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Nonbinary performers make history, becoming first to win Tony Awards

Alex Newell won best actor in a featured role in a musical, and J. Harrison Ghee took home the Tony for best leading actor in a musical.
Nonbinary performers make history, becoming first to win Tony Awards
Posted at 9:39 AM, Jun 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-12 11:40:00-04

Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee made history at the Tony Awards Sunday night. 

They are the first nonbinary performers to win in their respective categories. 

Newell won for best actor in a featured role in a musical. 

"To anyone who thinks that they can't do it, I'm going to look you dead in your face, that you can do anything that you put your mind to," said a shocked Newell after winning the award. 

Newell plays Lulu in "Shucked," a comedy about family trying to save their corn crop. The performer has been wowing audiences with their solo of "Independently Owned."

SEE MORE: The long history of nonbinary identities

Ghee won their Tony for best leading actor in a musical.

The first person Ghee thanked after winning the award was their mother.

"Thank your for teaching me how to live, how to love, how to give," Newell said.  

The performer then had a message for people in the LGBTQ+ community. 

"For every trans, nonbinary, gender non-conforming human who ever was told you couldn't be, you couldn't be seen, this is for you," Ghee said. 

Ghee plays Jerry/Daphne in "Some Like it Hot." The character is a musician who is on the run from gangsters when they transform into Daphne. 

SEE MORE: The history and meaning of the most popular LGBTQ+ Pride flags


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