ADDED ON: 04/04/2020

Queer artists will help us survive COVID-19

04/03/2020 | Washington Blade

Recently, I’ve been transfixed by Larry Kramer’s gut-wrenching play “The Normal Heart.” Why am I so obsessed with Kramer’s work now? Because art is as vital as air in this time of the COVID-19 plague. Poems, plays, movies, novels and paintings can’t cure a disease. But they can comfort, entertain and prod us to work for justice. The LGBTQ community has lived with AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic in the 1980s. So, a plague’s nothing new to us. AIDS and the coronavirus aren’t the same thing, and the world’s different from what it was decades ago. Yet, I’m betting, the art created out of living with the plague of AIDS – from Keith Haring’s whimsical barking dogs to Paul Monette’s elegiac poetry to Terrence McNally’s play “Love! Valour! Compassion!” to Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” – will inspire artists and writers in our COVID-19 era. “Show me a plague and I’ll show you the world!” gay playwright, novelist and AIDS activist Larry Kramer wrote in volume one of his epic novel “The American People.” (The novel’s second volume was released in January.)

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