Academic department under which the project should be listed

COTA - Theatre and Performance Studies

Faculty Sponsor Name

Thomas Fish

Additional Faculty

n/a

Abstract (300 words maximum)

This paper examines the struggles black queer men of A Strange Loop have in a community of people driven by heteronormativity. A Strange Loop is a musical produced in 2019 by Michael R. Jackson. Since the creation of our country, we have been led by disguised Puritan beliefs and Christian standards that did their best-in the 16th century- to remove any push back of the heteronormativity that they were setting in place. Despite this being centuries ago, the heteronormativity pushed out then are still being seen today. Because of this, being Queer today is considered the minority, wrong by religious standards, and even dangerous. Now put all of these issues on a black man in our country and you have a perfectly “strange loop” of issues.

My research dives into this musical to show the relationship between identity, the heteronormativity that is in place today and how this creates a unique set of challenges for black queer men in our country. I will argue in my paper that the way in which black men are raised up in life and religion causes a direct line of problems dealing with identity, battling the heteronormative bias that people carry to express freely, and being a black man in America. Methodologically, I will reference the experiences written about in A Strange Loop through the songs like “Inner White Girl” and cross reference the information the traumatic experiences of being a black religious queer. "The black church- has historically dictated the community's stance on homosexuality — either you don't talk about it, or you condemn it," This research will intrigue the POC Queer community and will serve as a wakeup call for all of the people who still unknowingly wear these biased lenses today.

Disciplines

History

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

Included in

History Commons

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How the Men of “A Strange Loop” Break Heteronormative Bias’s to Expose the Struggles of a Queer Black Man

This paper examines the struggles black queer men of A Strange Loop have in a community of people driven by heteronormativity. A Strange Loop is a musical produced in 2019 by Michael R. Jackson. Since the creation of our country, we have been led by disguised Puritan beliefs and Christian standards that did their best-in the 16th century- to remove any push back of the heteronormativity that they were setting in place. Despite this being centuries ago, the heteronormativity pushed out then are still being seen today. Because of this, being Queer today is considered the minority, wrong by religious standards, and even dangerous. Now put all of these issues on a black man in our country and you have a perfectly “strange loop” of issues.

My research dives into this musical to show the relationship between identity, the heteronormativity that is in place today and how this creates a unique set of challenges for black queer men in our country. I will argue in my paper that the way in which black men are raised up in life and religion causes a direct line of problems dealing with identity, battling the heteronormative bias that people carry to express freely, and being a black man in America. Methodologically, I will reference the experiences written about in A Strange Loop through the songs like “Inner White Girl” and cross reference the information the traumatic experiences of being a black religious queer. "The black church- has historically dictated the community's stance on homosexuality — either you don't talk about it, or you condemn it," This research will intrigue the POC Queer community and will serve as a wakeup call for all of the people who still unknowingly wear these biased lenses today.

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