Important Differences Between Luna and Boy Meets Boy

‘Boy Meets Boy’ and ‘Luna’ are more obviously different because of the varying level of acceptance for both main characters’ prospective sexualities and genders. In ‘Boy Meets Boy’, Paul lives in a world that functions similarly to a utopia because of its acceptance of queer characters. Paul has always known he was gay, and his friends and family support him and treat him with respect. Even though he was assaulted outside a movie theater in middle school for being gay, his community still widely accepts him as well as other queer people. Infinite Darlene is in a similar position as Paul, as a drag queen; “few of us can remember what Daryl Heisenberg was like, since Infinite Darlene consumed him so completely. He was a decent football player, but nowhere near as good as when he started wearing false eyelashes” (Leviathan 16). Despite the initial setbacks of queer characters in ‘Boy Meets Boy’, the characters are faced with an unprecedented amount of acceptance.
Unlike ‘Boy Meets Boy’, ‘Luna’ takes a much more negative, yet more realistic, point of view surrounding the inclusion of queer characters. Although Regan’s sister Luna. formerly known as Liam, is accepted by her, he has trouble being honest with the rest of his family and the community as a whole. He longs to transition and present as female, but his negative father and judgmental classmates make his life very difficult. Despite the initial subject of Paul and his ease at being gay within his community, Liam is relegated to dressing and being the person he wishes at night in a small basement room. Regan has issues confronting her father and his guess that Liam is gay or secretively involved in unhealthy activities, but is wrong, “I wanted to scream in his face, no! He likes guys, we both do. That doesn’t make him gay. That makes him as straight as me because inside he’s a girl, Dad. Just like me” (Peters 123). Regan not only has to deal with keeping Liam’s secret, but trying to reconcile her own knowledge of trans people and Liam’s position while both Liam and her have to learn to navigate the world and educate themselves about hormones and other options for Liam.
Both novels focus on the similarities between coming out and the life that people comfortable in their sexualities lead. They both focus on how the norms of society change and develop queer identities through the lenses they are viewed from by the rest of the community.

Connection Between Angels in America and Oranges

Both Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit center on the control of religion in both character’s lives. The impact of Jeanette’s mother and her religious views shape the relationship she has toward her own non-conforming sexuality and how that aspect of herself makes her feel isolated. The impact of Judaism on Louis’ life with respect to his sexuality changes his relationships with other members of the gay community. Both texts deal with the idea of prophets, where Jeanette considers herself a prophet because she chooses to create her own space outside of the church’s teachings, and Prior very clearly sees the vision of an angel and is considered to be some sort of messenger.
While many of the characters in Angels in America are affluent members of the gay community, Jeanette chooses to remain closeted for most of her life while living with her mother. Both Jeanette and other characters in Angels in America choose to ‘come out’ as gay despite the respective repercussions. Jeanette is ostracized within her community and is no longer allowed to teach in the church, and the members of the gay community during the AIDS crisis were often discriminated against in every aspect of their life; from the negative comments shared with Belize during his job at the hospital, to the possibility of an AIDS/HIV diagnosis toppling the livelihoods of anyone in the play.
Angels in America uses the idea of camp to add a playful exaggeration to many of its scenes, while Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit avoids the use of it all together. Angels deals with a very serious subject matter, and the use of camp in scenes like the funeral and Prior’s over the top hallucinations add a sense of lightheartedness that would otherwise make this play very serious and depressing. Jeanette’s story avoids using camp, which makes it more serious and allows an experience that is all too common to resonate in a different way with its readers. Both works explore the ideas of non-conforming sexuality to create a change in culture

Winterson’s Oranges and Queer Identity

“One day, a lovely woman brought the emperor a revolving circus operated by midgets. The midgets acted all of the tragedies and many of the comedies. They acted them all at once, and it was fortunate that Tetrahedron had so many faces, otherwise he might have died from fatigue. They acted them all at once, and the emperor, walking round his theatre, could see them all at once, if he wished. Round and round he walked, and so learned a very valuable thing: that no emotion is the final one” (Winterson 52)

This part of the novel, while discussing the author’s childhood, shows the struggle that she has even in her youth to come to terms with the person that she is. Obviously, her sexual identity plays a large role in her life and how she views the people around her. During her childhood, however, religion became a huge factor in the way she acted publicly at school and the way she views her mother, the main perpetuator of religious belief in the household. In the novel so far, Jeanette’s mother’s personal beliefs latch onto Jeanette’s, whether its about the neighbors, the way she interprets school assignments, or who she spends her time with.

The concept ‘that no emotion is the final one’ could easily apply to the contradiction between Winterson’s sexuality and her mother’s parenting, specifically in connection with Christianity. Winterson may have made the allusion to the Bible to show how she really came to realize her sexuality and other intimate things about herself that really make her who she is. In the way that the Bible influences her mother’s life, her mother influences her. Her mother has clearly found a lot of purpose through religion, and Winterson could have found her purpose through discovering the many intricate parts of her identity that’s separate from her mother’s, like Tetrahedron’s many faces.

Thoughts on Hunger

Adrienne Rich’s poem Hunger, dedicated to Audre Lorde, focuses on the oppression of women in society and the use of writing and personal expression to give women a voice. This specific passage of the poem sounds very sad and like she is longing for something. The repetition of “even our intimacies are rigged with terror” could mean the anxiousness and fear that she senses when trying to voice her opinions. “intimacies” and “terror” are technically opposites, where terror invokes fear but intimacy invokes peace and harmony. Through the poem, Rich tries to reconcile her own experiences with the stories of others. These lines as well as the whole poem conveys her struggle to create a voice for women, especially queer women, who are trapped by the ideals of feminine behavior and ideals in a male-dominated and heteronormative world. The fact that this particular poem is dedicated to Audre Lorde further exposes the fact that she wanted this poem to empower women to speak up about the types of oppression they face. Audre Lorde’s other work describing the erotic also comes into play in this poem. It contains a sense of the erotic that can help women overcome their suffering. The poem urges women to use the power of the erotic in their daily lives to overcome oppression and suffering and create a better world for themselves. The lines create a sense of hope about the future women face and the positive outcomes that can come from their struggle for equality in today’s world.