First non-binary actors win Tony Awards
(The Hill) — Broadway performs Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee became the first openly nonbinary actors to win Tony Awards on Sunday evening.
“Thank you for seeing me, Broadway. I should not be up here as a queer, nonbinary, fat, Black little baby from Massachusetts,” Newell said in their acceptance speech for best featured actor in a musical. “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 won for their performance as Lulu in the musical “Shucked,” a comedy that hit the stage in March.
Ghee later won the award for best leading actor in “Some Like it Hot,” a musical that is based on the famous 1959 film.
Composer Toby Marlow of “Six” became the first nonbinary person to receive a Tony Award last year.
Like other award shows, the Tonys uses gendered categories for best actor and best actress awards, so nominees who identify as nonbinary must choose in which category they want to be nominated. “& Juliet” performer Justin David Sullivan withdrew their consideration for an award due to this requirement, saying in a statement to Deadline that the award structure does “not hold space for people like me.”
“Because I was told I had no other option but to choose between one of the two gendered categories in which I would be eligible,” Sullivan said in a statement. “I felt that I had no choice but to abstain from being considered for a nomination this season.”