Broadway is gay. Correction: many Broadway actors are gay, but the stories they tell are decidedly heterosexual.
This is changing, slowly. To celebrate the 2016-2017 Broadway season, let’s look at some of the best – and most unconventional – queer characters to grace the Great White Way.
By “queer,” I’m referring to lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters; genderqueer and genderfluid characters; and pansexual polyamorous couples. I would love to include asexuals on this list, but I have yet to find AroAce: The Musical. #AsexualRepresentationMatters
Maureen and Joanne from RENT
Maureen and Joanne are everyone’s favorite lesbian couple. By favorite, I mean that they’re awful for each other, but that’s what makes them so perfect.
If you haven’t witnessed their rollercoaster love story, start with The Tango Maureen, and try not to cry about that one girl you fell in love with even though she was bad for you and cheated on you but you loved her anyway because she was just so addictive. Then watch Take Me or Leave Me, remember that you’re still in love with that girl, and call her six times.
Dr. Charlotte and Cordelia from Falsettos
The AIDS epidemic provides a bleak backdrop for Falsettos. Fortunately, the audience gets to spend time with the adorable lesbian couple Dr. Charlotte and Cordelia, who offer the gay protagonist friendship, hope and sweeping high notes in Unlikely Lovers.
Alison Bechdel from Fun Home
Alison Bechdel is annoying. At least, she is in Fun Home. Her character is overly introspective, a bit neurotic, and not particularly likable.
Then again, most of us are, and that’s why Alison Bechdel is high up this list: Songs like “I’m Changing My Major (to Sex with Joan),” which explores sex, heartbreak and lesbian puberty in college, are painfully relatable. I triple-majored.
Hedwig from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Hedwig is the queer character to end all queer characters. Or, the queer character to begin all queer characters, since Hedwig inspired many of Broadways’s more genderbent personalities.
Hedwig will have you laughing so hard that you forget you’re watching the tragic tale of a person who was mutilated, exploited, abandoned and essentially left for dead. The music’s good, though. Plus, you will get to see mouth-watering Rebecca Naomi Jones play a genderqueer Eastern European man named Yitzhak, which is yum-mee.
The Entire Cast of Passing Strange
We just had sex, sing the main characters of this avante-garde Black punk European acid trip of a musical. And by main characters, I mean five people. Yes, Amsterdam is apparently all about cigarettes, philosophy and five-somes in grimy apartments.
This musical is full of amazing lines, but one of the best is: “I’m a philosophy professor and part-time sex worker. You could say I hook, therefore I am.”
Plus, you get to watch Rebecca Naomi Jones have five-way sex in leather pants. Have I mentioned: Delish?
John Laurens and Alexander Hamilton from Hamilton
I’m not saying John Laurens and Alexander Hamilton were definitely gay. But I’m saying that history says that they definitely might have been gay.
And you can read fanfiction of it.