Queer Divinity

The way in which Tony Kushner’s Angels in America¬†converses with the relationship between queerness and the Divine is one of the best and most complex I have seen in media.

From the very start of the play we see the pairing of queerness and spirituality with the Jewish funeral which is depicted. Then, we are introduced to Joe who struggles with his sexuality and Mormon faith. But the pairing of religion and queerness which I find the most important and interesting is Prior’s relationship with spirituality and religion. The choice to to make a gay man who is dying of AIDS the character in play who is the self proclaimed prophet, most connected to the divine is important especially in a post AIDS America, with so much stigma still surrounding the illness. The moment which stands out to me is when the Angel itself refers to Prior as the prophet, “Greetings Prophet! The great work begins!” the Angel proclaims when meeting Prior. In having the divine itself recognize Prior as a prophet Kushner challenges traditional ideas of religion and inexplicably connects the queer to the divine.