New Post has been published on Peterson Toscano

I’m heading to Tacoma Washington to talk about climate change—but I’m trying to get beyond the traditional talking points to the heart of the matter.

These days we are inundated with admonitions to go green with thousands of companies with products that promise an environmentally-friendly path to sustainable consumerism. But we cannot responsibly shop our way out of our current climate crisis. Then there are all those polar bears floating on ice flows and appeals to do something about climate change for future generations, but the reality is global warming already affects us today and close to home. We are the generations that inherited the broken planet they warned about in the 70′s.

It’s easy to throw up our hands and become Deniers–Hope Deniers, but we can get beyond the shallow talking points and the fear filled rhetoric to have an honest conversation about global warming, environmental justice, and our roles on a new planet.

Using humor, storytelling, and engaging group activities, performance activist Peterson Toscano offers hope without shying away from the dire plight earth dwellers face. Host of the cheeky Climate Stew Podcast, Peterson takes a serious look at the issues without trying to scare the snot out of people. You will not hear about carbon footprints, recycling, or buying green. Instead this interactive presentation will go deeper and in unexpected places.

Check out Peterson’s HuffPost piece about why he marched in the NYC People’s Climate March

Peterson marching with the Queers for the Climate Peterson marching with the Queers for the Climate

Beyond Greenwashing and Polar Bears

November 11, 2014 7:00 PM
University of Puget Sound
1500 N. Warner Street
Tacoma WA 98416

queer recycle

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  • 9 minutes ago

New Post has been published on Peterson Toscano

New Post has been published on http://petersontoscano.com/events/event/transgressing-gender-in-the-bible-delta-bc/

Transgressing Gender in the Bible (Delta, BC)

Peterson Toscano has shaken up Bible academics and received high praise for his ground-breaking, genre-bending, gender blending Bible scholarship. By unearthing the stories of gender-variant people in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, Toscano’s one-person play deepens well-known (and lesser-known) Bible stories and presents an array of Bible characters with an array of genders.

image Peterson Toscano

Thursday, November 6, 2014 7:30 pm
Crossroads United Church
7655 120th Street
Delta, BC, Canada
V4C 6P6

Ticket price: $15 general/$10 student (Canadian Dollars)

Peterson Toscano has the rare gift of being able to simultaneously open the pages of Scripture and the minds of his audience, enriching both by his creative use of humour and drama, laughter and tears, challenges and uplifts. His performances are not to be missed!

Lorne Calvert

, Premier of Saskatchewan 2001-07, Principal St. Andrew’s College

I attended a workshop with Peterson in which he announced that he was doing a show on the transgender people in the Bible. I thought to myself, Hey, I’m a biblical scholar, and I don’t know any transgender folks in the Bible! Now I know! I applaud Peterson for bringing to the fore in this play a new way of looking at the Bible! Bravo! No, bravissimo! I had to look at my own sexual stereotypes and how I bring them to biblical interpretation! 

Michael Willet Newheart

, Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Howard University School of Divinity

Toscano brings a deep reverence for the Biblical text with him into his exploration of gender transgression.  This play is mesmerizing and compels the viewer to see well known Bible stories in a brave new light.

Nadia Bolz-Weber

, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint

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  • 58 minutes ago

New Post has been published on Peterson Toscano

New Post has been published on http://petersontoscano.com/events/event/transgressing-gender-in-the-bible-vancouver-bc/

Transgressing Gender in the Bible (Vancouver, BC)

Peterson Toscano has shaken up Bible academics and received high praise for his ground-breaking, genre-bending, gender blending Bible scholarship. By unearthing the stories of gender-variant people in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, Toscano’s one-person play deepens well-known (and lesser-known) Bible stories and presents an array of Bible characters with an array of genders.

TransfigPicture

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Vancouver School of Theology
6040 Iona Drive
Vancouver, BC V6E 2E8

Peterson Toscano’s work combines astute readings of the Bible with great story-telling and comedy. He offers interpretations of the texts and insights that even experienced biblical scholars haven’t seen before. When portrayed by Toscano, Bible stories and characters come to life with wit, sympathy, and humor.

