Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Interview: TO T, OR NOT TO T? - That's D'Lo's Ongoing Question

D’Lo’s solo show To T, or Not To T? (A Comedic Trans Journey through (T)estosterone and Masculinity) beginning previews June 25th at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Interview: TO T, OR NOT TO T? - That's D'Lo's Ongoing Question

Next up for Center Theatre Group's fourth season of Block Party, D'Lo's solo show To T, or Not To T? (A Comedic Trans Journey through (T)estosterone and Masculinity) beginning previews June 25, 2022 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. D'Lo hilariously takes us on his journey transitioning while bridging his traditional Tamil Sri Lankan family with his Queer/Trans chosen family.

I had the chance to pick D'Los brain on his back story to To T, or Not To T?

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, D'Lo!

At what age did you reveal your authentic self to your Tamil-Sri Lankan parents?

I think I started revealing myself much younger than they could actually understand - they couldn't help that they don't have gaydar! But I came out to them at age 21 as "gay" because I knew I wasn't a lesbian, and I didn't know what other word to use to let them understand. After that, I kept "revealing" more of myself from that point forward.

Were their reactions positive or negative?

At first, it was negative. But now, many moons later, they have come to terms with my queerness.

Have they seen any of your shows?

They have seen me perform as a poet and performance artist when I was younger. My Amma came to see me in Sri Lankan in 2012 and then my Appa came to see my latest solo in 2019.

You have been awarded grants and fellowships from a variety of organizations. Any one more special to you than the rest?

All awards where I am recognized for my creative work, my work within community or just my impact on communities feel really amazing. It's a beautiful feeling to be honored for something you take pride in.

What inspired you to start QORE, a Queer South Asian Comedic Artists Collective in 2020?

I think I was tired of having no collective space to respond to things that were happening in the world, and I wanted to do it with queer folks who had wicked senses of humor. Additionally, I hadn't been aware of any spaces in which queer South Asians were coming together to creatively respond to the things that were happening not only in our U.S. diaspora, but in our motherland/ancestral homelands.

Besides performing your solo acts and stand-ups. you've also created the "Coming Out, Coming Home" writing workshop series for South Asian and/or Immigrant LGBTQ Organizations across the nation and collaborate with NQTTCN (National Queer/Trans Therapists of Color Network). Are these all the various methods you find useful in communicating to/teaching the disregarded masses?

Interview: TO T, OR NOT TO T? - That's D'Lo's Ongoing Question It used to feel that queer immigrants and people of color came from communities who didn't want to talk about "queerness" in general. But the truth is that, our communities don't want to talk about anything related to mental well-being. There's a lot of silence in a lot of QTBIPOC communities and, while I think there's been a lot of movement because more and more folks are coming out as queer, there are still not enough conversations about mental health. So, I do these workshops as a way to create space for folks who desire to share their voice, to feel less alone, to come to terms with the ways colonization has kept us in our silos, and away from connecting to one another in deeper and meaningful ways. I believe that our communities are healthiest when we are not afraid to be vulnerable with each other. Yes, therapy is amazing, but so is working out your fears in intimate relationships and loverships.

You started out as a poet presenting your poetry. Growing up, did you ever envision yourself onstage acting in your solo acts?

When I was performing mostly poetry, I did not ever think I'd be acting on stage. I think it was being inspired by solo theater artists that inspired me to want to do the same. And once I did, it felt very normal.

You've toured venues nationally. Any audience responses really take you by surprise?

I think that the responses to my work have been very connected and genuine. Oftentimes it's people who stumbled across my show that their responses are most amusing, because it feels like I am witnessing their whole world getting turned upside-down!

But the responses I am humbled by are when people, of all different backgrounds, share with me how they saw their own self through my story.

Would you share a fun incident you experienced shooting Billy Eichner's Bros?

Interview: TO T, OR NOT TO T? - That's D'Lo's Ongoing Question The whole thing was fun not only because it's a comedy, but because the cast was incredible! There was a scene that got cut that was so fun and funny - it was in a ball pit and one time I literally couldn't get up from underneath all these balls, and one of my taller cast mates thankfully yanked me out by my clothes. It only lasted a second, but I remember the panic like "how come I can't stand up?!".

What's in the near future for D'Lo?

I am excitedly looking forward to working on two projects I have in the oven and looking to get back out on tour with stand-up for a little bit.

Thank you again, D'Lo! I look forward to checking your To T, or Not To T?

For tickets for the live performances of To T, or Not To T through July 10, 2022; click on the button below:

Related Articles View More Los Angeles Stories

From This Author - Gil Kaan