“Then I’m crazy. The whole world is,… that this is real, it isn’t just an impossible, terrible dream, so maybe yes I’m flipping out.” (Kushner, 175)

Whenever we address HIV/AIDS, back in the day, it emerged as a really powerful physical and mental sense – a notion that those who were affected must be engaged in the work of fighting this disease, physically and mentally. Nowadays, it is something we take for granted, everything that is related to AIDS is easier to approach, because, with medical and social advances, the conversation around HIV/AIDS became much more open-minded, to a point where the disease itself is somewhat neglected due to its irrelevancy.

Nowadays, we kind of take it for granted that AIDS could be something that could be talked about in a polite and more effortless manner, without thinking too much of it as an immediate threat due to medical advancement. An HIV/AIDS patient back then would probably die a few years after their diagnosis. If we look at this conversation from this scene, AIDS was so devastating to the point that it would break down even the strongest of men. The discussion regarding the severity of AIDS has changed nowadays because even if you have AIDS, living for another 30-40 years is still possible when you have a lot of money for treatment.

We also take it for granted how openly you could have a conversation about AIDS nowadays without offending anybody. However, we have come to forget that it was an extremely sensitive topic because you couldn’t talk about HIV without talking about gay men, junkies, or whoever the conformed society deemed to be the potential AIDS-carrying agent.

Finally, the emotional struggle of being an HIV patient is somewhat forgotten nowadays. Back in the 90s, it was hard to hide HIV after a certain point. It was likely easy to see someone emotionally drift away and say, they probably have AIDS. That’s not the case today because it’s invisible due to how manageable it has become. This is by no means a bad thing, and it’s great to see the decline in deaths caused by AIDS but coming along with that is the concern about AIDS and its existence also sharply declined.

Kushner, T. (2013) Angels in America: A gay fantasia on national themes. Theatre Communications Group.




Homosexuality is wrong because religion dictated so.

The idealistic nature of religion is the barrier that forces people away from their personal beliefs, thus, consequently, blocking them away from their pursuit of happiness instead of helping them to achieve it. This, of course, does not exactly apply to everybody who practices religion but rather points out the idealistic nature of religion which abides practitioners to follow a certain set of rules while forfeiting aspects that the religions deem to be taboos. In this context of Angels of America, the greatest example we could potentially investigate is the character Joe – a Christian who sets the example for what it’s like to be a “good man”. When others look at Joe, they see a true Christian who had been working diligently and doing all the “right” things he possibly could to where he is now. However, it is obvious that in the play, Joe is one of the unhappiest characters in the story due to his obedience to the idealistic nature of Christianity, which caused him to be missing a huge part of his life. To be specific, his struggle is shown in this line: “Does it make any difference?…., with everything I have, to kill it.” (Kushner, 40-41). “It” here implies Joe’s past and things that he aspired to, but according to the Christian doctrine, Joe’s “it” is wrong, and Kushner’s word use heavily suggests that Joe was and still is battling the wrongs in him. At this point it comes to the question for us: is homosexuality wrong? The answer, for people with common sense, is no; however, in the context of Joe, homosexuality is wrong even when it is hinted that he himself is also a homosexual, and this is only wrong due solely to the fact that the idealistic nature of religion dictated so.

Eli Claire’s perspective on how identities are decided in society.

“Queer people….- I would be fine” (Claire, 32). Personally, whenever I see a person who’s gay or belongs to the LGBTQ community complaining, I usually question myself that is our society is actively oppressing and persecuting these people or if are they just exaggerating their situations. And there isn’t exactly an answer for that because it could potentially go both ways. This passage shed light on this matter based on Claire’s perspective, which allowed me to put on a theory that in a general context, most people accept heteropatriarchy as the standardized gender system for a functional society. Being heterotic, this system labels the construct of queerness as deviants, but not to an extreme where it becomes a “must be executed when seen” type of crime, but rather systematic hatred and violence towards queerness. In this passage, I think Claire somewhat implies that this heteropatriarchy system is not so bad considering their scenarios, which queer groups are powerless against – to directly improve or change into a better system, which I believe to be delusional to achieve considering nowadays context. The idea here is not to support such a system, but what’s important is how one with queerness could keep their identity and be safe, continuing to exist in this system, which Claire considered as a balance. The disruption of such balance, according to Eli Claire, could cause a “real possibility of homophobic violence”; which ultimately leads me to Claire’s perspective on identity. In Claire’s context of identifications within this passage, it seems to me that one’s identity is not decided by their nature; and although identities are performative, it is also not decided by certain performances. Identities are ultimately decided by the context of the social structure that one is living in. In Claire’s case, his identity must be faked and decided in his town in order to avoid unnecessary automatic violence, because, say if you’re violently assaulted by a homophobe which could potentially result in death, there wouldn’t be any identities left for you to decide because you’re already dead meat.



The poem itself is quite a disarrayed piece of work, yet it implies brilliant queer masculinity. The dress was essentially used as the main topic to portray the queerness of a man, yet it hides the qualities that synchronize with what of a woman – femininity. The dress – being the most repeated word in this poem: provides a general viewpoint of a woman and how a man usually treats the woman, but the implication here it’s the love of the man for the man in the dress; and that love is treated for the dress, which “ruined everything”.  The final part of this poem hints at the confusion of a queer man in this position, he wanted to be loved by a man like how he loves his woman, but should he be himself, or be the woman for the man to love.

My thoughts on this poem I mostly regarding the identity topic, as it shows the confusion between masculinity and femininity – the dress, while masculinity is the person in the dress. “I don’t even know what I am” – what I am really trying to say here, according to this line is that I think these lines are a portrayal of the confused position of a queer man between masculinity and femininity, and ultimately identity. The matter of identity should have something to do with the title as well, since “Drag” definitely relates to the phrase “Drag Queen” – a male with exaggerated feministic features/decorations. In this context, this feature is the dress. The expression of confusion in the sense of gender identity throughout the poem and the femininity hinted in the dress was the brilliance that defined his current state: a man with a mix of unwitherable emotions.