Monday, March 03, 2008

I was an Ex-Gay in Bible School

Well, that is not exactly true, it was a Christian Liberal Arts College and I was trying to be ex-gay. Putting me in the dorm with the entire soccer team and an old-fashion communal shower stall sorely tested my resolve. Those were the days of the 5am two minute showers. My roommate, an Italian bodybuilder with skimpy nylon shorts even in the dead of winter, knew of my "struggles." I had explained it all to him on our first day rooming. That didn't get him to put on anymore clothes. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Nyack College, in Nyack, NY. I attended for two years. Well, I nearly completed one year when after repeated falls from grace, the dean of students asked me to withdraw lest I be kicked out. After a summer of intensive counseling with my pastor, Nyack took me back, but this time into Simpson Hall, where they had private shower stalls and music majors. During my second year at Nyack I fell in love with a boy, dated a girl, and kept all my secrets to myself. I learned an important lesson at that Christian school. Don't be too honest about your struggles; it will just get in trouble.

I head back to Nyack, NY on Sunday to do a play, not at the college, but at The Nyack Center.
What: Peterson Toscano's one-person play, "Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House: How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement."
When: 7 p.m. March 9. Doors open at 6.
Where: Nyack Center, 58 Depew Ave., Nyack.
More information: Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Students pay $10. Call 845-634-5729 or visit
Suzan Clarke of the Journal News interviewed me and published an article about my ex-gay journey and the show—Survivor of ex-gay therapy to perform at Nyack Center.

And yes, last week was the official retirement show of Homo No Mo. This is just my Cher-like victory lap (with less costume changes and wigs).

While I am in Nyack, I actually would welcome the opportunity to meet up with folks at the college or the seminary. I am technically one of their spawn. Technically.

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At 9:29 PM , Blogger Allyson Dylan Robinson said...

You were an ex-gay at Bible college? Oh yeah? Well, I was an ex-trans (or at least tried to be) at the biggest Baptist college in the world. Unfortunately, it's also home to some of the best dressed women in the Big 12. I never had a chance.

Congratulations on the homecoming, Peterson, and enjoy your victory lap. You've earned it!

At 9:36 PM , Blogger Huw Richardson said...

OMG. Talk about a flashback! Across the river at The King's College (in the early 80s) I was giving back-rubs to the cap'n of the soccer team and trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Then I went to an Episcopal youth conference where they helped me figure it all out. (Then I transferred to NYU...)

At 11:36 AM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

ally, thanks. Ah, and to think of the pressure you were under with all that big hair and fabulous clothes!

Huw, what is it with these soccer guys wanting back rubs! So funny how our stories mirror each other but for a couple of miles. After Nyack I transferred to CCNY.

At 12:02 PM , Blogger Joe G. said...

And yes, last week was the official retirement show of Homo No Mo. This is just my Cher-like victory lap (with less costume changes and wigs).

So is this your way of "inching out" of the plastic surgery closet? I still think this recent "rest and relax" shin-dig had much more going on than what you first acknowledged.

Just saying...

Joe G.

PS: Pop's ok?

At 12:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

oooo Joe G you are naughty!! Although I did see a pic of Peterson on facebook and thought he looked wafer thin... lipo maybe? ;)

At 3:53 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

Joe, my dad is fine. He suddenly has far too much energy but still must rest.

As to your suggestion that I am getting some work done...well, You know I am vegan and that immediately takes 10 years off, add to that my extensive face cream regime and that brings to to somewhere in the late mid-20s (with low lighting and blurry lens).

Auntie, not quite wafer thin, more like pita thin.

At 5:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late mid-20's? Hahahahha, yeah yeah... does that make it more or less acceptable for teenage boys to try and pick you up then? ;)

At 6:18 PM , Blogger Huw Richardson said...

A couple of miles and few years (decade or so?), I think. ;-)


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