Pop Style Opinionfest: Navigating the Painful History and Awful Legacy of “It’s a Sin”

Posted on February 26, 2021


Kittens, we’re so proud of ourselves for getting through this week’s podcast without crying! Yay, us! Not that it’s a depressing episode of the PSO, just that we had to navigate some deeply emotional waters for us. We take a bit of a deep dive (to drive that whole water metaphor further into the ground) on HBO Max’s limited series about the 1980s AIDS crisis in Great Britain, It’s a Sin.



First, you should know that it comes highly T Lo recommended. We don’t fuss too much with worrying about spoilers except to mention that of course a good number of cast members are dead by the end of it. If you want to watch it without preconceptions, come back for a listen when you’re done.

It’ll leave you a bit of an emotional wreck (it’s an AIDS drama after all), but we think it’s worth your time, even if it did come in for some earned criticism from AIDS activists and it occasionally lapses into stereotypes. We explain if and how it overcomes these things, but mostly we’re here to talk about how it pushed our emotional buttons and triggered us as Gay Men of a Certain Age. We’ve made it clear before that we didn’t live through the worst years of the crisis, largely because we were too young to be affected by it in the early years, but we get into a bit of a history explaining how the effects of the AIDS crisis rippled out for decades and generations.

Which leads us to our next discussion, regarding the Gallup poll that came out this week citing a huge leap in LGBTQ identification among Gen-Z; news that was not exactly well received by certain older gays and TERFS, largely because non-gay queer identities have surged forward as the majority of the LGBTQ community. Bisexual, NB and Trans identities are the rising core of queerdom and some gay folks are having a hard time with it. We talk about how this ties into the AIDS crisis itself and why Gen-X and Boomer gays can be slow or downright bad about accepting broader definitions of queerness – especially ones that don’t center gays.


We promise it’s light and fun and conversational! Would you have us any other way, darlings?

As always, thank you for listening.


[Photo Credit: Ben Blackall/HBO Max – Video Credit: HBO Max via YouTube]

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