I play tenor, alto and occasionally soprano saxophone in the Concert, Marching and Pep Bands. I joined after a 26-year break from playing the sax. I had forgotten how fun it was, and people in the band were super supportive.
The very first time I saw the Band was when I was still in high school in Sacramento in the early 80s. They were the first gay people I’d ever seen, since gay people weren’t really shown on TV. It kickstarted my coming out process. I’m Japanese-American, and one reason I play with the Band is to promote gay Asian visibility. It’s important to me that gay Asians see someone that looks like them, and part of that is marching in globally-televised events like the Chinese New Year Parade.