Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Life on Mars

Play #103 (Make-up #21) - Life on Mars by Trish Cole

This play takes place in what may be a not-so-distant future as the very last living lesbian on Earth is being prepared to be shipped off to a penal colony on Mars, where all the other lesbians have already been sent for the crime of simply being lesbians. Since she is the last lesbian, this will be the last penal flight to Mars, and Earth will sever all ties with the colony. It's important to note that, in this world, it is very clear that this is a genetic predisposition, not a choice, as they have developed a genetic treatment to alter lesbians, making them into heterosexual women. This prisoner is handcuffed and dressed in orange prison garb, and is being escorted by a policeman who clearly does not think much of her. A reporter comes in her final moments to record a quick interview for the governmental archives, and the prisoner tries over and over again to get either of these people to treat her as a fellow human, not a defective, deviant other. She tries to talk to them about her wife, who did agree to being genetically altered, but neither wants to hear much. However, this reporter is more than she seems, as she also comes with a secret delivery. She manages to pass the prisoner a vial of something, which the prisoner describes as "life on Mars." Since science has effectively eradicated the jean that makes a woman a lesbian, and since the women on Mars will have no way to procreate, lesbians will effectively die off... but the vial... well... it has the ingredients to fix that little problem for themselves.

With all the conversations about marriage equality right now, this is a pretty scary image of the future. There is reference to a time when same sex marriage was legal... before it just wasn't. We don't get any details about how all of this happened, how homosexuality (lesbians in particular... there is no mention of homosexuality between men) was so deeply criminalized. But this "cure" that fundamentally alters a person at their genetic level... and jails them for that same genetic element if they fail to agree to that alteration... it's pretty horrifying. And with all the gay "treatment" centers out there, there is something chillingly plausible about these sci-fi circumstances. And the plea for basic human decency is so very necessary.

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