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PrEP & kicking bigot butt: Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady talk reasons for Pride

PrEP & kicking bigot butt: Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady talk reasons for Pride

OUT ADVO Cover Party June 2024 Wayne Brady Jonathan Groff Mark Berryhill Sam Champion Steven Walker red carpet arrivals
Roland Fitz for equalpride

At a party celebrating their Pride covers of Out and The Advocate, the Broadway stars discuss what June means to them this year.

Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady shared what makes them proud this June at a “Pride of Broadway” party celebrating the launch of their May/June covers of Out and The Advocate magazines, respectively.

At the Monday fete thrown by parent company equalpride, host Sam Champion (Eyewitness News, WABC-TV) brought the out Broadway stars up on the stage at Somewhere Nowhere NYC for a short Q&A on Pride and prejudice.

“We need to be together right now. And we need this Pride to be a time that we rely on...Out, The Advocate,” the gay weather anchor prefaced to the crowd. “These are people that are…speaking our voice, they're telling our story. And if people are trying to take our rights away, we need to make sure that we have a place where we are heard, and we are seen. Get together this Pride, support them, and thank these wonderful people who are telling our stories every day.”

Turning to the cover stars, Champion then praised Broadway as “a home and a beacon for LGBTQ+ creatives.” He paraphrased a line from Spamalot: “You don't succeed on Broadway if you don't have gays.”

OUT ADVO Cover Party June 2024 Wayne Brady Jonathan Groff Sam Champion party stage banterRoland Fitz for equalpride

With that, Brady and Groff took the stage. In a short interview, Champion asked them what it meant to grace the covers of the LGBTQ+ publications. “It's such an honor to be part of this and this family and to be recognized for it,” said Brady, who came out as pansexual last year and is now starring in The Wiz.

“I was really flexing for my life,” joked Groff, who bared arms for his Out cover. Groff is a leading Tonys contender this year for his lead role in the revival of Merrily We Roll Along, and he shared what taking him theater’s top prize might mean to him: “If I win, it's gonna light up the closeted homosexual that was 16 years old listening to Ethel Merman…. It would light him up like a Christmas tree.”

Wayne Brady opened up about what it means to be celebrating his first Pride as an out man. “It’s freeing…. [After coming out, I feel like] you can't hurt me. You can't blackmail me, you can’t shame, you can't do shit to me anymore. So just that makes me walk through the world a little taller and seeing things differently. And now that I feel that that weight is off, I can do anything and that is not hyperbole. I really feel that.”

“Isn't it amazing that when you are living your authentic inside and out, that there are no barriers to what you can succeed [in],” replied Champion, who then asked the cover stars if they wanted to send a special message this Pride season.

“I'm single,” Groff said to the cheers of the crowd. “I’m feeling full of Pride and PrEP.

Said Brady: “If there's any time to stand together and to preach and to use our art, you know, those of you in the art community, let's try to transform some of these minds because Lord knows there are so many bigots and closeminded people that think one way. Let's either kick their asses or change their minds all the while singing and tapping through it.”

OUT ADVO Cover Party June 2024 Nina West Wayne Brady Jonathan Groff party toastRoland Fitz for equalpride

After the Q&A, cohost Nina West (RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 9) led a margarita toast of Groff and Brady with a little help from Hornitos, which brought out sparklers for a celebratory "marg mode" moment. In addition to the tequila brand, sponsors of the event included Kargo, Discover, Tide, Downy, and Vitaminwater. WABC-TV and On the Red Carpet were media partners.

Additionally, at the event, Tituss Burgess gave a surprise showstopping performance of "On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)." Other special guests included Michael James Scott (Aladdin), Jelani Alladin (Frozen Broadway, Fellow Travelers), Miss Bouvèé, Kennedy Kanagawa (Into the Woods), Plasma (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Rosé (RuPaul’s Drag Race), equalpride CEO Mark Berryhill, Jackie Cox (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Judy Gold (Outstanding), and Jelani Remy (The Lion King).

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor-in-chief of Out and an award-winning journalist who focuses on the intersection between entertainment and politics. This Jersey boy has now lived in Los Angeles for more than a decade.

Daniel Reynolds is the editor-in-chief of Out and an award-winning journalist who focuses on the intersection between entertainment and politics. This Jersey boy has now lived in Los Angeles for more than a decade.