Metro Weekly

Morgan Gould: Until Trump is defeated “I cling to my gay friends”

In "I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart," playwright Morgan Gould spotlights the bond between a gay man and an overweight woman

“He personifies something so many of us have known our whole lives, which is that part of our society hates us,” Morgan Gould says of President Donald Trump. “They really genuinely wish we would die. They genuinely hope for that. And it’s scary.”

Gould takes some solace in a post-election statement made by Gloria Steinem: “This is what happens just as you’re struggling to get free. The abuser grabs one more time. This is that moment and we can decide, ‘No, we’re done.'”

“Only time will tell if that’s true,” she says. “Until then, I cling to my gay friends.” Gould’s deep bonds with her gay friends are what inspired I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart, currently in its world premiere at the Studio Theatre. The title comes from a synth-rock song by She Wants Revenge, the intensity of which reflects the deep, complicated platonic friendships Gould has long had with gay men.

The play, which explores the friendship between “a fat woman, Samantha, and her best gay friend and roommate, Leo,” draws on Gould’s real-life experiences, but is not strictly autobiographical. The pair are as close as a married couple, but their bond is threatened when Leo makes a new friend.

“She is what I lovingly call a ‘basic bitch,'” Gould laughs. “She’s a thin, beautiful nightmare.” She’s also someone who hasn’t had to struggle in the same manner as gay guys and overweight women. “Fat people are not the weakest people in the room,” Gould says. “We’re the strongest, because we’ve had to suffer a lot more than regular people.” Gould feels I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart sheds light on conditions not typically expressed in mainstream entertainment, which tends to view gays as obsessed with sex and fat women as obsessed with food.

“I’m not some amazing political genius,” says Gould. “I’m not some amazing community organizer. But I am a person who can create visibility for people who are often ignored.” –Doug Rule

I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart runs to Feb. 19 at the Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. Call 202-332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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