Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Homo No Mo" No More????

As promised, I have an important announcement to share with you. It's something that I had determined months ago, but sat with it, talked to my support committee and some of you about and held in the Light since that time.

I feel confident and even excited to announce that in February 2008 I will officially retire my play, Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway Houuse--How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement. I premiered the play in Memphis, TN in February 2003 (on my birthday) and have since taken it far and wide. (A Google Vanity Search yields nearly 12,000 hits for the term "Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House")

Back in 2003 there was very little out there countering the claims of ex-gay therapies and ministries. Mike Airhart had just started Ex-Gay Watch, and although gay activists, like Wayne Besen, spoke out against the Ex-Gay Movement, there were no ex-gay survivors telling their stories in any public way.

Since that time so much has changed. Folks like Christine Bakke and Darlene Boggle and Shawn O'Donnell and Eric Leocadio and Alex Resare and David Christie and Daniel Gonzales and (I could go on for quite some time) have come forward to share their own stories. Christine Bakke and I (with lots of help from Steve Boese, who reviewed Homo No Mo back in 2003) set up Beyond Ex-Gay (bXg) in April of this year and filled it with lots of powerful stories.

The Ex-Gay Survivor Conference and Soulforce's Ex-Gay Survivor Initiative have helped to highlight the concerns of ex-gay survivors and the clear message that many of us experienced more harm than good in our pursuit to suppress and change our sexuality. As a result, several survivors have shared their stories in video and placed them on YouTube. Currently there are at least eight differen documentary films in the works that all deal with the ex-gay issue. There is the autumn release of Save Me, a film about the ex-gay struggle, and new blogs by ex-gay survivors are being created weekly.

My story is out there, in large part because of my play and talks, and has been featured in news stories, documentaries, and TV programs (check out this week's Edge article). I feel it is time for me to lay down the Homo No Mo play. In part, I want to make room for other people to tell their stories. Also, I know it will not be healthy or even interesting to be stuck in the same role for a long time. I have other plays that I do and still others in the works.

I do intend to produce a high quality DVD version of Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House. We may do some filming in December with hopes of having it out by the spring of 2008. And I will perform the play as often as possible between now and February. My hope is to have my final performance in Memphis. (the fall schedule will be up once I return from England)

If you have been saying for years that you MUST get Homo No Mo to a theater or church or university near you, this your time to act. Feel free to contact Sarah or me.

But more importantly I want to thank you for your support and affirmation as I have been telling my story through the Homo No Mo play. I feel a special fondness for the piece in large part because of the many amazing people I have gotten to know through performing it. Through writing, performing and re-writing the piece, I learned a great deal about myself and my own struggle.

Today I see big shifts happening in the ex-gay world and the church, so I believe my play will very soon lose its relevance and simply become historical. We have lots to celebrate, and I see this final run of Homo No Mo to be part of that celebration.

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At 11:50 AM , Blogger Guano said...

Congratulations on a wonderful run!

At 12:53 PM , Blogger Elliot Coale said...

I feel honored to have been able to see the show with my mom at UMASS when I did (thank you again for calling us about it when you did). "Homo No Mo" is a great show and will be missed, but you have initiated great change with it. Congratulations on a terrific show and a spectacular long run.

At 1:20 PM , Blogger Brian said...

Congrats on a great run and you can beat I'll be grabbing myself a copy of the DVD when it's available!

At 2:09 PM , Blogger Joe G. said...

will the DVD version be filmed in front of a live (as opposed to dead) audience???

It was a good run, Peterson! Congrats!

At 2:28 PM , Blogger Noa Resare said...

To me seeing the play was life changing. Bless you.

At 2:53 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

joe, we are drafted a group of zombies, the living dead, to make up the audience. It will be in LA, so that should not be too hard to pull together.


At 3:42 PM , Blogger Joe Moderate said...


thank you for the marvelous performance. When I saw Homo No Mo at the bXg conference, I was in tears like those around me. And I was left thinking about it for quite some time. I discussed it with my parents (evangelical Christians who are trying their best to understand why I left ex-gay ministry and have chosen to date a man), and they expressed a lot of interest in it.

Now that Homo No Mo's days are numbered, I'm curious to know: are there any performances between now and February 2008 in or near Texas? That's where my parents live... far, far away from Illinois, where I presently live.

If not, I will eagerly await the release of the DVD!

Thanks for pouring your heart and your story into such a powerful piece of drama.



At 5:05 PM , Blogger Allyson Dylan Robinson said...

Make that two votes for Texas. =)

Peterson, many congratulations, and many thanks. You've made such a difference...

At 6:11 PM , Blogger Alex Resare said...

Thanks for changing the world!

At 10:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make that three votes for Texas.

And congratulations on a great run; I know that putting your heart and soul into that play took a great deal of courage. And I also know that you've reached a point where you know it is time to move on, to go 'beyond ex-gay'. (How's that for a shameless (but free) plug?) May you find the same depth of soul as you go on with your life's work, whatever it might be and wherever it takes you. Think of it this way, your next step is to show us how to survive the 'now what?' phase of this journey. And believe me, I for one, can use all the inspiration I can get.

At 11:06 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

Texas, Texas, Texas, always clamoring for me, but never coming up with the goods. :-)

You see I would LOVE to come to Texas, I would adore it, BUT I need a gig to get me there. I need contacts at universities or churches or theaters, in other words I need YOU to help me make it happen and then we get to hang out. Win/Win.

So Texas, what you gonna do about it? (tag, you are it!)

At 9:26 PM , Blogger Cat C-B (and/or Peter B) said...

Thank goodness you're going to bring out a DVD of the performance. I was just incredibly moved by the performance you gave last year at NEYM Sessions, and I have the sense, too, that it meant the world to the Young Friends to be able to share their Peterson with the rest of the gathering. (I got the impression that the love the YFs have for you may even go beyond Little Debbie snacks, heretical as that notion might seem...)

Anyway, like all really good, really truthful theater, your performance was a really spiritually powerful one for me, and I thank you so much for putting so much heart and soul and--oh, yeah, crazy wild humor--into it for so long.

Brightest blessings...and I'll be looking out for your next project!


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