Photo courtesy of Casa0101 Theater
Photo courtesy of Casa0101 Theater
Photo courtesy of Casa0101 Theater

It was the night before Armando and Tomas’ wedding, and despite being accepted by their families, the doubts caused by the pressures from societal norms still affected them.

“We’re messing with the sanctity of marriage,” shouted Tomas. Armando quickly ran to his fiancé to embrace him passionately, reminding him of their love. In that moment Tomas realized that having each other really does mean the world, if not more.

The short play, “Los Novios,” written by Jaime Mayorquin and directed by Martin Morales, is one of seven plays presented at Casa 0101 Theater as part of the third annual Brown and Out Festival.

The festival of short plays expressed the pains, triumphs and the grey that lies between the event of coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and being brown.

Projected on the stage were the words “pride,” “familia,” “normal,” and “be yourself””” The words remained with me, and after watching the plays, they resonated well. What stood out to me the most was how in spite of the traditional values Latino parents carry with them”” many times unaccepting”” in their own way, they still provided support to their children.

The night before the big day in “Los Novios,” Armando and Tomas argue; they doubt. It’s here where one sees the strength of Tomas’ family and their acceptance of not only him, but of his partner.

During a conversation with Armando, Tomas’ father explains that although he is unaccepting of the marriage, he accepts him as his son-in-law, as part of the family. It’s nice to see how the father had to adapt to the changes in lifestyle for his son and for his family, accepting his sexual orientation, marriage and evoking a sense love and tradition.

Like in “Los Novios,” the short play “Sunday Brunch,” written by Rosa Maria Rodriguez and directed by Martin Morales, shows how the tradition of love brown parents have for their families is a priority above other traditions””a classic Latino/a or Chicano/a family trait.

The play begins with two siblings: Lydia and her brother Victor discussing her coming out to their mother. Her brother discouraged it; he didn’t want the drama that it would bring to their family. He wanted for her to come out, but not to their mother.

The following day was time for brunch with mom, a lady with perfect brunette rolls, and a skirt no higher than the knee and a nice blouse and blazer.

Her daughter, who no longer lived at home, opened the door as she walked in with perfect posture. Lydia was afraid, but as they sat down and started to talk about men and how she now needed to get married, she built the courage to tell her mom she was not attracted to men.

Her mom’s automatic response was: “you need to pray and ask God to change you.” But Lydia had tried that, and nothing happened.

Being Lesbian was a part of who she was. Coming out for Lydia didn’t mean she would no longer take her mom to misa (mass) or stop having brunch with her. She was still going to share traditions with her, except, she would have to add her own.

Her mom was reluctant to accept her at first, but after thinking about it, her daughter was a reflection of her””independent, strong, and filled with conviction.

At the end, maybe she didn’t agree with he daughter’s choice, but she loved her and her family, and that was enough to accept her as she was: Lesbian, Brown, and Out.
Brown and Out Theater Festival is playing at Casa0101 Theater now through Nov. 3. Click here to buy tickets or call (323) 263-7684.

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