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Rent Cast on Tackling LGBTQ Representation, AIDS, Class in 2019

Rent Cast on Tackling LGBTQ Representation, AIDS, Class in 2019

Rent Cast on Tackling Issues of LGBTQ Representation & HIV/AIDs, Class

The actresses opened up about bringing the LGBTQ representation from the 1990s Broadway musical to a national audience.

The musical event of the season, Rent is set to go live on Fox this Sunday, and The Advocate spoke with cast members including Vanessa Hudgens, Kiersey Clemons, Valentina, Jordan Fisher, and Tinashe about the show's timeless treatment of issues around LGBTQ representation, HIV and AIDS, classism, and gentrification.

"At 14 I saw Joanne and it was exciting to see anyone that looked like me ever," Clemons, who is queer and playing Joanne opposite Hudgens's Maureen, told The Advocate. "Then, to get older and see it again and be like, Oh, wait. We have more in common than I thought..."

"To be a part of that experience for someone possibly is so exciting. I'm always ready to make a gay black young woman feel something," Clemons said.

RuPaul's Drag Race star Valentina, who is gay and nonbinary, and has stepped into Angel's platform heels for the production, spoke about the power in Rent bringing discussions about HIV and AIDS to a wide audience and a new generation.

"It [Rent] educates the younger folks on a time where there was no PrEP and it wasn't very common or normal for people to go and get themselves tested. It was taboo," Valentina said. "I think it puts forth sexual education for younger people to really take care of themselves and their health."

Watch the video below.

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