The Zakar Twins Are Showing The World It Gets Better
We all love when we’re able to watch something and find a connection with it. There’s nothing like seeing a performance and being able to say to yourself “SAME!” In the Zakar Twins’ book-turned-play “Pray The Gay Away,” it will have you feeling like your coming out story is also being told.
When the Zakar Twins’ Christian mother discovered that both her sons, Michael and Zach, are gay, she threw holy water at them and began quoting Leviticus. The brothers turned their hilarious and unique story into a best-selling book and now the stage play, “Pray The Gay Away.”It was almost like a glam notebook of all the crazy stuff our mom did. It slowly turned into a self-help book.” states Zach Zakar. The coming out comedy chronicles the 26-year old Michael and Zach as they face awkward sexual encounters, coming out to each other, and their mother, a woman who not only gave birth to what she calls one regret – but two.
What I loved about this play is the authenticity it has. In the play, the Zakar Twins have a poster of Britney Spears in their room that they’ll pray to. This was one of the first things about the show that made me go “ok, so I wasn’t the only one!?” Growing up, I had multiple Britney Spears posters in my room along with many other favorites such as Destiny’s Child, Mariah Carey, and Rihanna. I had never seen a play when I’ve seen my childhood so well-reflected before. “Once you start realizing you are gay it's like who were you before?” says Michael Zakar.
The second thing I admired about the show is the relationship the Zakar Twins had with their mother and how they had to figure out a common ground. “It was confusing for our Mom,” Zach Zakar conveys, “in Iraq, being gay isn’t something that you discuss openly. She was worried about how the community would talk about us in a negative light. It was difficult to see her take it so hard, she basically cried and prayed for 90 percent of our coming out process.”At the end of the play, their mother realizes she needed to practice what she preached, which is love and kindness.
I left the play ready to see it again. It was so well done and had me laughing from beginning to end. The show is directed by Eric Swanson and produced by Murray and Peter Present. It is currently on tour so you don’t want to miss it if it’s coming to a city near you.