Speak Out : “Bare, A Pop Opera” Made Me Cry

Have you ever seen a movie, TV show, or a play that just brought something up in you that you had tucked away or forgotten about?

I saw a play the other night a local theater called “Bare: A Pop Opera.” It’s about handful of students at a Catholic school, and 2 of the characters are in a secret, gay relationship. It tells the story of these 2 keeping it a secret and what happens when the secret comes out. It was a great play with great music and I went again and saw it last night. There are videos of other performances on YouTube so I would check it out. This play has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

The reason this hit so close to home for me is that I pretty much lived what the main character; Peter lived in high school, about 15 or so years. I too had a secret relationship with another guy. This was probably the first guy I ever fell in love with. That feeling wasn’t mutual, for him, it was more physical. We would sneak around and fool around whenever we could at school.

Then, as happened in “Bare,” the secret got out. What he didn’t know, was that I had told a few people and they told others and soon everyone knew. He was on the “DL” and I was out of the closet, being the only gay high school student in a little town in North Carolina. I told him that people must have seen us together and figured it out. He ended things and after a short time, things went back to the way that they were but didn’t last long and when the next year came, we were in different classes and didn’t get to see him as much.

There is another scene in the play where Peter tries to call his mother and tell her he is gay. The way the scene is done, the mother is on one part of the stage and Peter is on another part, phone in hand. He tries to tell her several times and she keeps interrupting with everyday chatter. Finally, she hangs up and then she starts singing about finally getting the proof that her son is gay. You just need to see the scene here to understand.

In 1999, I came out to my mother, in a “Lost In Space” costume on Halloween. I had no choice. I had been living with some friends who found out and due to their beliefs, no longer wanted me in their home. The struggle that Peter goes through to tell his mom he was gay was exactly what I went through in trying to tell her in person.

What experience have you had where something you had forgotten or tucked away came back full force?

Here is a link for a playlist of the songs from the play.


There are 9 comments

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  1. jm1967

    Thanks for sharing. Made me remember how difficult it was to come out to Mom, and how disappointed I thought she was. She came around though and eventually came to love my partner. She died of cancer 7 years ago and I miss her every day.

  2. aniceday

    Memory loss is a signal to remind we need to practise to remember more specific details in order to improve our brain or maybe its time to have a long vancasion. Being tracked, that means we still are worth to be observed to make some differences. Positive thinking helps, release engers or open your mind,’why you so serious’thinking helps too.’I am joking’ the person doesnt want to take responsibities for his pervious acts in order to get some relax. ‘I dont care’ either the person reaches a higher spiritual level, which doesnt have phsical needs,or desires or he/she had too many things to deal with, then no extra energy to take care more.

  3. paintman14

    As a man in the theatre profession, I have been in love with this show for years. It has had such an impact on my life, because I too have lived that life, down to going to catholic school. I am so glad that this show is still touching people in such a way. I am glad that this has been brought to the attention of the people on this website. I want everyone to know that this show is very real, and it is horrible to lose someone in such a way as Peter loses Jason. Thank you again for bringing this to here!

  4. Jon

    I costumed this musical last June here in my hometown. We had a very talented cast of young actors and They moved me every night of performance. This was a true first for this community. NEVER and I do mean NEVER has a show like this been done here and hopefully it will not be the last. It touched a lot of people and to this day I hear people talking about it. I am so glad I had the experience to not only see it but be a part of it!

  5. frost03

    I can also relate when I had to come out to my mom. I was in a secret relationship with my second boyfriend. My sister found out they were Ok with it. But they weren’t fully comfy when I was with him. Until my older sister couldn’t take it anymore and she said I had to come out to my mom like right now or else she would tell her. So I was to forcefully tell my my mom what I was and who my ex was from me. I had everything planned and had a date on when to tell her everything. But all had to be done in one day not close to the date I would come out to my mom. What made it worse it was the week before Christmas. So 2010 Christmas was the worse Christmas I had ever had. Felt like an outsider to my family and felt so much resentment. But in a way it made me stronger cos I began to depend on myself more then I should have. I was 20 when this happened. Turned 21 on January. But it’s super hard to tell the truth to those you love because there’s the fear about what they would think. If there’s that except exception or be angry for what you are. But I also learned people react in such a messed up way because there scared and can’t understand what one is. But within time all gets resolved. Years have passed and my family now accepts me and supports me for what I am. Which inspired my uncle to come out and my cousin just came out as well. It’s always nice seeing a performance so raw with emotions.

  6. Hunter0500

    This is much like the countless stories of young men and young women who were attracted to each other at young ages who began relationships but hid them because of some level of disapproval (parents, schools, friends, etc.). The only factor that makes this “drama” is that it’s two young men who are gay.

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