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ILLUSTRATION: CHELSEY HILL ELIZABETH PORTRAIT: NACHO GUEVARA

The arts has been telling the stories of the LGBTQ+ community for decades. Elizabeth Durand Streisand charts some of the highlights

C

hange doesn’t happen overnight – and the fight for LGBTQ+ rights is no exception. Over the years, Broadway has acted as both a haven for the community and as an incubator to present new viewpoints to a wider audience. Here’s a brief timeline of some of the most pivotal LGBTQ+-focused stories to ever grace the Great White Way … so far.

times. In the original production, he was left in the closet – and Grey himself came out as a gay man a full five decades later. By Bob Fosse’s 1972 version, the Emcee had become bi-curious. When the musical returned to Broadway in 1987, he was officially bisexual. And ever since Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall took the reins in 1998, he’s been a gay man gearing up the courage to openly express himself.

1966 Cabaret

If this title sounds familiar, it’s probably due to the star-studded Broadway revival last year. The play, which got its start Off-Broadway, revolves around a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party in New York City. At

Conceived by Hal Prince and starring Joel Grey, much of the story is anchored by the character known as the Master of Ceremonies (Grey), and how he is depicted has evolved with the

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1968 The Boys in the Band

DIGITAL EDITION

Broadway continues its support off stage with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which is one of the nation’s leading industrybased HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. Since 1988, BC/ EFA has raised over $300 million for essential services for people with HIV/ AIDS and other critical illnesses.

the time it was a groundbreaking, honest portrayal of gay life – arguably one of the first to hit the stage. In fact, the original production has been cited as a catalyst to the 1969 Stonewall riots and the gay rights movement in general.

1983 La Cage aux Folles

This atypical musical features an aging, gay couple who are forced to hide their sexual orientation in order to meet the fiancée of one of their sons. George Hearn, one of the original leads, admitted he’d struggled with whether to take the role at all. “It’s funny, but I never thought twice about playing a coldblooded murderer like Sweeney Todd,” he revealed. “But this

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W42ST Issue 54 - The Pride Issue  

Inside: How to be a true ally, understanding intersectionality; the facts about PrEP, the podcasting exes, The Cher Show, God's Love We Deli...

W42ST Issue 54 - The Pride Issue  

Inside: How to be a true ally, understanding intersectionality; the facts about PrEP, the podcasting exes, The Cher Show, God's Love We Deli...

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