Friday, April 27, 2012
A Statement by Mark-Eugene Garcia
Looking back, I think that if I had understood what “gay” meant, I would have known I was gay in fifth grade. It makes absolute sense now. You see, like most school boys, I had a really, really, good friend. And like good friends, we had sleepovers.
Wait. Uh oh! You think you know where this is going, right? Well, I assure you, you
My story has nothing to do with the sleepovers themselves. They were typical Ninja Turtle, Super Mario, Camp out in the back yard, Freeze Tag, Pool Party, Hide N Seek sleepovers. My story has to do with after the sleepovers. Because once my good friend (who has never been and is not gay) left…I cried like a baby.
I was so lonely.
I was so sad.
Mario wasn’t as fun without Luigi. It’s not easy manipulating four ninja turtles alone. And lets face it, hide-n-seek just isn’t fun if no one is “seeking.” I missed my friend. Looking back, I was pretty gay for my friend. And again, this had nothing to do with sex. Hell, I barely understood what sex was at the time. In fifth grade “sex” is just a dirty joke.
…For some adults it still is.
What I remember the most is that I wanted him to be my “special” friend who would sleep over every night, stay up late, share secrets with, play Super Mario Bros, camp out with, and generally just be a boy with. I wanted someone to connect with. I wanted to connect on a level higher than my other friendships. I didn’t know what that was or what it meant.
But I wanted it.
So why go there? Why tell this story? Because these are the stories that need to be told.
So often image of the LGBT community is connected with sex. If you look in the media, if you look on FOX News, if you listen to most Republican politicians…we are put in a specific bracket because we have sex with people of the same gender. It’s the first thing people think when we come out to them. There are many people who think LGBT equals sex. They don’t see us as people, but as a sexual act. Because of this, people don’t understand what being LGBT is. This is because they have not heard the right stories.
That’s where GLAAD steps in. With this mission statement:
“The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of
the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media
accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations
communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the
media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality.”
GLAAD fights for us. They shield us. They defend us. Most importantly…they humanize us. They show that we are not an act. We are a community. We are stories. We are people, just like them, seeking connection.
My play (un)missed connections is about all about connection. Inspired by craigslist, it deals with eight lonely men reaching out into the void and hoping for that one chance to connect with someone else. They find it in all of the places they shouldn’t. To me, this shows not that they were looking in the wrong places but that connection is everywhere.
This theme of connection isn’t something that is limited to the LGBT community, nor is it limited to the heterosexual community. It’s something that unifies us as people.
We all connect. We all have stories. So get out there and tell those stories.
And if you think no one is listening, get GLAAD. Oh, and just to bring things full circle. I met a guy eight years ago who is absolutely amazing. We’ve never played Ninja Turtles, but he did buy me the DVD set for Christmas. We did spend a winter playing and passing Super Mario Bros Wii. We do camp out in our living
room. We do stay up late. We do share secrets. And he is directing the play I wrote.
He’s my collaborator and my best friend.
In my childhood I began a search for my special friend. I am happy to say that I found
These are the stories that need to be told.
(un)missed connections plays Wednesday 6/6/12 - 9pm, Monday 6/11/12 - 10pm,
Tuesday 6/12/12 - 7pm, Sunday 6/17/12 - 10pm, Sunday 6/24/12 - 1pm
Tickets are available at http://planetconnections.org/unmissed-connections/
For more information on (un)missed connections please go to our facebook page at
For more information on GLAAD please go to http://www.glaad.org/