Seattle Men’s Chorus member finds new home at a local church

SEATTLE — A Seattle Men’s Chorus member found a new home at the Seattle Unity Church that helped him embrace and connect with his true self.

Mitchell C. Hunter had a negative experience with religion that prompted him to move hundreds of miles across the state.

He joined the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus in the 90s.

While a member of the chorus, he was invited to sing at the Seattle Unity Church, which he now calls his new home.

Diane Robertson, associate minister at Seattle Unity Church, describes the church as a welcoming spiritual community in the heart of Seattle and a place for people who had a negative experience with religion.

“Part of our mission is to be very inclusive and diverse,” Robertson said. She says the church strives to be “welcoming to all people,” regardless of their religious background.

The church is also a place where people can come together in fellowship on a higher level — something that stood out to Mitchell, who connects in his own way.

Mitchell says the Seattle Men’s Chorus gave him the confidence and acceptance to express his true self as he connects through prayer, meditation and sketching.

Despite the adversities members of the LGBTQIA community face, Mitchell says it’s important for people to become an ally for those who want to show their support for their community.

“Maybe think about the safety of whether or not I have to wait to go to the bathroom all day. I don’t want to hold that all day just so I can have a gender neutral or a place where I can feel safe or comfortable. And it’s like, these are things that people don’t think about all day long, and so understanding your privilege is one of those things — being able to signal that you’re an open and welcoming to our community,” Mitchell said.

Robertson added that the church is a “healing space” and that Mitchell “can explore spirituality and be welcomed for exactly who he is” without “needing to change who he is to adapt to the community.”