Dale Martin

, Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University. Author of Sex and the Single Savior

As a biblical scholar I’m always a bit skeptical about dramatic interpretations of biblical texts, whether they will truly capture the complexity of the originals; however, Peterson’s performances bring to light dimensions of the texts that many, even those of us who spend hours with the text on the page, fail to see. By bringing the stories and characters to life we’re able to see the human-ness of the biblical narratives in all its gore and glory.

Lynn Huber

, Associate Professor of Religious Studies–New Testament and Early Christian History, Elon College.

Bible-lovers, gender-transgressors of all sorts, people who love justice! Make haste to see Peterson Toscano’s play Transfigurations as soon as possible! His biblical exegesis is insightful and accurate, and you will glean a whole new perspective painlessly because of his charming performance.

Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

, Author of Omnigender

Peterson Toscano has the rare gift of being able to simultaneously open the pages of Scripture and the minds of his audience, enriching both by his creative use of humour and drama, laughter and tears, challenges and uplifts. His performances are not to be missed!

Lorne Calvert

, Premier of Saskatchewan 2001-07, Principal St. Andrew’s College

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  • 1 hour ago

The Bible is full of gender non-conformists.

New Post has been published on http://petersontoscano.com/events/event/transfigurations-transgressing-gender-in-the-bible-minneapolis/

Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible (Minneapolis)

Peterson Toscano has shaken up Bible academics and received high praise for his ground-breaking, genre-bending, gender blending Bible scholarship. By unearthing the stories of gender-variant people in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, Toscano’s one-person play deepens well-known (and lesser-known) Bible stories and presents an array of Bible characters with an array of genders.

Slide P2 Peterson Toscano in Transfigurations

Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible

Thursday, October 30, 2014 7:00 PM

Richfield United Methodist Church
5835 Lyndale Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 861-6086

Toscano’s excellent theater chops morph characters and identities in that world-changing way only performance allows. His writing and philosophy educate loose the tightest knots of queer and religious entanglements. But it’s his heart, which his engaging presence radiates, that will pull you in, warm you up, and leave you pleading for an encore.

Scott Turner Scofield

, Transgender actor, artist, solo performer & diversity speaker.

 

Peterson Toscano’s work combines astute readings of the Bible with great story-telling and comedy. He offers interpretations of the texts and insights that even experienced biblical scholars haven’t seen before. When portrayed by Toscano, Bible stories and characters come to life with wit, sympathy, and humor.

Dale Martin

, Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University. Author of Sex and the Single Savior

As a biblical scholar I’m always a bit skeptical about dramatic interpretations of biblical texts, whether they will truly capture the complexity of the originals; however, Peterson’s performances bring to light dimensions of the texts that many, even those of us who spend hours with the text on the page, fail to see. By bringing the stories and characters to life we’re able to see the human-ness of the biblical narratives in all its gore and glory.

Lynn Huber

, Associate Professor of Religious Studies–New Testament and Early Christian History, Elon College.

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  • 11 hours ago

On LGBTQ Orgs, Race, & Environmental Justice. A chat with J Mase III

New Post has been published on http://petersontoscano.com/petersons-quickie-interview-with-j-mase-iii-a-blacktransqueerrowdy-as-hell-poet-with-a-capital-p/

Peterson’s Quickie Interview with J Mase III, a Black/Trans/Queer/Rowdy-as-Hell Poet with a capital [P]

I have had the joy of knowing and working with J Mase III for over five years. We have collaborated through the years as workshop facilitators at the Philly Trans Health Conference and most recently in NYC at the Climate Convergence where we both performed and led a workshop: A Queer Response to Climate Change.

J Mase III operates in the world and on the stage with a hearty blend of gravitas, humor, artistic skill, and curiosity about the world. Recently we sat down to chat about art, activism, privilege, climate change, and environmental justice.

Question One:
You have spent much of your life living in Philadelphia. What would you say Philly has given you and what have you given to Philly?

headshot J Mase III

Answer: Philly is where I came into myself as an adult, as a trans person, as an artist…Philly, and my family there (blood and chosen), empowered me to be a leader. I would like to believe I have given Philly my heart. Starting life in NJ, living in NYC, when folks ask me where I am from, I tell them, my home, my heart is always Philly.

