Of all the performance pieces I perform, The Identity Monologue seems to work well in every venue so far. Through eight characters in two minutes I tell my life story without actually mentioning that much of that story has to do with struggling over the fact that I was gay and that I spent nearly two decades attempting to de-gay myself. I imagine most people can relate to at least some part of the monologue as most of us have struggled to find ourselves and be ourselves at some point in our lives.
I have taken the piece far and wide performing it a public schools in Boston, Northern Ireland and Spain, at private schools including Sidwell Friends in DC and the Watkinson School in Hartford, CT, at universities such as American, Cambridge and McGill, at gay clubs in Portland, OR and Cape Town, South Africa, and many Quaker meetings and at churches including Baptist, Methodist, Seventh Day and Adventist.
So here for your entertainment:
The Idenity Monologue
by Peterson Toscano
One: I don’t why but for much of my life I’ve struggled with identity. It’s not just accepting myself, but even understanding who I am as a person.
Two: No many people struggle with identity particularly the younger people, which is bad, it is terrible, it is a catastrophe.
Three: And I remember when I was growing up, shootI’d always be looking at other people, to see how they lived their lives, and I wondered what they were thinking about me, and what they were saying behind my back. As a result, I wasn’t always never honest about who I was.
Four: Then I tried to change all sorts of things about myself. You know externally, how I did my hair, the way I walked. Oh one time I even joined the soccer team. But it didn’t make any difference. No one ever treated me better and I never felt good about myelf.
Five: Y no se porque, pero trataba de cambiar muchas cosas en mi vida. Y gritaba al Senor, por favor, ayuda me, cambiame, salvme, perso sin exito.
Six: And I don’t understand why these issues of identity are so complicated, but for me they were, but after years of trials and tribulations, I finally came to the place where I understood who I was, and I accepted myself.
Seven: So now I can say Thank You Very Much. Although the process of self-discovery is a very very difficult process, it is an important process all the same.
Eight: And now when I look at myself in the mirror, and I see other people out and about in the streets, I often say to myself, the most beautiful people in the world, and the most powerful, are those people who are unashamed just to be themselves.