By Steven Fales
Footlights Theatre, Orlando FL
It’s a coming out story, but it’s the nicest coming out story I’ve run into in years. Mr. Fales grew up a devout Mormon, but with a hint of SSA (Same Sex Attraction.) He loved the church, the ritual, and the magic underwear, but since the LDS ranks homosexuality with UFO’s his attraction to the BYU football team put him in an awkward spot – make out with another Young Ambassador tenor or marry a tall, blue eyed, incredibly horny Mormon fembot. His faith was stronger than his convictions so he went with the blonde and they started a family. Soon his love of confession got him excommunicated, and when the closet door pops open, his last “Can I be forgiven?” was answered with a brusque “Give us your undies and beat it.” Off to New York and a profitable if unstable gig as an actor, a waiter and a tax exempt escort. Just as the biggest sinners make the most pious converts, Mr. Fales became the poster boy of “How Not To Be A Mormon.”
Fales’ boyish looks and cocaine-white teeth offer a winning charm, and unlike so many gays who grew up in pious households, he seems genuinely hurt the LDS won’t have him back. Like the Pharisees and other ideologues, they aren’t very big on forgiveness and tolerance; it’s their way or the highway. Fales’ positive attitude helps, even if he seems over-eager to air all his own dirty laundry. What really wrenches this story home is the end – he removes his hairpiece and instantly ages 20 years. Removing it took him from cute and vivacious to middle aged and sad, but he also went from plastic Ken to a real human who looked tired, haunted, and out of place with the world around him. It’s a powerful story, never whiny and always pulling you forward. Fales needs group acceptance, and that’s what churches and secret societies offer. There’s undoubtedly a bit of you in him somewhere.