Fresh from an acclaimed run at the New York Fringe Festival, Thao Nguyen's solo show, Fortunate Daughter, is about her revealing her homosexuality to her parents without "coming out." The coming-out narrative, she says, "is based on a lot of Western values," like individualism and the primacy of verbal communication, as well as a proclivity for binary thinking, none of which mesh with Nguyen's background and worldview. Her character doesn't come out; she "comes home," partner in tow.
For gays in many non-Western cultures, Nguyen says, if "you just keep on bringing that person home, it gives your family a chance to build a relationship with this person. Eventually they just figure it out." In this show, Nguyen's home includes a jokester dad who, when his humor fails, "he fails hard," and a mother who once solved her daughter's grade school social problems by sending her to lunch at school with five extra Happy Meals, one for each of her bullies. Nguyen's family is from Vietnam, which just hosted its first ever Pride Parade this August. In her family, homophobia is also subsiding, but "slowly." "I'm not hiding my life from them at all," she says. "I'm just not saying the words."
Fortunate Daughter starts Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. (and continues on Saturdays through Oct. 27) at Stage Werx Theatre, 446 Valencia (at 16th St.), S.F. Admission is $20.
Here's Nguyen annoying the "God guys" on Market Street for "Buddha Loves You."