Are you a senior with a story to tell?
The Massey Theatre is launching Let Me Tell You A Story No One Told Me: the Gay Seniors Project.
Participants will work with Allan Morgan, the theatre’s current artist in residence, to bring their own stories to life.
“I want older people, seniors of any stripe – if they’re gay, they’re straight, they’re bi, I don’t care, as long as they’re comfortable talking,” Morgan said. “Stories of things they did that made them strong. Stories of how they got through.”
Morgan’s own life story is the inspiration for his one-person show, PRIDE: For the Young Gay, the Un-Gay and the Jaded Queen in All of Us, onstage at the Massey Theatre Sept. 20 to 22.
“I’ve written my story, a lot of it. It’s been helpful to me as a human,” he says.
But sharing his story isn't just helpful to him personally; it's for the next generation, too.
For the LGBTQ community, in particular, he says, it’s important to hear the stories of “back when.”
“I think that we’re in danger of losing a lot of these seniors who have the history of this time, the time that was before this acceptance … the stories of how they coped in those days. I love hearing the stories of people who were together for 30 years. How did they do it?”
Morgan cites the example of two couples he met when he took his show to Mission. The seniors – two men and two women – arrived in a van, decked out in rainbow attire and accessories. When they came to chat with Morgan after the show, he learned that one of the men and one of the women had been married. Both had come out later in life and met other partners; now, all four were sharing a house, with the two husbands on one floor and the two wives on another.
“There’s gotta be stories like that,” he said. “I’d love to get them told before they’re lost.”
Ultimately, Morgan said, he’d like to see the seniors’ stories told in performance by teens who are part of Gay Straight Alliance groups at high schools, to help open the lines of communication between older LGBTQ people and younger ones.
The Let Me Tell You a Story project runs Saturday afternoons from Sept. 28 to Nov. 30. Participation is free, and the group is limited to 12 spots.
To sign up, email email@example.com or call 604-517-5900 (ask for Julian).