Out There Naked

One man stands alone on stage and looks back at his complicated relationship with the Catholic boys’ camp counselor, who began sexually abusing him at age 12.

Another recounts his ex-communication from the Mormon Church and his subsequent life as a gay escort and drug addict.

Still another talks about the years he spent in a Christian “reorientation” program that tried to make him an “ex-gay” until he awoke from his “Biblically induced coma.”

Theaters are increasingly filling up with gay men eager to tell their personal narratives in solo shows. Call it “confessional theater,” call it theatrical therapy, but stories about personal trauma – laced with humor and humanity – are becoming a cottage industry on the fringe theater circuit.

Frank Rizzo, Hartford Courant.
You can read the complete article here.

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Jeff Sherwood on August 27, 2005 at 1:17 am Reply

    Hi Peter,

    I just want to say thanks for listening to me on your blog.You kept a open mind, that’s good it shows you are a true individual.I am not against you, what I say is the truth and it is good to get the truth out to people.

    I think the best thing to do now days is tell our children that their are no gays, lesbian, straight, bisexual people.I think it would be best to tell them that we are all “free sexually” because it is the truth.(kids should be told this to end confusion they may have or also to end abuse to confused children)

    As humans we can associate sex with anything. Testing has been done in the past but has now been deemed illegal due to actual mind altering/life changing experiences.

    Testing were being done to col ledge students. The testing was conducted to see if people are “free sexually”.The pictures were of animals having sex, man on man sex, woman on woman sex and also various objects.(note each male taking the test was in a relationship with a woman)

    The people were told to masturbate to the pictures given to them (each given a different set of pictures) for a week, and they must have no other sexual encounters of any kind.

    After the week passed the test began by the males being put in a private room with a device placed on their penis to detect growth when they look at a picture.

    Each male only had growth to the pictures they masturbated to.And a final question was asked. Why did those pictures give you sexual arousal? And they all gave identical answers. When they were masturbating to the pictures they had to fantasize what it would be like to have sex with whatever was on the picture to get arousal. Note: every male (after the test) had a fetish of the pictures they were told to masturbate to.

    Reality is simple, are you being yourself as a human if you associate sex with a partner that does not create life? No.When you produce life with your partner it shows you used your body truthfully.Life is truth.Partner that does not create life,is not truth producing.

    You can’t have sex with just anything and accept your being true to yourself as a human.

  2. Annika on August 27, 2005 at 2:03 am Reply

    “You kept a open mind, that’s good it shows you are a true individual.”

    Well, someone has to keep an open mind – there are too many closed-minded people in the world that see only what they want to see and then package that as the only “truth.” Not that I’m talking about anyone who might comment here, of course.

    Has anyone ever heard of this study before? Or is this something Paul Cameron made up?

  3. Annika on August 27, 2005 at 2:10 am Reply

    If this study were actually true (ha), it would sure the heck be a lot easier to go from gay to straight than it actually is. I mean, Exodus and ex-gay groups wouldn’t even have to exist – just send us all home with pictures of the opposite sex and tell us to masturbate to them for a week! But wait…according to the real conservative Christians, masturbation is a sin. What a conundrum!

  4. Bruce Garrett on August 27, 2005 at 3:31 am Reply

    Well, someone has to keep an open mind – there are too many closed-minded people in the world that see only what they want to see and then package that as the only “truth.” Not that I’m talking about anyone who might comment here, of course.

    Right. Me either. Let’s hear it for open minds. And while we’re at it, let’s hear it for love. Love is truth. There are so many people in this world who think that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. There are so many in this world who can’t see the people for the homosexuals, can’t see the love same sex couples feel for each other for their own feelings about sex. One can hope that some day they’ll find a love of their own, strong enough to open that blind spot in their heart, strong enough to open it far enough to finally see the humanity in their gay and lesbian neighbors, and to feel perhaps a tad ashamed at dismissing our deepest feelings of awe and love and desire as mere masturbation.

    Thank you much for that link Peterson. I had no idea there were so many other brave folks like you willing to go on stage and, yeah, bare it all for the sake of telling your truths. This is really interesting too. I remember when I first noticed the one man show thing back when Hal Holbrook was doing his Mark Twain show. I caught a bit of it on TV and always wished I’d seen it live. Then there was a video I had once upon a time of Henry Fonda doing Clarence Darrow. That one was amazing.

    I hope someone is capturing your performances for the record. I really liked the analogy Martin Moran made about how you’re a member of a tribe sitting around a campfire after you’ve gone into a deep, dark forest, and now you’ve returned, and you’re telling that story. Thank you telling your story. Thank you for coming back. What’s so wonderful is that you came back.

  5. Peterson Toscano on August 27, 2005 at 5:47 am Reply

    Thank you Jeff for posting. Of course anyone is welcome here as long as they are respectful and thoughtful. The study you mention is interesting, but I think Anika makes a crucial point, it’s not about sex, it’s about love, partnership, companionship.

    I’m sure we can be conditioned to be sexually aroused by all sorts of things, but can we maintain a loving, giving relationship with any thing. No.

    As a same-gender loving man, I do not live my life seeking sexual pleasure. I enjoy sexual pleasure, but it is not all that I am and not the only expression of my same-sex attraction.

    I desire a life partner and like many couples who live together for a long time, sex will only be a small part of a much larger relationship.

    I genuinely tried to love someone of the opposite sex. I worked hard at it, prayed much, got counseling, but in the end it could not work.

    Some people say that same-gender loving people choose to be gay. I never once chose it. In fact for 17 years I daily intentionally chose to be straight. It nearly killed me.

    Jeff I hear you reasoning and you have come a long way in expressing yourself in a way that I can understand you.

    You write, “I think the best thing to do now days is tell our children that their are no gays, lesbian, straight, bisexual people.”

    Even if you believe that folks cannot be naturally GLBT, that it is some sort of learned behavior or chosen lifestyle, even then, it is still a reality of society. Your children, if they are not that way do not need to feel compelled to change for anyone, but why not raise them to love everyone regardless?

    I could write more, but I’ll give you time to respond if you like.

    And please folks, on this blog, feel free to disagree, but do not insult or disrespect others.

  6. Peterson Toscano on August 27, 2005 at 5:51 am Reply

    Bruce, thank you for you kind words. It feels good coming from you.

  7. Annika on August 27, 2005 at 7:00 pm Reply

    “And please folks, on this blog, feel free to disagree, but do not insult or disrespect others.”

    Point taken, Peterson.

    I’m sorry that I chose to answer with a sarcastic comment. I really could have phrased what I had to say in a much better way and I apologize. Honestly, after I posted it, had I had the ability to do so, I would have edited my post(s) because I did feel bad later yesterday.

    Jeff, Peterson is right, and I’m wrong in the way in which I chose to post. You really put yourself out there by coming here and posting what you believe and what you feel. I hope you continue to have a good dialogue with Peterson. I promise I will give you the respect you deserve in the future, and I’m sorry that I didn’t treat you with respect this time ’round.

    ~A humbled and apologetic Annika

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