How apt that during Pride month in the USA, Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee made history as the first openly non-binary actors to win Tony awards.
On June 11, 2023, Alex Newell won the Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical.
Newell’s Tony award-winning performance in ‘Shucked’, a musical comedy about a small farming community that mysteriously loses their corn crop .
In their acceptance speech, Newell said:
“Thank you for seeing me, Broadway. I should not be up here as a queer, non-binary, fat, black little baby from Massachusetts. And to anyone that thinks that they can’t do it, I’m going to look you dead in your face. That you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Newell uses he/she/they pronouns and is well-known for their performance in Ryan Murphy’s hit series, ‘Glee’ where they played a transgender teenager, Unique Adams. The character was the first of its kind and the narrative resonated with many members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
In the same breath, J. Harrison Ghee won big as they walked away with best actor in a musical for their performance as a jazz musician that comes into their own gender identity in ‘Some Like It Hot’.
Harrison Ghee uses he/they pronouns.
In their acceptance speech, they said:
“For every trans, nonbinary, gender non-conforming human − whoever was told they couldn’t be, couldn’t be seen, this is for you.”
Featured image: Getty