In honor of the US National Coming Out Day on Oct 11, which is the kick off for National Coming Out Week, Oct 13-17, it’s nice to be able to offer a bit of humor. This is a FANTASTIC short skit (3 actors is all it takes) written by the formidable youth activist Maya Brown. The logo this year is by Keith Haring, and I want a T-Shirt!
Coming Out: What Not To Do
by Maya Brown
(Published in Out & Allied Vol 2. Copyright 2014. If you use, please give proper credit to author and publisher/source. And there’s lots more material in the books, you know!)
ANNOUNCER QUEER PERSON OTHER PERSON
NOTE: ANNOUNCER’S lines can be played by QUEER PERSON, who will then just step out and back into the scene.
ANNOUNCER: Hello everyone. Today’s topic is disastrous coming out stories. Want to know what happens when you come out? Well, there’s a range of ways it can go. So I’ve broken it up into some handy categories for you. First up, there’s the Over-Reactor…
QUEER PERSON: Hey, you know I’m gay, right?
OTHER PERSON: WHAT? OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD OH MY GOD CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS? THIS IS LIKE A THING WE SHOULD PROBABLY TALK ABOUT. OK SERIOUSLY THIS IS SUCH A BIG THING. AHH! I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT. I CANT EVEN.
ANNOUNCER: Then there’s the opposite. The Under-Reactor, if you will…
QUEER PERSON: I have something I want to tell you. It’s like a pretty big thing and I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time. So I’m just going to come out and say it, ok? I’m gay.
OTHER PERSON: Oh yeah, I knew that. Like, everyone did. What’s the algebra homework?
ANNOUNCER: Next up, the person who wants to become your therapist…
QUEER PERSON: So, I need to tell you something. I’m a lesbian.
OTHER PERSON: Really? Thank you so much for telling me. When did you first know? Has it been hard? Are you like, telling other people? Do your parents know? Are they ok with it? Wow, this must just be, like, so hard for you. But don’t worry. I’m totally here for you. Do you have a lot of feelings? I’m sure you have like, so many feelings. Let’s work through your feelings together. With me. Go ahead. Talk. Together. Feelings.
ANOUNCER: Or the other person may be one of those One-Uppers…
QUEER PERSON: Hey, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I think I might be bisexual.
OTHER PERSON: Wow, that’s pretty big, but guess what? My sister is pregnant! She like just told my parents and they are freaking out. I mean she’s engaged, but still, like, she’s barely out of college! I think they’ll come around eventually but like oh my god, do you want to see her sonogram? I hope it’s a boy.
ANNOUNCER: And the One-Upper is not to be confused with the Collector…
QUEER PERSON: Just so you know, I’m gay.
OTHER PERSON: Oh, my cousin just came out too. I’m pretty sure my neighbors are gay, or maybe they just live together, and I think our elementary art school teacher is gay, did you know that? Mr. Simon, yeah. I swear that guy wasn’t just his friend; they held hands way too much for that. Hmm, I also have a friend from summer camp who’s a lesbian, if you wanted me to introduce you I totally would, but I think she might be dating someone. And also, I haven’t told anyone yet but I think my cat is bi; she like totally has a thing for my aunt’s cat, and they’re both girl cats. A lot of TV shows I watch have gay people. I love gay people! I know so many!
ANNOUNCER: Or, there’s the one who wants too much information: The TMI Guy.
QUEER PERSON: So, you know Michael/Sally, right? Well, we’ve started dating, and it’s going really well!
OTHER PERSON: Wow! Okay. (Pauses) So can I ask you a couple of questions…like some awkward question…so how do you…you know…I mean have you…and does, that like, count? I mean what do you do for…and do they…and how do you do that?
ANNOUNCER: Then there’s the Stereotypist…
FEMALE QUEER: I’m a lesbian!
OTHER PERSON: Oh. Wait. Are you going to cut off your hair? Do you play rugby? Will you stop shaving now? I’ll trade you my brother’s old plaid flannel shirts for your dresses—you guys are pretty much the same size… I don’t really want to watch the L-Word, but if you want, I’ll do that with you.
MALE QUEER: I’m gay!
OTHER PERSON: Oh—It all makes sense now! You’re so into musical theatre and you’re such a good dresser! So does this mean you can be my shopping buddy now? Puhlease be my shopping buddy. But you can’t start having better fashion sense than me, ok? Wow, this is so exciting; I have seriously always wanted a sassy gay best friend! Let’s have a Glee party, and you can do my nails!
ANNOUNCER: Okay, okay, you get the idea. It can get pretty crazy.
(QUEER PERSON steps forward.)
QUEER PERSON: Yeah, and these are the supportive ones, even if they didn’t get it quite right. For some it can get a lot worse.
ANNOUNCER: Here’s a sampling.
(QUEER PERSON steps back, OTHER PERSON turns to face audience.)
OTHER PERSON: There’s a cure. It’s a phase. I’ll pray for you. We can fix you. You’re just confused. You chose this lifestyle. I bet you have a crush on me. How could you do this to me? I can’t be your friend.
ANNOUCER: What is the right thing to say?
(QUEER PERSON steps out.)
QUEER PERSON: Sometimes it’s nothing at all.
(QUEER PERSON steps back and faces OTHER PERSON.)
QUEER PERSON: I have to tell you something. I’m gay.
(OTHER PERSON takes it in, and gives QUEER PERSON a hug.)