Question Two:
You contain and express many identities. I imagine at times when walking into a specific space–religious, queer, white– you felt pressures or tempted to “check” something at the door or play up one identity over another. What has helped you in integrating the many parts of yourself?
Answer: I think all of these parts of myself have been integrated for most of my life, they just merely seemed messy to others. I’m at a place where I am often asked to help spaces become better at being intersectional, better at being more inclusive, better at being more diverse. Often times, this comes from a framework of thinking that expects when we make things more inclusive they can look and sound the same with just some different people sitting around the living room together- notice I didn’t say sitting around that table. Most folks seeking to diversify are so deeply invested in their own white supremacy, their own transmisogyny, their own ableism they can’t imagine, and certainly don’t intend to relinquish any of the power needed to make these spaces less oppressive. While I am willing to work with spaces and organizations invested in structural change, I am no longer punishing myself by joining in movements that would rather let me go extinct than have some of my community members in leadership roles. I refuse to participate in colonialist thinking that dictates I must join these spaces because they have merely “been around”. My hope, is that many of these organizations and systems in power that refuse (because if it is 2014 and you are not already being intersectional, know that it is a refusal) to be intersectional will go extinct, so that more people of color organizations, more non-Christian based organizations, more non-ableist organizations, more trans organizations will be recognized for their leadership.o-J-MASE-III-facebook
Final question:
You just took part in the presentation: A Queer Response to Climate Change. What are some of your take-aways?
Answer: Being part of the facilitation/performance team for A Queer Response to Climate Change forced me to ask new questions of myself and other organizers which was fairly exciting.
My mind ended up taking me to look at the characteristics of those running, not just large scale oil companies, but the similarities those oil executives shared with folks running LGBt ( yes the little t is intentional here) & environmental orgs. Largely, all of these spaces are dominated by white cis-male leaders with money. That is often very different from those who are most likely to be climate refugees or live within the vicinity of toxic waste. Of course patriarchy, white supremacy and classism are real even in the discussion about queering climate change. In order to address how we care for each other within a changing environment and tackle policies that put some of us at a greater risk of being exposed to toxins, we must think intersectionally.
At one point, I stood before the room of people and told folks that we can’t grapple with the effects plaguing people in regards to climate change if we can’t make more space in our LGBt (one day LGBT) and environmental orgs for people of color, trans people and women to take leadership. One person, someone who could be perceived as a white cis-male made sure I knew that he disagreed with me. That just having the leadership of these aforementioned identities did not mean there would be a more intersectional lens applied to the way we deal with problems. He ended by saying “we could agree to disagree”. What I said to him, what I am sharing with you, is that I don’t need everyone to believe in the need to include voices that sound like mine or those that I care about. But we as people of color, as trans folks, as broke folks, as differently abled folks, undocumented folks, as marginalized folks we must recognize this need, because those glossing over our experiences can never be truly invested in our survival. Many organizations that we have held onto as sacred, believing they would hear us because we are queer people, have not thought about us in our totality.
What I took away from that particular moment, is that even as we share our pain, people may refuse to hear it- and that is not new. Furthermore, when it comes to making room, we must make that space for ourselves. To LGBt and environmental orgs that claim to fight on our behalf without us being present, know that we see you. And we don’t have to take your erasure; nor can we afford to.

Learn more about J Mase III at his website, on screen, and through his HuffPost Pieces.

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Imagine a world where no mirror ever shows you your own reflection. You search in vain for a glimpse of your face, your eyes, your existence. Instead you are met again and again with blank glass that shows a world without you in it. There are images enough, of other people, of faces and voices and peoples unlike your own. But never of you, never of your face and what it reveals about your hopes and dreams and fears. It is as if you make no impact on the world and have no importance to it. And it leaves you feeling lost. Bewildered. Alone.

Ambelin Kwaymullina on You are not alone: Why we need more Indigenous writers and characters in Australian YA (via richincolor)

This applies to so many people who are invisible in the world. The universality of this message reminds me that many oppressed people share some major common experiences.

