In the early 1980s, American medical professionals were tasked with diagnosing an unknown medical anomaly that had been identified within communities of homosexual men in metropolitan areas. This illness appeared to decimate the otherwise healthy victims’ immune systems, leaving them susceptible to various rare diseases, often leading them to succumb to afflictions that under normal circumstances would be easily fought off. Within months the afflicted population was in the hundreds, and the death toll was steadily increasing. This was the beginning of the AIDS Crisis, an epidemic that would go on to kill thousands of Americans in only a couple of years and force the lifestyle of queer Americans into the public consciousness due to the immense spread within the community. The proximity of the virus to the gay male community especially led to mass amounts of public scrutiny towards homosexuals. In the earlier years of the spread, the virus was referred to as “gay cancer” and was largely ignored by the American government, some politicians even suggesting that the disease was punishment for leading a queer lifestyle. Despite the immense amounts of suffering and criticism the queer community face at this time, many actually believe that a silver lining of the crisis was increased sympathy towards the community. A conventional belief heralded by many contemporary queer Americans is that the AIDS crisis created a dialogue that opened a path along which major strides toward social justice could be made, for instance, the achievement of marriage equality in 2015. The gradual increase of tolerance towards the LGBTQ+ community is often attributed to the community building and mass publicization of the daily lives of queer Americans that represented a majority of AIDS sufferers. Utilizing Hollywood’s films as a microcosm of American society as a whole, this paper looks at the change in the representation of queer characters and how queer topics were treated in America before and after the AIDS crisis devastated the community. From 1927’s Wings to Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Psycho all the way to 2016’s Oscar-winner, Moonlight, this study explores how queer storylines have changed in the century since the creation of the American film industry. Examining 15 films, this study will inspect how the crisis affected Hollywood’s treatment and representation of the LGBTQ+ community.