How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement With Theater

Peterson Toscano tried everything he could to “cure” himself of being gay, including living in a residential “gay-reparative” treatment center. Then he discovered Quakers. Now he travels the country telling his story.

Jon Watts

Jon Watts launched and directed the QuakerSpeak project for its first 6 seasons. Keep up to date with Jon’s work at his website.

10 thoughts on “How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement With Theater

  1. A truly heartfelt opening of a way to live in the light. I salute your courage and persistence to find peace.

  2. Powerful, thank you. A role model for this nonthiest Quaker to “come out,” although not through performance art, LOL

  3. It is nice to see more people being honest and open near my old home area, Columbia/Montour counties. The Millville Meeting, mentioned has a school across the road from it, that my mother graduated from and I served as a substitute teacher at. With Susquehanna (Lutheran), Bucknell, and Bloomsburg Universities in the area, liberal influences are also in that part of central PA. Some of the people, who were anti-homosexual, may have overcome this inappropriately preached idea, similar to a friend’s anti-black in the family belief, years ago, who loves taking care of black and white great grandchildren. In this area of central PA, Lancaster/Lebanon counties, many residents, including Mennonites or Amish, still wish to openly downgrade homosexuality as sinful or anti-God. Accepting each other’s inner self is still difficult for some people, but as Peterson has shown, one needs some way of showing one’s honest self. Presenting false fronts only creates more problems similar to flipping houses with artificial increase in price, decreases the value of a dollar.

  4. Good work, Peterson! Thanks. Good to see your story so clearly in context and how life and work are aspects of art well blended towards healing. And great editing by Jon.

  5. I have proudly shared this on my Facebook page and delight to see Peterson tell his story. Bless,

  6. This piece ranks among QuakerSpeak’s top 10. It is a compelling story about one man’s journey to self-acceptance and a testimony to one of Quakerism’s central beliefs about the light of God in each of us. Peterson also eloquently articulated the power of good theater.

  7. You were LIED TO for years. The Scripture does NOT forbid same gender intimacy. It forbids a specific act (for a very good REASON – validated coincidentally by the C.D.C.). Glad to see you’ve made such a positive thing out of the trauma you’ve been thru. Consider the take on this issue:

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