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A day without a smart phone—my personal digital detox

New Post has been published on http://petersontoscano.com/silent-sundays-my-personal-digital-detox/

Silent Sundays—My Personal Digital Detox

I recently read two different articles about people turning of the internet for themselves or their children. Turns out Steve Jobs limited his children’s screen-time; apparently his kids hadn’t even used iPads. This sounds almost like an urban legend, but according to an Epoch Times article other heads of tech companies also limit their children’s access to devices in hopes that they too won’t get addicted. Addicted?!? Seriously?

The average American adult spends about 7.4 hours per day looking at screens.   Photo: Grant Cornett The average American adult spends about 7.4 hours per day looking at screens. Photo: Grant Cornett

In One Man’s Year of Digital Detox David Roberts, writing for Outside Magazine (no it is not specifically designed for gay hikers, but the husband and I do like it and subscribe) talked about his radical step of staying off-line for a year. For most of us that would be drastic; for Roberts the move would have seemed like career suicide since he did virtually all of his work as a writer and political social media maven attached to a screen. Of course now he is getting loads of us to read about his experience, so I guess it is paying off. He writes about the tyranny of the net and how it grew out of control for him.

There was a time—it seems prehistoric now—when I started the workday by “getting caught up.” I’d go through my e-mail, check a few websites, and start on the day’s new tasks. By mid-2013, there was no such thing as caught up; there was, at best, keeping up. To step away from e-mail, news feeds, texts, chats, and social media for even a moment was to allow their deposited information to accumulate like snow in the driveway, a burden that grew every second it was neglected.

I spent most of my daytime hours shoveling digital snow. The core of my job—researching, thinking, writing at greater-than-140-character length—I could accomplish only in the middle of the night, when things calmed down. I spent more and more hours working, or at least work adjacent, but got less and less done.

David Roberts says he was missing out on life by being constantly connected online. (Photo: David Roberts) David Roberts says he was missing out on life by being constantly connected online. (Photo: David Roberts)

Some folks are not old enough to remember simpler times. But there was even a world once where we had no smart phones, immediate streaming of movies, and no social networks except the ones that met up for real coffee in real coffee shops. Now I do not believe the world was a better place before all this technology. I personally love the access I have to information and audiences as I sit in my pjs and blog, podcast, and connect with people all over the world.

But I also recognize the tyranny of the technology. I feel the smart phone always tugging, tugging at me urging me to reach into my pocket to use it like Bilbo and Frodo carrying that One Ring that oppressed them all. I also experience the digital yawn all the time.  You know when someone takes out their smart phone and immediately you reach for yours. Technology as a tool can quickly spin out into a mad, mindless and fruitless obsessive for me. And it changes the way I think and process information. When I am on-line a lot, I struggle to focus deeply when looking at issues. I flit about from one thing to another and skim, skim, skim.  

On Friday as I left the house to do chores, I realized I left my iPhone on my desk. I thought, what the heck, let’s get a little risky here and leave it at home. It felt risky and radical, which also seems pathetic. I immediately wanted to tweet about it. But it also felt relaxing not having it on me calling out to me for attention. Waiting on line at the store and then getting the oil changed in the car, I felt relieved of the burden of   needing to see if someone retweeted the latest silly/profound/ridiculous/scandalous thing I put up on Twitter or to check the email for the 300th time that morning. Phoneless I felt more present.

A few years ago I decided to avoid the Internet on Sundays, and this week I have decided to go back to that for at least month, just to give myself a retreat from all the tweets, a day to read books, chat on the phone, write letters, listen to music. In other words a retreat back to 1987. Therefore, I reinstitute Silent Sundays. I can’t wait to tweet about it!

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  • #blogging #David Roberts #LOTR
  • 2 days ago
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A gay Christian finds his place in a climate march

Not my First Rodeo—um March

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For the early part of my adult life I was a Christian fundamentalist believing in evil spirits, generational curses, and the desperate need to reach out to a lost and dying world. As a fresh-faced 19 year old in Glory Tabernacle, the little storefront Pentecostal Holiness church I attended on West 106th Street in NYC, I frequented prayer meetings, where with my brothers and sisters, I faced the four directions screaming against demonic warlords. One day our Pastor Willy  announced that in order to take authority over “principalities and powers of darkness” he felt called to organize the first ever NYC March for Jesus.  Think of it as Christian Pride Parade in church drag.

