diverse people, Solís indicated no. “As an inclusive choir, we welcome those who are members or not (close friends) of the LGBTIQ + community who are lovers of choral music.

    “It is not a requirement to have previous experience, just the desire to work as a team to achieve harmonious ensembles and interpretation of the seasonal repertoire,” added the director of Iridis. Regarding the repertoire that the choir performs, Solís explained: “We have been emphatic in interpreting themes that touch the hearts of our members.

    “But that in turn (be themes that) carry a message to society such as self-acceptance, respect for diversity, love, self-esteem, tolerance. We also interpret emblematic themes of the community,” he said. One of the choir’s plans is to carry out national tours, especially in rural areas. Iridis also plans to organize the first LGBTIQ + choir meeting in Costa Rica.

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