Hector Zavala Discusses His Solo Show “Buscando al Ultimo Hombre Gay (Seeking the Last Gay Man) at The California Theatre in Santa Rosa November 30
Cheryl King is producer of the Wednesday Weirdness performance series at The California, the latest
new nightspot in Santa Rosa.
She recently interviewed Hector Zavala about his new solo show, Buscando al Último Hombre Gay
(Seeking the Last Gay Man) prior to his upcoming performance at The California on November 30.
Hector’s answers provide not only a great preview for the show, but also a thoughtful examination of
many hot-button issues in current culture.
CK: First a question about the title – What does it mean? Who is doing the seeking? And who is the last
HZ: When I first wrote the show I wrote it based on the experiences of five of my closest friends and
myself. We began talking about our recent break-ups and questioned what it meant to be in a
relationship, what we gave up during our relationships and what we wanted from a relationship. After
all, we all wanted the same thing, to be gay–happy. After several workshops and rewrites I came to the
conclusion that I wanted to talk about the search for happiness. All of us humans want to be happy,
gay. In this story, I take humanity as a whole as seeking that last moment of happiness.
CK: In your show you share some of your first experiences as a gay man – actually as a gay 16-year-
old. At what point in your life were you aware that you were different, that you liked boys more than
girls? How did that manifest itself?
HZ: I always knew I was different, I know it may sound/read cliche, but it’s the honest truth. I still feel
different. But my complete awareness came after my coming out, which is a story I talk about in my
show. I was “pushed out” of the closet after a night of romantic exploration with another young man my
age. That night I knew I was different, I wasn’t gay, I didn’t know what that was, but I was pointed out as
As for my attraction to boys, I can say that I’ve always been attracted to both boys and girls. I wanted
to be around girls all the time, play with them, dance with them… with boys, I felt my sexuality was
more intrigued by them. Since I was very young. My first exploration was at the age of six with a boy
CK: Your show compares the desire for sweetness and intimacy with the desire for sex. How do those
two drives work together? How do they conflict?
HZ: Yes, my show also touches on the search for validation. Sex is a big motivation for acceptance
and validation in the gay community and culture. In the story, this character is conflicted by his
yearning for a love that is sweet and intimate, yearning for a successful romantic relationship, but as we
all know, we do not have many positive examples of successful gay couples in media. So in his search,
this character is trying very hard to fit to the standards of a community that has been outcast, ridiculed,
CK: Like many people in our culture, you seem to have reached out for the rebound relationship. Do
you think there is a value to taking more time after the ending of a relationship to get on solid emotional
ground before seeking out a new partner?
HZ: I truly believe that we all have our own journey and we each do the best we can in our search for
happiness. A rebound relationship, for me, was the best thing that could happen after my separation.
Imagine believing in a fairy-tale idea of marriage, add the Catholic belief that “marriage is forever”
imposed by a matriarchal family and words like “You wanted to get married; now suffer the
consequences”. I felt like the worst human after deciding to leave my husband; I needed that human
interaction I got from a rebound relationship.
CK: How can self-love heal the wounds of too-casual sex?
HZ: Self love allows for space to make decisions based on what the self truly wants. Sometimes
he/she wants casual sex, sometimes he/she wants a burger. Casual sex with out self love can be
fogged by the external search for validation and that’s where the troubles begin.
CK: You recently performed this show in Mexicali. What was your audience response there? Did you
make any changes to the show based on that Mexican tour?
HZ: Well.. my first run was back in 2019. It was in English and I had a very limited budget. It was
produced in the Bay Area and performed at the Marsh, SOMArts and the Queer Arts Fest in SF. For
the Mexicali performance, which was part of my tour throughout Mexico, I was able to increase the
production value with sets, costumes, props and original music, with the same budget I had in the Bay
Area performances. I also translated into Spanish with the aid of a dramaturg and added a whole new
concept to the piece by hiring an up-and-coming director in Mexico City.
Many people in the audience waited for me at the end of the show to hug me and talk to me about how
the show spoke to and about them, both female and male. I had to go back and schedule three more
CK: What do you see as the differences between how the Mexican culture treats homosexuals versus
how they are treated in the US?
HZ: I’ve been a resident of the US since I was very young. I grew up in San Jose, CA with my mother,
which is where I accepted my queerness. I saw Heklina in drag on TV on the Ricky Lake show at the
age of 12. Queer folk were begining to take a space in media and the community. MTV released “My
So-Called life”, a reality show, with a young gay Latinx man who had HIV. Space was being carved out
in the US for folks like me. When I moved to Mexico to continue with my higher education, I was faced
with a brick wall. I “had to hide” my gayness. Two of my dearest friends were un-a-lived for being gay.
Three others were beaten and taken to the hospital. I can not compare, it would be unfair, because I
can also say that Mexico has legalized same sex marriage in every state in the last two years.
CK: How can parents support their homosexual children’s life dreams and hopes in a world that still has
difficulty accepting homosexuality?
HZ: How? I’m not a parent. Nor do I want to be. Lol. But maybe I can speak for what I wish I had. My
father was such an understanding, trusting and playful Dad, he sadly was un-a-lived in a tragic
accident. I think back on the Christmas before he passed. He asked me what I wanted. I told him I
wanted a boombox. He then said, “Are you sure, I know you get up late at night and use your mother’s
sewing machine to make dresses for your sister’s dolls. Do you want your own? If you keep using your
mother’s you may break it and she won’t be happy”.
Allow space for children to dream, imagine and play. Don’t judge. Life it’s just a game. We are all here
to have fun and be happy.
CK: What message, if any, do you want your audiences to take with them after seeing Seeking The
Last Gay Man?
HZ: Enjoy life. Life is but a series of stories we create in our mind. It’s much more fun when we play
with others, live in the present with awareness and we share our experience and desires with our “cast
Showtime is 7:30 pm. Tickets are $19-$22 at https://www.caltheatre.com/wednesdayweirdness