Heterophobia: A Dark Comedy
Heterophobia is a dark comedic play described as “a tall glass of gay with a twist of straight.” In this play, “social norms are flipped on their ears, and extreme role reversal ensues. Being gay is the norm and being straight is the deviant.”
Presented by McDougall United Church, Heterophobia is being put on for free for the public this Sunday. McDougall United Church is presenting it in order to “broaden awareness and advocacy for LGBTQ inclusion” and after the performance there will be a post-show Q&A with the playwright, director, and cast.
First written in 2005 in a playwriting course and then refined in a Christian retreat writing centre, Heterophobia started as an invitation to the audience to a different way of thinking.
At the time of the first draft playwright, Pam Rocker was married to a man and working at one of the biggest evangelical churches in Canada, as it has been brought to the stage and performed over the years, both the playwright and the church have gone through major changes.
When first written Rocker was working for the evangelical church and if anyone had found out about her work she would have been fired. But now years later, churches are reaching out to Rocker.
McDougall United Church approached her to put on the play in order “to learn what inclusivity looks like” to “not just put up a rainbow flag and say everything is totally fine” but instead to create an opportunity for even more people to come and experience and learn from the play.
Heterophobia isn’t just one thing, “it’s a love story, it’s a comedy, it’s a drama, but it’s also a story about family and overall it’s a story about people.” The play “explores very deeply this concept of what happens when you’re stuck” which while the circumstances in the play are specific it’s a feeling that everyone can relate to.
Rocker stresses the irony involved in the play, “some people have implied that it’s hurtful to straight people, which is an interesting and asymmetrical thing because in the play you’re rooting for straight people.” It’s hard to disagree with the play because even people who are homophobic can’t attack the plot.
She hopes those that are “willing and open to learn and think a different way” take a positive message away from the Sunday performance. Promising, “you’ll find yourself represented somewhere in this story, and anyway, you’ll have fun.”
Heterophobia is being put on for free at McDougall United Church, 12pm this Sunday.