When comedian Anthony Menchetti came out to his religious parents all hell broke loose. He spent the next two years stuck in Gay Conversion School with the hope that his homosexuality would be cured.

Well, some years have passed and guess what? He’s still queer.

All’s forgiven and he now shares the experiences and the story of his journey in finding spiritual peace in his award-winning stand-out production of Gay Conversion School Drop Out.

I have to clarify that this show is not in any way a slander on religion or Christianity. I basically want to convey that one has to be true to themselves -” in all aspects of life -” and we shouldn’t try to change who we are, he told Sydney Star Observer.

I hope that by doing this show my message will translate to anyone who has ever felt like a square peg in a round hole, whether that feeling stems from sexuality, race, religion or any other stereotype.

I was lucky to have come out of the program relatively unharmed. Others weren’t as lucky as me. Making someone feel that they will be condemned for something that is beyond their control can only create catastrophic results.

This tear-jerking but hilarious show will stop by the FuseBox at the Factory Theatre from Thursday 13 November.

Menchetti exposes the audience to an array of colourful characters that he came across on his path to celibacy, from the middle-aged man who left his wife for another man to an Indian man who was meant to enter into an arranged marriage with a woman.

It’s a pretty bad idea to put a group of sexually frustrated gay men together in a small room, then ask them to discuss their shameful sexual fantasies yet remain celibate. The group team leader and I ended up having an affair, he said.

I do a couple of songs which I love doing and I love talking about the absurd things we were taught in the program. You will be amazed at some of the things the church asked us to do. Some of it sounds so unbelievable but I swear -” it’s all true.

We were also told not to watch any TV that made us feel sexually tempted. Thank God Antiques Roadshow wasn’t on then. It’s pretty much porn for gay guys.

info: Gay Conversion School Drop Out plays at the Factory Theatre from Thursday 13 November until Sunday 30 November. Tickets start at $19. Bookings on 9550 3666.

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