Housaynatou @ 'A Strange Loop' - the reality of a young gay black man

What’s it about?

A young, overweight, gay black man tries to find himself in a world that seems to want to destroy his kind.

My experience.

I was literally sitting in the center of the very last row and I have to say it was the best view. Unfortunately, my seatmate made the experience a little unpleasant. Sitting to my left was an older gentleman who also happened to be an usher, and he had major BO. It’s the summer, I get it. Thankfully, that did not take away from my enjoyment of A Strange Loop. I can’t believe I was at a preview performance because the entire cast was so in sync.

When the show began, what immediately got me excited was the cast. They came out in full force with the sass, laughter, beauty and charm. Every single cast member differed from each other, whether it was height, gender or weight; the only thing they had in common was that they were all black and proud. They said a lot of the things that black folks do nowadays, like "B***h, please" or "All my life I had to fight...." I hear that stuff all the time, whether it's on television, among my friends/family or while walking down the street. For once these expressions resonated with me, but most importantly they were funny and managed to put a smile on my face.  

Though I thought this was going to be a musical comedy, I was wrong. It started off like that, I guess to butter up the audience before hitting us with the raw material. Matter of fact it was so raw that I did not think I could handle it. It was jam-packed with so much emotion and realness. At times I have trouble facing the reality of things because of the feelings it inspires in me. In this case, it was the reality of a young, overweight, gay black man who can’t find a way to love himself, or to find love from others.

In the end, Usher, the main character, confronted all the haters that dismissed him as a poor, fat, black gay dude and cried. This scene was by far the most gut-wrenching because it stripped him of his protective persona. With tears pouring from his eyes, he spoke of his reality and the struggles that came with it. This musical is based on the playwright’s own life. SURPRISE! I was shocked yet proud to see how he exhibited his own truth on stage.

This show coincides with Pride Month, the annual June celebration that commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Today, celebrations include Pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops and concerts that attract millions of participants around the world. A Strange Loop is a great example of what Pride stands for, a celebration of LGBTQ people from all walks of life that exudes happiness, love and togetherness.



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