How to Make a Teen Gay
by Gili Malinsky
“The teenage experience is a marvelous one. It’s a dramatic one because you’ve got one foot in childhood and one foot in adulthood. And everything matters.”
- Stephen Stohn, Degrassi Executive Producer
This Friday marks the fifth and final (weekly) installment of whimsical underground spot The Annoyance Theatre’s hyper gay, hyper high school show Lake Homo High. Lake Homo follows the lives of four high school students, Leslie the geek, Troy the cool one, Steve the malleable one and Damian the hot a-hole, in a town where, you guessed it, everyone’s gay. Here’s the show’s theme song:
♪IT'S LAKE HOMO HIGH. AN ALL-GAY
HIGH SCHOOL NEXT TO A LAKE THAT WAS USED TO DUMP REAGAN-ERA PHARMACEUTICALS WITH UNKNOWN SIDE EFFECTS.♪
♪EVERYONE IS GAY.
EVERYONE IS GAAAAAAY…♪
Each episode features a familiar teen plot - the science fair, the football tryouts, the Sam Smith concert - with the story of scientists Barlow and Jennings researching the nearby lake weaved in (what, exactly, does this lake do, they ask. And who is responsible?). Every element is overlaid with a thick veil of gay. For the Nancy Reagan Science Fair, for instance, the kids are assigned to invent a new kind of lube. To become Lake Homo High’s Next Top Quarterback, the boys compete by modeling different kinds of balls (baseball, tennis ball, basketball, ping pong ball).
A huge fan of teen soap Degrassi, creator and writer Sam Taggart conceived of Lake Homo several years ago. But with no cast in mind nor resources to put on the show, he shelved the idea. Time passed and he and co-creator Bowen Yang built a network of gay comedians (they all perform Live on Broadgay together, renditions of Sex and the City with an all gay man cast), and Taggart decided to submit the idea to the Annoyance in late 2015, getting accepted early this year. The show has run weekly over the last month and will continue running monthly after this episode.
“We didn’t really have a voice for it,” says Taggart about finding Lake Homo’s electric, bubblegum vibe. As they were writing, “I sent [Bowen] the screen shot of a text [where] he said ‘Where are you?’ I said, ’I’m by the bathrooms.’ He said, ‘Oh my God, you’re being a bitch.’ I said, ‘Oh my God, you’re being unreasonable.’ And that’s like the heart of the show.”
We spoke with Taggart about some of our favorite scenes from episode two, in which Barlow and Jennings test out the lake’s chemicals to understand their true effects. First, they mix them with microorganisms ("The microorganisms seem to be moving").
“If there’s one thing that’s true,” he says, “if gay people are microorganisms, we’re constantly going to gay bars.”
Then, Barlow and Jennings test the chemicals on humans (""My god!").
“I went to a 21st birthday,” says Taggart, “where the birthday girl kept DEMANDING vodka sodas. I've always thought that was really funny.” The handbags, of course, are self explanatory.
In last week’s episode, the boys tried to survive a slight chill in their tanktops (they refused to put on jackets, says Taggart, because then “you can’t see [their] arms!”), and our scientists discover who’s really responsible for contaminating the lake: the government! At the end of the episode, a government official sends her straight sentinels to kill all the gays.
What can people expect from this week’s episode?
“Prom and graduation!” He says.