Monday, June 12, 2023

Alex Newell, J. Harrison Ghee Make History As First Out Nonbinary Actors To Win Tonys

The first out nonbinary actors to win a Tony Award on Sunday, Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee didn't hold back as they embraced their identities.

Prior to the ceremony, the performers—who identify as he, she, or they—made history by becoming the first openly nonbinary actors to get a Tony nomination.

As they gave their acceptance speeches, neither actor let the momentous occasions go by.

"I appreciate you coming by, Broadway. As a queer, nonbinary, overweight, Black child from Massachusetts, I shouldn't be up here, said Newell, who won the Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for their portrayal of Lulu in the Broadway production of "Shucked."

"And to anyone who thinks they can't do it, I'm going to look you dead in the face and tell you that you can do anything you put your mind to."

Before "Shucked," Newell had several notable roles, including Unique Adams on "Glee" and Mo on "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist."

During their acceptance speech for the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, Ghee, the star of "Some Like It Hot," yelled out their mother.
This is for any transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming person who has ever been informed that they cannot be seen or identified.

14 years ago, Karen Olivo won the Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for their portrayal of Anita in "West Side Story." Now, the duo has won the same award.

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