The 10 Best Contemporary Monologues for Queer Male Actors

Article Image
Photo Source: “American Crime” Courtesy ABC

Good monologues allow actors to demonstrate their range and abilities in auditions, casting calls, and showcases. But choosing the right one for you can be difficult—especially if you’re seeking a piece that reflects your identity and life experience. From drama to comedy and everything in between, this list features contemporary pieces for new and early career actors who want to deliver a monologue from a queer male perspective.

10 contemporary monologues for queer men

1. “Even the Color Blue” (theater) by Joseph Arnone: Johan

In this monologue, Johan tells his mother that he’s gay and asks her to support him when he comes out to his ailing father. Johan’s desire to be accepted by his parents is devastatingly poignant.

Johan’s struggles will likely resonate with queer male actors, allowing them to demonstrate emotional depth and nuance.

I didn’t set out to be this way. I tried for so long to run away from myself. I’ve run all my life. Every damn day, I’m haunted with the fact that I’m living a lie, and I don’t want to hide anymore. I don’t want to hide from you, from Dad… I don’t want to be this way, but I have to be this way… There is no other way for me. I’ve tried everything else. This is me, Mom. I never wanted to hurt you or let you down or be less than the son you’ve always wanted. I know I’m probably not the son you’ve wanted, and I’m sorry for that. I just want to be accepted for who I truly am, not for who everyone thinks I am. I just want you to know how I feel inside about this and how hard it’s been for me all these years… I’m not trying to hurt you and dad…I only want your acceptance.

2. “Severance” by Corrine Glazer: Harry

This monologue amusingly depicts a married gay couple working through domestic issues. Harry (mid-40s) is in the process of packing a houseguest’s belongings when his husband, Jeffrey, tries to step in. 

The monologue is ideal for a gay man hoping to make auditors laugh.

Don’t you look at me like that. I am packing her bags. Your niece has to go. Hand me that round scarfy thing on the chair… I did not marry you so we could play house with some whiny, twenty-three-year-old brat. I want a baby. I want to adopt two adorable little babies. Real babies who need to be looked after. She is old. She is spoiled. She has no job! Playing video games is NOT the same as designing them. Don’t you defend her! Don’t you defend her, or I’ll pack your bags, too!... Jeffrey! The games aren’t going to pack themselves! The quicker you do it, the quicker you can beat her into the bathroom to get ready for poker night. Is that a pile of chewed-up and spit-out fingernails? The girl needs a Dustbuster attached to her ankles to suck up her mess as she makes it… LONG BLONDE HAIRS ARE EVERYWHERE! In my fresh-from-the-laundry underwear. In my socks. Sometimes they strangle my balls. And I’m not even into S&M! Yet here I am walking around, going to meetings at work with some kind of testicular cuff cutting off blood flow. I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! Her hair isn’t just strangling my balls and strangling our vacuum motors; it’s strangling our relationship.

3. “Death’s a Drag” (theater) by Leah Mann: Dame Beatrix Buxom

Dame Beatrix Buxom is the ghost of an aging drag queen who’s long past her glory days. She sits in a run-down theater and watches a rehearsal, bemoaning the current state of drag. 

Hilarious and unique, this monologue can help you stand out and make a good first impression in general auditions. It comes in handy for prepared auditions or textual tryouts because it’s relatively short and lends itself well to rehearsals.

I’m in hell. This truly is hell. For years, it was merely purgatory to haunt my old stomping grounds—nay, my home—but now…hell. For this theater was my everything. My true family, my one calling, my life! Ah me, to have fallen so low! Life is a tragedy; but death…death rubs your nose in it. Look at these boys prancing about like schoolgirls. Where are the women?! They giggle and shriek and call each other “fishy.” Well the whole bunch of them doesn’t have the talent of a stinking loads of scrod on the docks! How’s that for fishy?! DOING THE SPLITS DOESN’T MAKE YOU A DANCER! They don’t have the soul, the heart, we used to have. Look at this ninny with her off-the-rack gown… She’s not a female impersonator…she’s a gross caricature! In my day, we respected women. It wasn’t mere parody, but homage. These young queens think “vagina” is a bad word. They don’t spend time with real women. I learned everything from my wife and her sapphic lover. How to move, sway, murmur sweet nothings and belt out a number with the power of a thousand ovaries. IT’S CALLED SUBTLY, DARLING! TRY MEANING IT!!!

4. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (film) by Stephen Chbosky: Patrick

In this monologue, Patrick (late teens) shares a violent story that demonstrates the adversities the queer community faces, as well as his hope that he’ll meet “a good guy.”

If you’re looking for more mainstream material to use for auditions, this monologue is for you. Tapping into Patrick’s sadness can illuminate your ability to bring out the subtext of a popular piece. 

Yeah, I’ve got one. Well, there was this one guy. Queer as a three- dollar bill. Guy’s father didn’t know about his son. So, he comes down into the basement one night when he’s supposed to be out of town. Catches his son with another boy. So, he starts beating him. But not like the slap kind. Like the real kind. And the boyfriend says, “Stop. You’re killing him.” And the son just yells, “Get out.” And eventually, the boyfriend just did. Forget it. I’m free now, right? I could meet the love of my life any second now. Things will be different now, and that’s good. I just need to meet a good guy.

5. “American Crime” (television) by Spencer McFarland: Taylor

Taylor (late teens) confronts his former guardian, Nate, after he discovers that Taylor is gay. 

While short, this dramatic monologue demonstrates how Taylor has been impacted by Nate’s views on homosexuality. It offers the chance to demonstrate your range with just a few lines. 

I wanted to talk. I messed up. Lied.

Mom’s got problems. You know that. She’s never home. She, um, she can’t let go. They’re making her— they are making her crazy.

Remember we used to go to the Colts games? Every time you could, you’d take me. Remember we stopped going? I stopped wanting to go. Do you know why? They were playing the Packers one time; they were getting— getting killed.

And you started screaming, “Stop playing like queers, quit playing like a bunch of queers,” loud as you could, over and over, right in front of my face. Same man who spent 8 months raising me, screaming about queers. Do you remember that game, Nate? I remember that game.

I’m talking with someone and he tells me I’ve got to…confront things. So…I’m confronting things.

6. “The Dying Gaul” (theater) by Craig Lucas: Robert

In this scene, Robert (mid-30s) helps his terminally ill lover die while dealing with his own sense of guilt. The juxtaposition of his loss with his intense need to find his place in the world makes this monologue pack a punch. 

If you want to portray a character who’s dealing with intense conflicts and emotions without going over the top, this monologue will give you the chance to exercise restraint. It’s an especially strong choice for open, private, and theatrical auditions, as it lets you showcase your variety and depth. 

When the morphine didn’t work and I realized how long it was going to take, even if I could convince those bozos to withhold fluids, obviously his brain was destroyed, the drains weren’t working, filling his skull with antibiotics which were doing nothing at all, he was literally producing that goop from his brain… and it was at least another week before you were going to get back from Fiji, I’m not blaming you… I called around, and someone, a nurse’s aide, told me that there was something kept on nurses’ carts—potassium chloride, which if I injected it directly into the IV would stop his heart: instantly. The aide warned me that he could wake up from the coma… which he did. His eyes flying open… after a week, brain-dead… And he shouted… a sound more than a word… just like that pig… And I have been thinking. See? I’m bad, I did the wrong thing… that it was for me, because I couldn’t stand watching it. So, and you gave me permission. What kind of Buddhist gives somebody morphine, why didn’t you just give me a gun?… There. I should have told you… That’s… You ask how big my rage is. That’s… Everyone should—World War Three, that’s what I want. Not just Auschwitz… not… The whole planet. All of us… I want the world, all mankind. We should all… hear that. We should all know what that’s like. Yes. You were useless to me. You were useless to Malcolm. At the end. Thank you for trying, but… You were really worth nothing. Nothing.

7. “Boys and Girls” (theater) by Tom Donaghy: Jason

This piece blends humor and drama as Jason (late 30s) confronts an ex-boyfriend who wants to get back together with him. 

This is an excellent choice for actors who want to show casting directors that they’re capable of excelling across genres. For theater auditions, you can use this piece to show off your flair for both comedy and drama rather than using a monologue that’s predominantly one or the other. 

