Intersectionality of Race and Sexuality

I found the dialogue between Roy and Belize in the hospital scene to be very interesting. Packed within Scene 6, I noticed a lot of factors intersecting, from the struggle of the aids epidemic to Roy’s blatant┬áracism towards Belize. Roy being a high profile New York lawyer and political boss, his whiteness and socioeconomic status reflect the hegemonic power structures of the second half of the twentieth century. As a powerful and bigoted white male, he embodies the power of the Reagan Administration whether it was through the systematic negligence of the aids epidemic or through policies that increased mass incarceration and targeted people of color. Angels in America highlights the issues that gay people faced through the late eighties via the aids epidemic as a result of the Reagan Administration. But as the Netflix Documentary “13th” argues, being a black person at this time was also extremely difficult as policies that sought to criminalize the use of crack cocaine were intentionally created to disenfranchise black people and keep them in jail. I think it is important to recognize this issue in America at the time in order to truly understand that these racist attitudes at the time didn’t stop short of action but led to the oppression of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Understanding this relatively untold story of American History, I believe, will give us more appreciation for the struggles of Belize because while the play does not dwell in detail about his race, the fact that he is both black and gay does create a unique intersection of oppression. And despite this, Belize still finds the courage to stand in solidarity with Roy as a gay man and spare one life from the aids epidemic.

One thought on “Intersectionality of Race and Sexuality”

  1. I love that you pointed out the importance of Belize and his interactions with Roy. I too think that there is not much attention paid to the different identities and intersections of the characters that impact their lived experiences. According to dominant narratives during this time period, Belize should have been the character to have AIDS, but instead it was a powerful white male who contracted the disease. Ultimately, I think that the relationship between Belize and Roy creates a different narrative about the disease during this time period.

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