Out of the Box
Peterson Toscano has a knack for using comedy to talk about incredibly serious issues. An LGBTQ rights activist and a Bible scholar, he weaves together stories that seem to have nothing to do with each other. He then reveals the common threads that holds us all together. For the last four years he has been using his comic storytelling powers to communicate climate change. Experience the humor, warmth, and creative energy as Peterson performs some of his funniest and most moving pieces.
At the 2017 Northeast Regional gathering of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Peterson will share his unique climate comedy and storytelling.
In addition to being the host of Citizens’ Climate Radio, Peterson Toscano is a comic, a Bible scholar, and human rights advocate. He travels throughout North America, Europe, and Southern Africa performing original one-person presentations that combine scholarship, storytelling, and clear calls to action. Peterson has been featured in the New York Times, the Times of London, NPR Morning Edition, People Magazine, and the Tyra Banks Show.
Peterson Toscano is uniquely able to reach out to people through the power of story and comedy to bring a listener through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression all the way to inspiration and action. Even better, he is fun and engaging and highlights the value to be found in understanding and engaging with people with a different backgrounds and perspectives. The world would be a better place if everyone could listen to Peterson for an hour."
Confessions of a Climate Action Figure
Saturday March 18, 2017
NE Regional CCL at UMASS Amherst
Conversations that entertain and enlighten
As an active climate leader, Toscano finds inspiration in his Quaker faith, and while that certainly has a lot to do with his motivation, it's far from his only method of relating to diverse audiences. For Toscano, a character actor who regularly performs his climate-minded theatrics in live productions across the country, the art is to bring people in with laughter and not scare them away with doom and gloom scenarios. He purposefully avoids shame and instead provides hope accompanied with a chuckle, giving audience members something to feel good about.
Who is Peterson Toscano?
Peterson Toscano is a performance artist, activist and comic storyteller. Although he performs throughout North America and Europe, he actually lives in Sunbury, PA. Toscano presents 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, for the past two years 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 creator of Climate Stew and the host of Citizens Climate Radio.
Peterson Toscano led a transformative lunch-time discussion exploring the intersection between race, justice, and climate change, focusing on environmental racism in disaster relief efforts. From beginning to end, Peterson made Bates students feel welcomed, supported, and hopeful - a task nearly impossible when discussing the climate crisis. Peterson Toscano, a true beam of light, touched hearts and minds as he equipped Bates students with the rhetorical tactics and perspective necessary to create a more equitable world, and for that we are so thankful!