He’s—he’s—he likes his work. He’s a consultant on parks. How they should be arranged. Where the fountains go… How they look at night with the lights, the shrubs, are there enough benches. Or too many. What style. We have all these models at home, little benches like in a dollhouse. He carves them. I move them around when he’s late and I’m mad. And, you know, I didn’t know people like him existed—I guess I thought there were just parks! But there are consultants on them and it’s very precise and everybody comes in and dickers over everything for months and months, sometimes years. A lot of times, years. There’s one just got finished he took me to the week we met. And we had a picnic. I shouldn’t—… He’s um— he’s um—. I need water. He’s close to his family. And they’re okay, they’re Southerners. So they eat and say “y’all.” I mean they’re not hicks. They’re not with pickup trucks on cement blocks in the yard or anything. They’re respectful and treat me like, um, when we’ve gone down, like some kind of dignitary. (He returns with a glass of water.) Some exotic person from a faraway place, you know, that they’ve been told they should treat well. And they do. And they do… Which is where he gets it. I don’t want to do this if you’re going to be sad… I don’t want to make you sad.

8. “The Laramie Project” (theater) by Moisés Kaufman: Jonas Slonaker

This play, which tells the true story of the brutal 1998 murder of Wyoming teenager Matthew Shepard, is based on interviews with real-life people who experienced the crime and its aftermath. In this monologue, Jonas (40s) describes the challenges of living in a town that’s been made famous by a hate crime.

Suitable for general auditions, open auditions, casting calls, and theater auditions, this powerful piece can help you show off your range as an actor.

When I came here, I knew it was going to be hard as a gay man. But I kept telling myself, people should live where they want to live. And there would be times I would go down to Denver and I would go to gay bars and, um, people would ask where I was from and I’d say, “Laramie, Wyoming.” And I met so many men who grew up here and they’re like, this is not a place where I can live, how can you live there, I had to get out, grr, grr, grr. But every once in a while, there would be a guy, “Oh gosh, I miss Laramie. I mean, I really love it there, that’s where I want to live. And they get this starry-eyed look and I’m like, if that’s where you want to live, do it. I mean, imagine if more gay people stayed in small towns… But it’s easier said than done, of course.

9. “The Inheritance” (theater) by Matthew Lopez: Eric Glass

Eric, the central character of Lopez’s Tony Award–winning two-part play, grieves the cultural and personal losses he has witnessed in the gay community over time and the gradual erosion of real human connection. This monologue is an ode to gay culture and the importance of community in the lives of queer men. 

Because this piece depicts a character’s experience with grief, it makes for an excellent theater or general audition piece. 

Our culture is being co-opted. I mean, sure it’s great Sean Penn won an Oscar for playing Harvey Milk, but American students are still taught nothing about queer history. It feels like we’re getting stripped for parts and the inside is hollowing out. It feels like the community that I came up in is slowly fading away. When was the last time any of us actually hung out at a gay bar? My point exactly! Gay bars used to be safe spaces for people like us to be ourselves and to find others like us. Now everyone just goes on to Grindr. But what about the twenty-year-old kid who’s not looking for sex, but rather for community, for a connection with something that helps him understand himself? Or the sixty-year-old man who’s looking for the same? What happens to that shared culture? If being gay only describes who we love and who we fuck but not also how we encounter the world, then gay culture and gay community would start to disappear. And we still need that community. Because this country is still filled with people who hate us with vengeful, murderous fanaticism.

10. “The Normal Heart” (theater) by Larry Kramer: Tommy Boatwright

While delivering a eulogy at a friend’s funeral, Tommy Boatwright (40–50s) laments the loss of an entire generation of young men to AIDS while questioning why nobody seems to be doing anything to combat the epidemic. 

Performing this monologue for open or private auditions, casting calls, or theater auditions is a perfect opportunity to highlight your ability to deliver an emotional speech with restraint and nuance. 

I have this tradition. It’s something I do now when a friend dies. I save his Rolodex card. What am I supposed to do, throw it away in the trash can? I won’t do that. No, I won’t. It’s too final. Last year I had five cards. Now I have fifty. A collection of cardboard tombstones bound together with a rubber band. I hate these fucking funerals, I really do.

And you know what else I hate? I hate the memorials. That’s our social life now, going to these things. Nick was a choreographer; not many of you knew that. He was just starting out, he didn’t tell a lot of people. He was waiting to invite you to his big debut at Carnegie Hall or some shit so we could all be proud of him. But he was so good. He had such promise.

We’re losing an entire generation. Young men, at the beginning, just gone. Choreographers, playwrights, dancers, actors. All those plays that won’t get written now. All those dances, never to be danced. In closing, I’m just gonna say I’m mad. I’m fucking mad. I keep screaming inside, “Why are they letting us die? Why is no one helping us?” And here’s the truth, here’s the answer: They just don’t like us.

More From Acting


Now Trending