I could not wait to see the piece because for it she interviewed my dad, Pete Toscano. What would he say??? There are some things he doesn’t talk too much about, but somehow he easily opens up to a stranger. He’s been interviewed before for his involvement in the Korean War, and I learned more about his war service from those articles than from anything he ever told us directly.
He is very affirming of me, but even so, I didn’t have a clue of what he might share.
From When a Dos Equis Is More Than a Beer–Peterson Toscano navigates the ex-gay movement
In many ways, Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House is as much a tribute to family as it is a diatribe against the ex-gay movement.
Pete Toscano, who served in both the marines and army, belies the stereotypes of Italian father and soldier. He is proud of his gay son and sees his performances often.
“I think he’s helping a lot of people,” the senior Toscano says. “A lot of people don’t want to come out in the open. Sometimes people hold things inside and it’s a bad situation. Before you know it, they either commit suicide or turn to dope.”
While he supports his son, it’s not without its difficulties.
“It’s a little tough, to tell you the truth,” the 75-year-old father says. “I miss his wife. Because his wife was part of our family. And she was a real wonderful girl.
“And he’s got no children. That’s another part I miss, to carry the Toscano name,” he continues. “But we’re happy with him—very happy with him.”
Dad once again reminds me that when we seek to be something that we are not and put ourselves in roles that we cannot maintain, many people get hurt and the pain lives on long after we put down those false images of ourselves. In the ex-gay world, we see all sorts of casualities.