Unable to get support from other pastors who had their own fiefdoms to protect, our tiny congregation marched alone. Picture it: Central Park West shutdown from 72nd Street to 59th on a Saturday morning as 30 born-again Christians in their Sunday best marched with banners proclaiming Jesus’ triumphant reign over New York City. The police set up barriers in vain because no spectators lined up to see us, just the occasional dog walker or parent with child who stopped momentarily as we waved at them and pleaded the blood of Jesus.

That was in 1987. Fast forward to 2014 and the 350,000+ people jamming Central Park West for the People’s Climate March. I saw pagans addressing the four directions beseeching their blessings. I heard people from many nations crying out against the powers and authorities who make money as they pollute the atmosphere, and I felt the urgency to save a sick planet overburdened with endangered earth dwellers.

A Queer for the Climate dressed as Earth Element A Queer for the Climate dressed as Earth Element

At their core the two messages from these two different periods are similar. Repentance and Salvation. Renewal and Revival. Renunciation of Past Evils and the Promise of a Better Future.

On Sunday I stood on West 83rd Street, two blocks from my former apartment. Assembled with the Queers for the Climate we promoted a “gay agenda” unlike anything Pastor Willy ever preached against. Cleaner air, justice for those most affected by environmental damage, and a commitment to consider the intersections of gender, race, class, and nationality. Marching the same route nearly 30 years later, I remembered my former days and felt grateful for personal growth and a growing movement.Climate_Stew_Logo_Square1400x1400

Recently I began working on a new podcast (check out the short, fun, audio confection: Climate Stew Podcast) In 1995 I left NYC to train in the UK as a radio presenter and producer for a new position running a station in Zambia. In a little studio in West Bromwich, England, I learned how to record and edit radio programs. Then I moved to Zambia and became an on-air presenter and programme manager. Years later I find these skills still in place, albeit a little rusty (need to work on levels!)

In the old days at church we talked about God doing a new thing and the need for new wine in new wineskins and the creation of a new heaven and earth. These days those concepts are still real to me, but in a completely different way.

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  • #faith #peoples climate march #queer
  • 5 days ago

Every time I watch a person awaken to their inner strength, I see what we’re made of, and we’re magnificent. We’re brilliant. We really are. We crave magic because we are magic. We crave power because we are pure power.

Vironika Tugaleva from Creative Climate Change Action at Peoples Climate March
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  • #inspiring quotations #queer theology #vironika tugaleva
  • 5 days ago
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LGBTQ People Marching for Climate!

New Post has been published on http://petersontoscano.com/turning-the-climate-march-into-a-pride-parade/

Turning the Climate March into a Pride Parade

While I could have marched with the Quakers or the Citizens Climate Lobby, in the end I opted to march with the Queers for the Climate. Good choice! I also recorded lots of audios and mini interviews for the Climate Stew Podcast. Stay tuned!

preparing the puppets and queers to march (see glen retief?) preparing the puppets and queers to march (see glen retief?)

Ready to March on W 83rd Street Ready to March on W 83rd Street

IMG_1750 herding queer cats & mermaids

Fierce, just fierce Fierce, just fierce

Her sign got a lot of attention. Her sign got a lot of attention.

Justin Vivian Bond on the far right (she marched the whole way with us) Justin Vivian Bond on the far right (she marched the whole way with us)

Video posted by Earl Dax reveals we know how to chant and look fabulous on 42nd Street

A homage to Robin Williams by a sociology professor who marched beside me. A homage to Robin Williams by a sociology professor who marched beside me.

Love the buggy eyelashes Love the buggy eyelashes

These two got up early to prepare (or never went to bed the night before) These two got up early to prepare (or never went to bed the night before)

Wind & Fire ready to march Wind & Fire ready to march

We're here; we're queer, and OMG those pumps will kill you! We’re here; we’re queer, and OMG those pumps will kill you!

This one even has the global warming pout going on. This one even has the global warming pout going on.

IMG_1763 Even Frida showed up

I was there. See peeking in the bottom of the frame. I was there. See peeking in the bottom of the frame.

Marching in Midtown Marching in Midtown

IMG_7554

And a drag queen shall lead them on. And a drag queen shall lead them on.

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  • #global warming #peoples climate march #queer
  • 1 week ago
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