“AIDS is God’s punishment!” proclaims the choir in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical A Strange Loop, in a scene where the protagonist — a young queer Black man — argues with his parents in a heartbreaking dialogue in which they conflate HIV with being gay.
This show paints a poignant picture of the current state of HIV: that there is a lot of work that remains to be done to eradicate HIV and stigma, particularly in communities of color.This brilliant show illustrates that HIV today is mainly affecting queer communities of color, and because of stigma and discrimination, we are not talking about it enough, and we need this topic to be highlighted everywhere in mainstream media and entertainment.Currently, HIV is most devastatingly impacting queer black and Latinx communities, straight cisgender black women, transgender women of color, and sex workers.
Yet the resources, attention, and funding are not equally distributed and helping close this health and equity gap.As we learned over the past three years of the pandemic, we are all only as safe as those members of the community who are most at risk.
Luckily, in the queer community, we look after each other; we unite and fight together in the face of discrimination. In the 1980s, we supported each other and demanded the government to address the AIDS crisis.