If we don’t start attending live performances again, DFW will lose its LGBTQ arts companies

I’m a tried-and-true, dedicated-to-my-bad-habits homebody. I will take an evening at home (lots of snacks nearby and

TV on) over a night out any day. I even have a special pair of socks specifically for such occasions.

And so COVID, as horrible as it was (and is) spoiled me; Nothing on the calendar; all my favorite things delivered to me with minimal effort. Everything I loved was within easy reach of either my phone or my remote.

So, yes, these are tough habits to break! The convenience is just too entirely tempting. I mean, how incredible is it to order up a giant bag of Cheetos from the store down the street, stay in my pajamas and just enjoy after they are dropped off at my door? I don’t even have to get up until it’s time to retrieve them from my well-worn doorstep! It’s heaven.

Not to mention, these retailers don’t pay a price for this convenience; we do! We pay the extra for delivery and the tip.

The stores don’t suffer at all.

However, there is an industry out there that DOES indeed pay a price for our newfound desire to stay home and consume, and that’s the arts — the performing arts, specifically.

During lockdowns and lockouts, those of us in the arts generally thrived. Supporters knew we were struggling and hurting, and they helped us through a tough time. And we knocked out virtual concerts, performances and experiences at a frightening and impossible pace.

We delivered. We kept you entertained. We kept you involved.

But now it’s time to come back.

Friends, the performing arts are struggling. Organizations you know and love — the Turtle Creek Chorale, Uptown Players, the Women’s Chorus, Bruce Wood Dance and so many more, all organizations with heavy involvement by our LGBTQ community — are hurting.

There is simply NO experience like sitting in an audience, live, absorbing the energy, love and talent that folks up on stage are ready to deliver.

And YOU, my DFW community, have the BEST of the BEST at your disposal. We live in an epicenter of incredible arts experiences, especially from our LGBTQ arts organizations.

But if YOU don’t come back, those experiences will disappear. And if they go, they will likely be gone for good.

I’m not being dramatic (for once in my life!). These are real issues and there is real damage COVID is causing for our amazing arts organizations.

We are still delivering. We are still staging the same entertaining and provocative experiences we did before COVID.

But we are now doing so at great financial risk, and that’s unsustainable.

So yes, we need you back. But, ya’ know what? YOU need to be back as well. Because nothing — NOTHING — can make your life more enjoyable, your mind more challenged and your heart more touched than a live performance by people you love.

Is it a bit more expensive? Yes. Do you have to shower and put on clothes? Yeah (sorry).

Will it change your life, and change the lives of people in your community? Absolutely.

We hope to see you back in theaters soon. Or we won’t see you at all — ever again.

Sean Mikel Baugh is the Charles A. Longcope Jr. Conductor and Artistic Director of the Turtle Creek Chorale.