Doin’ Time in Oneonta

I just performed and spoke at the State University of NY at Oneonta (about an hour from the state capital, Albany). I was here last April with Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House and this time I presented Queer 101, showed excerpts of Fish Can’t Fly and spoke about the “ex-gay” movement.

I just love the people here. Amazing professors looking at issues of power and privilege through the lens of African studies, Caribbean studies, Women’s studies, Queer studies…you get the point.

I get to hang out witih super students like Sarah(s) and Amy and Heather and Ishmael and Gavin. I always learn so much when I come to university like this one.

In the audience this evening was a small group of young white men from a conservative Christian campus group. I was so pleased when two of them approached me after the show and asked questions about the Bible and how I can justify being gay in light of what the scriptures seem to say.

We chatted about the six clobber passages, but the thing that struck me most during the conversation was–these guys are my brothers. What would happen if we agreed to overlook those six passages and just do what many Christians do together–pray, talk, worship, study the scriptures, reach out to the needy? We have thousands of things in which we agree. Really, at that moment I just wanted to find a place where we could worship God together.

It’s funny but more and more I am speaking publically about my faith. I find it to be a personal topic (even more personal than when I discuss my “ex-gay” past and issues of sexual addiction and childhood abuse), but it is an important part of who I am.

Well, I’m very tired and have a long drive home through the Berkshire Mountains. Then I have to prep for my performance of Footprints, An Inspriational Comedy (it’s been over a year since I performed this piece).

If I have time tomorrow, I may stop at the Shaker Museum in Old Chatham, NY. If I do, I’ll let you know.

This post has 4 Comments

  1. Anvilcloud on October 27, 2005 at 4:31 pm

    I’m sure that there are reams written elsewhere, but a little exploration into the “six clobber passages” might be beneficial. You have the background to offer sensitive and useful input considering your evangelical background, your Christian spirit, and you non-judgemental approach.

  2. Peterson Toscano on October 28, 2005 at 3:12 am

    anvilcloud, thanks for the confidence you have in me. I have read several essays and sermons on these passages and I think it is important for us to discuss them, but at the end of the day, many conservative Christians will believe what they want to believe the way they have been told to believe it.

    They won’t hear it from a gay man. They need to hear it from their straight pastors.

    That said, recently in Baltimore a woman minister asked me to consider creating a DVD where I have my different characters take on the clobber passages in a way where I can blend solid Biblical exegesis with comedy. I have three other plays to write first!

  3. Jennifer on October 28, 2005 at 4:19 am

    There is a Shaker museum in Maine too!

  4. Jennifer on October 31, 2005 at 3:11 am

    Actually it’s a Shaker village in Maine. I passed the exit for it today on I-95 driving back from a YAF retreat in Framingham. Take the Gray/New Gloucester exit to find it. I have personally never been, but maybe sometime.

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