On Sunday, June 11, Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee became the first nonbinary people to win a Tony Award.
Newell won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for their performance in Shucked. Newell said in their acceptance speech:
“Thank you for seeing me, Broadway! I should not be up here as a queer, nonbinary, fat, black little baby from Massachusetts. To anyone that thinks they can’t do it, I’m going to look you dead in your face [and tell you] that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
\u201cHistory made at the #TonyAwards...\ud83d\udc4f \ud83e\udd79\n\nCongratulations, @thealexnewell!\u201d
In turn, Ghee won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in a Musical for their performance in Some Like It Hot. “For every trans, nonbinary, gender nonconforming human who was ever told you couldn’t be, you couldn’t be seen, this is for you,” Ghee said while accepting the award.
\u201cJ. Harrison Ghee becomes the second openly nonbinary actor to win at the #TonyAwards\u201d
— The Hollywood Reporter (@The Hollywood Reporter)
The 76th Tony Awards were hosted by Ariana DeBose. Due to the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, the ceremony was entirely unscripted.
Despite the production setbacks, Newell and Ghee’s victories made this a historic night for LGBTQ+ performers on Broadway.