Peterson Toscano provides a lively, insightful, and hilarious presentation that helps his audiences wrap their heads and hearts around global warming. This is NOT your normal climate change presentation. Filled with hope, honesty and humor, Peterson’s audiences open up as they consider their roles on a new planet.
Peterson, a Quaker and comic from Pennsylvania, helps us look at our current climate crisis from multiple angles including as a human rights issue as well as a deeply spiritual one. He raises the questions: What is a Queer Response to Climate Change? & What Does Faith Have to do with It?
No one gets mocked or guilted into action, instead audience members relax and walk away with fresh ideas and hope. (No polar bears are harmed during the performance; but we do poke fun at them.)
For the past decade, Peterson Toscano has dug deeply into the intersection of faith and queer culture, coming up with pieces that are incisive, explanatory, thoughtful, kind to all parties, and moving. He has paired these performances with lectures and discussions that draw in viewers of all sorts of backgrounds, getting them to truly engage with the material.
The speaker tonight was unlike any speaker I have ever encountered. He managed to keep his audience captivated, engaged, and humored while discussing a serious current issue... Instead of scaring his audience into believing about climate change and feeling guilty...he requested that his audience refocus, remember, and respond.
Through the lens of relatable, endearing and hilarious characters we found ourselves considering the intersections between LGBTQ justice and climate change, what we can learn from the LGBTQ struggle for justice and the infinite resources available to us through these relationships.
Peterson Toscano is a performance artist, activist and comic storyteller.
He performs throughout North America and Europe presenting original one-person comedies that explore gender, sexuality, faith, and climate change. His own personal story is bizarre. At first he struggled to accept himself seeing a conflict between his Christian faith and his gay orientation. After 17 years and over $30,000 trying to “de-gay” himself, he came to his senses and came out gay. He created the one-person play, Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House, helped produce the award winning documentary film, This is What Love in Action Looks Like, and contributed to the Lambda Award winning anthology, Gender Outlaws–The Next Generation.
As someone concerned with human rights, Toscano has taken on climate change as his primary focus as he considers LGBTQ, faith, and comic responses to the climate crisis. His does not dole out the typical gloom and doom, shame and guilt global warming messages. Instead he infuses his work with hope. He challenges audiences to pursue community building as he helps them connect climate change to everything from immigration to a cup of coffee. He is the host of the popular Climate Stew podcast and is a contributor to the Huffington Post.
A Quirky Queer Quaker Response to Climate Change
Monday March 21, 2016 7 PM
Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Century Room
Northland College, 1411 Ellis Ave, Ashland, WI
Want a sample? Check out these clips from Peterson’s Climate Stew Show.