I feel I have neglected my blogging duties, what with the premiere of Transfigurations, the prep for a bunch of travel coming up, and several new projects, not only have I had little time to blog, but little thought about blogging topics.
So this blog is an update of sorts and an apology in advance if I drop off further with my blogging.
The preparation for the premiere of Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible took lots of time and attention. But unlike my other premieres this time I had much more time and open spaces of time two weeks before the show. This reduced the stress. I felt pleased with the premiere and the direction the piece is going. I am especially satisfied that some of the material I present appears to be original. So little has been done around affirming pieces that look at the Bible and transgender people.
Recently I have worked on updates for both Beyond Ex-Gay and my PetersonToscano.com site. I added some new articles on bXg and have begun to put up Spanish language pieces too. On my own site I built pages for Transfigurations, The Re-Education of George W. Bush and Queer 101. Thanks to everyone who gave me their “blurbs” and mini-reviews for me to add to the pages. It helps so much for potential hosts of a performance to hear what other people think.
Two major projects in the works include a potential international conference around ex-gay issues, namely the harm that can come from seeking to suppress or change one’s sexuality. At this point I am not ready to share too many details, but I feel excited about the way talks have progressed, and I feel pretty certain we will do something outside of the US in May.
Somewhat related to that, I have been honing my Spanish and working on presentations I can do in Spanish. I have begun to translate Queer 101 into Spanish creating Spanish language characters to replace the English speaking ones (except Chad, I will keep him but just have him speak Spanish in his very own Chad way). Also, I am working a few lectures I can give in Spanish to mental health officials and academic settings.
In regards to getting stories out about ex-gay experiences, I have been in talks with various queer organizations in the US that want to reach out more in regards to the ex-gay movement and ex-gay survivors. Part of the work is helping people process their stories, firstly for themselves and secondly so that they can share their experiences with the public through the media and public speaking. Using one-person performances, interviews, blogs, on-line video, press conferences and op-ed pieces, I hope we can help people articulate to others what they sought after when they pursued an ex-gay life, what they did to become ex-gay and the outcomes and affects the ex-gay experience had on them and their loved ones.
This week I will be in NYC meeting with a film crew for a TV network that wants to feature the story of Beyond Ex-Gay and the work that Christine and I are doing. They will also highlight some my own journey as an ex-gay and former ex-gay. The next few days will take me back to some of my old haunts including the church I attended in NYC. We will also go to new haunts including my cottage near my dad’s house and my also Hartford where I live. I feel grateful for the opportunity to share the bXg story and my own narrative, but I also realize that it is hard work. I feel grateful for supportive friends I can turn to when I feel overwhelmed with the past and with telling my story vulnerably.
One should not lightly approach telling one’s story. No only are own stories precious, but it costs us something when we tell them.
On Monday I fly to Portland for a few days then back East to Baltimore to perform at Goucher then back to Portland to do the Ho Ho Homo No Mo Holiday Special. You can see the crazy flier for yourself. Marvin Bloom will make a guest appearance.
I will be in Portland up through the 17 December staying with dear friends Doug and Bruce and seeing loads of others including the gang at SMYRC. I then stay home for a few days before I see my dad and other family pre-Christmas. On Christmas Day I fly to Sweden for the rest of the holidays and to perform The Re-Education of George W. Bush (and Transfigurations at least once a day for Alex). I could never have done the Swedish trip without the generosity of friends in Sweden.
The past month I have also looked ahead to 2008 booking shows throughout the US (yes, and maybe even Texas!) as well as looking into possibilities in Northern Ireland and Scotland and of course more in England.
In spite of the craziness, I have been able to spend time in quiet reflection, prayer and doing personal writing. Also, I have even been exercising (I discovered something amazing–exercise done consistently over time actually alters our bodies. Wow, who would have known!) Of course I have been eating well, (a constant diet of sweet brown rice with a kick butt sauce) and most importantly have been well connected with friends both in Hartford and on-line (yes, I am happy with Facebook).
So now I must go off-line to do super tidying action in the apartment. There is nothing like the cleaning frenzy that a film crew can inspire. I already anticipate Joe G’s smarmy comments about me being a Media Whore. Personally I find the term offensive and prefer to be referred to as Press Magnet or perhaps a Publicity Slut.