Peterson Toscano is an internationally recognized comedian and storyteller who performs hilarious comedies that he infuses with warmth and love. But his own personal story is no joke.
As a teenager, Peterson Toscano gave his heart to Jesus and felt called to the mission field. For all his passion to serve the Lord, he felt disqualified. He knew he was not attracted to women, instead he was romantically and sexually attracted to men. Growing up at the height of the HIV/AIDS Crisis with politicians and preachers publicly denouncing the “gay lifestyle,” Peterson believed he had only one choice, to repent of his gay orientation and seek God for transformation.
He spent 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents actively seeking help from Christian counselors, ex-gay ministries, gay reparative therapists, and for two years attended a residential program designed to help men find freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ.
As the years went by, he realized that he was changing, but not in the ways he had hoped. The more he fought off his gay orientation, the stronger it seemed to grow. More importantly while he longed to cultivate the fruit of the Holy Spirit, (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) he instead harvested a crop of self-hatred, confusion, depression, anger, compulsive behavior, and thoughts of suicide.
He came to a breaking point and reluctantly accepted the reality that he was gay, much like a person receives the diagnosis of a terminal illness. Then began the long journey to find faith as a gay man.
As he came to grips with himself and grew comfortable in his own skin, Peterson became a Bible scholar and an advocate for human rights. He also began doing comedy. “Humor relaxes people, and it helps me to better understand my own struggles,” Peterson says. “It also provides a way to look deeper into issues that at times are too hot to handle.”
Peterson will share from the heart his own long and complicated journey to live faithfully, and he will perform excerpts from his hilarious and heart-warming one-person plays that explore faith, the Bible, LGBTQ issues, human rights, and most recently, climate change.
Saturday February 27, 2016 6:30 PM at the Buggy Museum in Mifflinburg, PA. $5.00 suggested donation. No one will be turned away. Presentation will be followed by free light refreshments and Q&A period.
Who is Peterson Toscano and what can you expect?
What is most lovely about his performance work is that Peterson does it without judgment or malice. He makes his audience face themselves, accept their own brokenness, but not hate or loathe ourselves in the process. That is a gift. And he’s got it and is gracious enough to share it.
Peterson Toscano can take an audience from belly laughs one moment to arresting, reverent silence the next. His honesty, his rawness, speaks to his talent, and to his courage in giving so much of his heart to his audience. A play by Peterson is a transcendent, community building experience.