A Person is a Person is a Person
Even coming from a Catholic background, Terrence McNally, a gay playwright, never felt that being a homosexual was wrong. He quotes, “It seemed very natural to me. I think something as natural as sexual attraction is not to be fought.” He goes on to say that he defined God on his own terms and that the one message he got from being in Catholic school was that we are all created equally in God’s image, therefore, he was going to be okay (Shulman). In 1988, McNally became one of the first writers to confront homosexuality in his short play titled Andre's Mother. Later, in 1997, he wrote "Corpus Christi," which altered the story of Jesus Christ in a gay setting. This created controversy among the conservative, religious crowd but he did not give up there (Fulton). He went on to make a lasting impact on the lives of some people, making his plays become successful and highly populated in attendance. McNally treats the play Andre’s Mother in a shockingly ordinary manner in order to normalize the subject of homosexuality given the time period in which it was written. Andre’s Mother is a short play portraying the hardships that come with suffering from the death of a loved one. Most people are familiar with the 5 stage process of dealing with a death—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (Axelrod). This process takes place no matter whom it was that died, whether it be a family member, friend, mutual friend, or significant other. Small details such as age, race, or sexual orientation would not affect the progression because it is a universal process. In this short play, Andre, who recently passed, was gay, and Cal, Andre’s lover, must cope with this major loss. McNally chooses to deal with homosexuality in the circumstance of a death because it is a relatable feeling of numbness. Both Arthur and Penny seemingly have very little to do with the play. However, they actually play essential roles in McNally’s representation...
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