In my opinion, “Boy Meets Boy” and “Luna” are more obviously different. I think one main struggle that Luna must face in his coming out story that Paul does not face is self-struggle. Paul does not struggle with who he is or letting everyone know that he is gay, whereas Luna has a very hard time allowing herself to be her true self around and in front of others. I think this has part to do with the type of household and neighborhood they were raised in. Paul was raised in a majorly populated homosexual community and by parents who understood his sexuality; whereas Luna could not even tell her parents nonetheless her community what her true identity was. Paul’s experiences with being gay were more personal struggles that many heterosexual’s face. In my opinion, this is because Paul is very secure with him and knows who he is and isn’t persecuted for it from those around him. Luna, on the other hand, had to face internal and external hardships throughout her coming out story. For example, Luna is discriminated by her family, especially her father. Her father who questions if Luna is gay but does not even thinks that Luna would be transgender.
Another main difference between the two is the story line of the two characters. Paul shows us the hardships of love and romance. Because Boy Meets Boy is a utopian novel, he is living in a world where he is accepted for who he is. Paul does not have to face any type of discrimination from others about his sexuality. In Luna, the readers see more rustic and truthful struggles that come along with coming out.
I think these two different types of views are very important for readers. They show that no two stories are the same and everyone will have different struggles. Some, like Paul, will be easily accepted and face challenges that heterosexual couples also face. Others, like Luna, will have to endure the discrimination from many angles of life, such as family and society. I think reading the two have made me realize that there is not one set of struggles that people who are coming out have to deal with, struggles come in many different ways.
Through the 58 notes on camp written by Susan Sostang I have taken away that the meaning of camp, is looking at something through a new perspective, a way to show a new side to things. Camp is a breakaway from the social norms. It can be controversial in the sense that it brings up differing views or ideas from what is known and expected throughout society. This is seen many times in Angels in America. Angels in America takes place during a time of the AIDS crisis, where the LGBTQ community was being vastly discriminated. Camp is seen specifically in the scene of the funeral of the drag queen. During this scene, there is a clear difference between those who were in the “chosen” family, vs. blood related family. The members of LGBTQ, his “chosen” family were seen dancing and singing and rejoicing his life. This scene has many characteristics of camp. Instead of mourning during the funeral and wearing all black to the funeral, they were dressed in bright colors, singing and dancing. This is very different to what is known as a society norm. This over the top way of expressing their grief is very campy. The drag queens real family is confused and looking at the other people as if they are crazy. The actions may represent the different ways they cope with death. This scene depicts the separation of the LGBTQ throughout society. It is representing that the style of camp has separated them from society norms. To me, the LGBTQ community was dealing with so many deaths because of the AIDS crisis, that this way of mourning was their only choice. It already is a very depressing time, but in order to stay positive in some way they choose this campy way by having over the top, exaggerated ways at the funeral.
This passage has a lot of significance within it. The sentence specifically, “and I have never since read Jane Eyre” has a lot of meaning. This sentence signifies how Jane is hiding from the reality of what she has just discovered. Once Jeanette went to the library and read the story for herself, was the moment she became an individual. This was the first thing Jeanette did for herself and realized her mother was not who she thought she was. Jane Eyre is a reminder of a time where she had a much simpler life. She wasn’t yet faced with diversity or with the idea that her mother was not who she thought she was. The book symbolizes Jeanette’s relationship with her mother. Her mother manipulated the ending of the book, the way she was manipulating Jeanette to think. All of her life, Jeanette valued her mothers opinion over anything else. This effects Jeanette’s coming out story because it shows how timid she is and how naive she is to all of her new findings. She does not know how to think or how to act without the guidance of her mother. She now needs to make her own path, one that was not created by her mother. I think Jeanette fears this unknown path. She is scared of all of the twists and turns she will have to face on her own. This is a time where Jeanette needs to find the ability to be proud of who she is and make decisions for herself. I think by not reading Jane Eyre, she has not yet found that courage to do so.
“I put my hand on your thigh to comfort both of us, your hand came over mine, we stayed that way, suffering together in our bodies, as if all suffering were physical, we touched so in the presence of strangers who knew nothing and cared less vomiting their private pain as if all suffering physical” (Rich, 148).
When I first read this, I noticed that pain and suffering was a very dominant theme throughout it. One phrase that immediately stood out to me was, “as if all suffering were physical” and it was repeated several times throughout this particular stanza. I think Rich means that people are acting as if just touching each other will ease the pain, when in fact the suffering occurs internally. The phrase can also mean that suffering has the ability to bring them together and that the presence of others can help heal. The word choice by Rich feels very distance, for example, she used phrases “strangers”, “cared less”, “private pain”. It is because usually when we suffer we have our loved ones around. But in these lines, strangers are suffering with one another. What I am trying to say here is that I think these lines are trying to represent that if one is suffering, people tend to hug them or touch them as if that is what will heal the pain. We need to understand that pain comes within and there are different types of suffering, which may not all be noticeable.