“Homo No Mo'” No Mo’!

Today I did something I’ve never done before. I watched my play Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House—How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement! I have had video, DVD and audio versions of the play since as early as 2003, but the most I ever watched or listened was about 10 minutes. I always had an image in my head of what the play looked like on stage and worried that if I saw what it really looks like than it would mess something up for me in subsequent performances.

Yesterday I arrived in Memphis, TN (one of my favorite places on the planet). Today I met with Morgan Jon Fox, that fine filmmaker, to look at his edits of my Homo No Mo play which he and his crew filmed back in February. I had to watch the entire film version and give Morgan feedback about the edits and the artistic touches he added.

The crew did an amazing job with the taping of the show, and even though I knew every line, I still found myself laughing out loud at least twice. Towards the end, when the character Chad speaks about his brother’s death, I found myself tearing up a bit. (I know, I know, Joe G is going to accuse me of artistic masturbation or something).

I will have DVDs available for me to take to the UK and Europe during my May trip. If you got one of last year’s DVDs (with the really crap sound quality) let me know, and I will give you a replacement.

Friday I will go back to where I grew up and where my dad still lives so that I can perform my final performance of Homo No Mo in Narrowsburg, NY where I went to school. My agent, Sarah B. Miller, asked me some questions then worked on a blrub for the program.

25 years ago Peterson Toscano graduated from Narrowsburg Central School. He then spent nearly two decades struggling with his faith and his gay orientation, but by 1999 he finally came out as gay. In 2003 he premiered his one-person play, Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House—How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement! a comedy about his experiences in various “change” ministries including two years at the Love in Action ex-gay program where he submitted himself to a de-gayification process.

In the past five years Peterson has become an international sensation performing in over 30 US states, throughout Canada and regularly in Europe and the UK. Praised for both his skills as a playwright and a character actor, he performs at universities, theaters, conferences and progressive faith communities. The two pieces he presents at the Tusten Theatre this weekend are his most personal.

With his comedy Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House—How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement! in addition to morphing into several zany and endearing characters, he also plays his own father, Pete Toscano. In The Re-Education of George W. Bush—No President Left Behind! Peterson shares the wisdom and wit of his mother, Anita Toscano. The Toscanos owned and ran Pete’s Pub (now Our Place on the Lake) in Lake Huntington for over 30 years.

Peterson recently announced that he will retire his Homo No Mo play. In fact, the performance at the Tusten Theatre this weekend will be his the final presentation of it. He will continue to tour with The Re-Education of George W. Bush—No President Left Behind! along with two of his other original works, Queer 101—Now I Know My gAy,B,Cs and Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible, a performance piece about transgender Bible characters. Next week he heads out for a month to offer a series of presentations in England, Northern Ireland and Spain.

Peterson Toscano appeared in the documentary film, Fish Can’t Fly and with his his father, Pete, is featured in the new documentary film Chasing the Devil, Inside the Ex-Gay Movement which recently premiered at the Birmingham Gay and Lesbian film festival. Peterson also appears in the documentary Cure for Love which aired earlier this month on Canadian national TV.

Peterson is an executive producer of a soon to be released feature length documentary film about the ex-gay movement called This is What Love in Action Looks Like. Peterson has appeared on several TV programs including the Tyra Banks Show, Montel Williams and the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, on the pages of People Magazine, the New York Times and Glamour Magazine, and on national public radio programs in the US, Sweden and Austria. He along with Christine Bakke co-founded the organization Beyond Ex-Gay (www.beyondexgay.com), a support network for people who survived the de-gayification process.

Peterson lives in Hartford, CT and has a little cottage in Lake Huntington, NY. His web site is www.petersontoscano.com

He dedicates this weekend’s performances to his parents, Pete and Anita Toscano and in recognition of Narrowsburg Central School. He also gives a special shout out to his sister, Maria Forlenza, her two sons Gregory and Geoffrey, and Maria’s husband, Pat Forlenza!

Thanks Christine for the crazy photo!

So in celebration of five fun and meaningful years of Homo No Mo, for those of you who have seen the show, I would love for you to write in the comments about your favorite character or moment from the play. For me right now my favorite part to perform is Marvin Bloom’s scene (he’s the newest character and he casts demons out of his computer just like I used to do!)

This post has 14 Comments

  1. WordK on April 21, 2008 at 4:20 am Reply

    Congrats on the DVDs!

    I actually find it very hard to pick a favorite character or scene. The emotional mileage you get out of all the characters is amazing. However, as tonight is dedicated to putting together a presentation on Vladimir Putin, I shall go with Vlad.

  2. Peterson Toscano on April 21, 2008 at 4:30 am Reply

    Thanks!

    Hey, I get to see you this week in Memphis. How cool is that!!!

    Did Vlad ever thank you for your thoughtfulness last February?

  3. Auntie Doris on April 21, 2008 at 5:52 am Reply

    It has to be Chad. I love him… maybe because he reminds me of a few of my friends!!

    Can’t wait to see it, but most of all I can’t wait to see you.

    Loving your work 😉

  4. paraflax on April 21, 2008 at 10:55 am Reply

    My favorite character or moment? Well the picking my fav-part isn’t really my style.

    I will demand my right to love it all!

  5. - on April 21, 2008 at 4:54 pm Reply

    I will require a DVD

    -Dan

  6. John Holm on April 21, 2008 at 7:34 pm Reply

    Huzzah for “Homo No Mo” on DVD!

    Chris and I have the same favorite character: Marvin. It’s so funny; ever since you left, Chris will randomly seque into a Long Island (or should I say a Lord’s Island) accent and start saying “Hello, everyone, my name is Marvin, Marvin Bloom; how are you…”

    brilliant! 🙂

  7. Peterson Toscano on April 22, 2008 at 2:35 am Reply

    Auntie Doris, I will be sure to bring Chad with me to the UK!

    Alex, yes, you can love them all.

    Daniel, yes, yes, yes, you will get your replacement (and you are IN the replacement doing the intro!)

    John, just between you and me, Marvin is fixin’ ta make a big announcement, but he won’t tell me what.

  8. boredbeyondbelief on April 22, 2008 at 12:33 pm Reply

    Dearest, “international sensation”/”artistic self-masturbator”,

    My favorite character in the show is Peterson Toscano.

    Love always,

    Joe G.

  9. Auntie Doris on April 22, 2008 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Oh Joe G!

    You are such a schmoozer ;0

    Big love xxxx

  10. Craig on April 22, 2008 at 3:16 pm Reply

    My favorite part is sitting in the back of that dinky old auditorium/room at Bryant with a light board older than I am and pumping sound out of a guitar amp watching you do shows year after year. You may have made it big now with DVD’s and film crews but I know you will never forget where you came from. Much love for you and your show.

  11. Peterson Toscano on April 22, 2008 at 5:14 pm Reply

    Joe, you must be taking those charming pills again. Wow, dating brings out the sweetness in you.
    Thanks!

    Craig, that little stage and ancient light and sound system worked magic! You and your brother are the best techs ever!!!

  12. TweetyJill on April 22, 2008 at 5:33 pm Reply

    Marvin is my favourite character too. This choice may be partly because I already loved him from his videos before I met him in person.

    I must say that I remain disappointed that he doesn’t have a bigger appearance in the play. Can’t get enough of Marvin!

  13. Peterson Toscano on April 22, 2008 at 7:12 pm Reply

    tweetyjill, you MUST see the Re-Education of George W. Bush—No President Left Behind! Lots of Marvin in that one 🙂

  14. TweetyJill on April 23, 2008 at 7:12 pm Reply

    Absolutely Peterson. Now when are you going to be back in my neck of the woods?

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