“Angels In America”: Why Do Men Prefer To Be On The ‘Down Low’?

1225 words - 5 pages

Over the years America’s ability to address taboo issues by channeling them through popular culture has become increasingly popular (Pruitt, 2007). Among the many taboo issues as evidenced by the number of mainstream films which minimally address the matter, is the issue of men living on the down low (Hamilton, 2009). An example of such is the 2011 film “For Colored Girls.” The film like many bring up the issue of men being on the down low, but they have neglected to go in-depth as to why men chose this lifestyle – rather than the age old notion that they fear social rejection (Pruitt, 2007). As it relates to the drama “Angels in America,” written by Tony Kushner, the work does a great job highlighting men who have secret lifestyles and two of the characters within the drama that exemplify characteristics of living on the down low – Joe Pitt and Ray Cohn (Kushner, 1993)
To begin with, ‘Down Low’ is a phrase that was coined by members of the African American urban culture during late 1980’s which defines gay men who appear to be straight (Hamilton, 2009). Many characteristics of men living on the down low include individuals (who appear as though they are straight) who are sometimes married with children, members of the clergy, elected officials, ex-convicts, and most notable in a number of low-budget and often overlooked films – straight acting thugs (Hamilton, 2009). It is almost virtually impossible to be appreciative of the drama “Angels in America” without having an understanding about the history of the AIDS crisis as well as a more extensive story of lesbians and gays in the United States of America. While men and women have engaged in homosexual conduct in all times and various cultures, it was only in the twentieth century that homosexuality came to be seen as a “fundamental orientation” rather than an explicit act. In the United States of America, the contemporary gay rights movement followed World War Two, which as a result, brought millions of unmarried adults into close contact in large cities far from their families. “Gay bars and political organizations existed generally undisclosed in the 1950s and `60s, but New York City's Stonewall Riot in 1969 helped usher in a period of growing openness among gays and greater public acceptance (Hamilton, 2009).”
“Although gay life flourished in the 1970s, many gays saw the '80s as a period of retrenchment and tragedy. The first cases of AIDS were diagnosed among gay men in 1981; within ten years more than 100,000 people died of the disease in the U.S. alone. In the early years of the epidemic, ignorance and fear resulted in widespread discrimination against AIDS patients, and the national media reported the story in a sensationalistic manner, if at all. Gays' anger about the mainstream reaction to AIDS became interlinked with political frustration, as a conservative backlash that began in the late '70s hindered the cause of gay rights. For many gay activists, Presidents Reagan and Bush...

Find Another Essay On “Angels in America”: Why Do Men Prefer to Be on the ‘Down Low’?

Why do people prefer windows 7 more than windows 8?

959 words - 4 pages at least 1GB (Gigabyte) RAM (Random Access Memory) capacity. Another problem of windows 7 is that many applications have filed to run on it, and they ask for online backup. Windows 7 can be only be handled by new Computers. In windows 7 some users have faced problems such as their system turns off after installing it and also sometimes the windows 7 restarts itself. Advantages of windows 8 Windows 8 is in two editions. The first edition

Why do some people prefer to build their budget super car instead buying a brand new super car?

769 words - 4 pages teams of performance. This difference could lead to another huge factor in this story which is the brand name. The brand name has huge influence on the price of the product that it produces. For example, Mercedes AMG’s models dose not worth its price for the output different that it can make better than the normal Mercedes model, but the AMG patch is very strong enough to raise the price of the car. Nonetheless, for some people the brand name is

Why do Western men manage to attract Chinese women? Issues in Chinese masculinity

632 words - 3 pages Asian men in general and Chinese men in particular seem to fear Western women and are unwilling to risk asking them out for a date. Two of them said they felt it had to do with the "sissyness" of Chinese men and the third, when I referred this to her, embraced it as truth. Indeed, she went on to say that it went on more than this, but it may also have something to do with Chinese men's habits of clipping their toenails in the bedroom, spitting and

Why a Generation Acts in the Ways in Which They Do: "Why Young Men Are So Ugly" by Tony Hoagland

1091 words - 4 pages a comparison to the emotions one may be going through, a way for the author to explain how he could have felt, and had gave me the feeling he was crying out for someone to understand a certain frustration. I thought the third stanza in Why Young Men Are So Ugly had a lot of hidden meanings and significance. “That is why they shriek their tires at the stopsign/ why they turn the bass up on the stereo until it shakes the traffic light

Why I do not enjoy living in America

1538 words - 6 pages reasons that they used to raise the terror levels often proved to be unfounded.Another reason why I do not enjoy living in America is because of the post 9-11 attitude that the American society adopted towards the Middle East. Shortly after the terrorist attacks on nine-eleven, many Americans adopted a very ignorant and prejudice attitude towards anything associated with the Middle East. In fact, According to the FBI and Arab groups, the number of

Why Great Men Do Not Become President

1427 words - 6 pages said, send thousands of American boys to Vietnam. Each of these men was appealing to a part of America that wanted what they promised. What Americans must remember is that ‘We the People’ do not pay the bill of an election. It is corporations that put up the millions of dollars to get a candidate elected. They are in effect making an investment. Why would a company give millions to a candidate if they were not getting something in return

Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

546 words - 2 pages be that women live with their diseases, while men die from them. There is a difference between the sexes in disease patterns. Women have more chronic nonfatal conditions, such as arthritis, osteoporosis and autoimmune disorders, while men have more fatal conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. These statistical theories raise many questions. Why do men die so young? Why do women die so old? Maybe it's because men are more prone to be

"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck: Why do the two men stay together?

726 words - 3 pages he cared so much for Lennie and he didn't want him to suffer a brutal death from the other men on the ranch after accidentally killing Curly's wife. The love and compassion was so strong between the two that one had to die because of the other. George gave up his chance at a "normal" life in order to help care for Lennie and have him live life the best he could or at least one that he was mentally capable of doing.

The Old Nurse's Story (E. Gaskell) and The Axe (P. Fitzgerald): Of the two stories you have read, which do you think is the most effective ghost story? Which story do you prefer and why?

2139 words - 9 pages , like the ghosts.In direct contrast, there is little sense of the elements in The Axe. We only know that it is set in summer because of:"...the irritation of damp in the office this summer..."The author does not expand on this comment. There is none of the visual detail that is dispersed throughout The Old Nurse's Story. This could be because the majority of modern readers do not want to plough through a myriad of descriptions that may slow down

Why do men get paid more than women?

1177 words - 5 pages Why do men get paid more than women? Women work just as hard for less money and women barely get opportunities to show off their skill. All women should have the right. Whatever men can do, so can women. (Currie, Stephen) Still Title lX has made a huge difference in sports. Money became a big issue, simply because the money went straight to men sports. In 1971, the boys programs got cut back by $ 3,000 dollars. Still the girls programs

The Power of Angels in America

2775 words - 11 pages , and therefore concludes that it must be a musical. Having read and seen both parts of the play, I began to seriously wonder which play Rogoff had seen on Broadway to come up with this particular analysis of Angels in America.   Toward the end of the article, Rogoff begins to engage with issues in the play, indicating that perhaps he had indeed actually seen it. In a statement echoed by McNulty, Rogoff writes that "Millennium

Similar Essays

“The Msm Culture: Men On The Down Low”

1176 words - 5 pages someone with the virus. The questions that will be asked are going to be vague in the beginning. Have you ever heard of men on the down low? What are your feelings on the matter? Then the questions can get a little more in depth. Why do you think these men refuse to disclose key information about their sexuality? How does society contribute this high risk behavior? What can we do as a community to help lower the risk? Do you think that we will see

Why Do Managers Prefer To Pay Dividend In Cash?

2436 words - 10 pages The study makes use of the financial data on Pakistani listed firms for 2001-2008 to look at the objective behind distribution of cash dividends. Based on the analysis it is found that poorly performing firms listed on Karachi Stock Market (KSE) having larger portion of non-tradable shares pay cash dividends. Because the holders of non-tradable shares (directors and block-holders) do not/cannot realize capital gains from positive change in the

Why Do Women Prefer To Work

836 words - 4 pages others melt down after a day or two without going to work and having a perspective to do all the house work. Thus it is up to a woman which way of life to choose and it is remarkable that more and more women prefer to work. This can be explained by the fact, that staying at home gives no opportunities to meet new people, to improve skills and often a women does not see evident results of her work, besides home work is not valued by men properly

Why Do Female Elephant Seals Prefer To Mate With O

1111 words - 5 pages Why Do Female Elephant Seals Prefer To Mate With One Male? Biology It is known that elephant seals have a large sex dimorphism in size among all mammals. They have a mixed life style, consisting of an aquatic phase and a land phase (breeding and molting). However, due to their strong aquatic adaptation, their terrestrial mobility is greatly reduced. They feed during their aquatic phase and fast during their land phase. While submerged in their