Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee make history as the first non-binary actors to win Tonys


The performers – who use the pronouns “he”, “she” and “they” – made history before the ceremony by becoming the first openly non-binary actors to be nominated to the Tonys.

And none of the actors missed the monumental moments as they delivered their acceptance speeches.

“Thank you for seeing me, Broadway. I shouldn’t be up here as a queer nonbinary fat black little baby from Massachusetts,” said Newell, who won the Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Lulu in The Movie Musical took home Broadway musical “Shucked”.

“And anyone who thinks they can’t do it, I will face it, that they can do anything they put their minds to.”

Newell’s win follows several memorable roles in her career before Shucked, including her stint as Unique Adams on Glee and Mo on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

Ghee, who stars in Some Like It Hot, shouted to her mother as they accepted the Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.

“For every trans, non-binary, gender-nonconforming person who’s ever been told you’re not allowed to be, that you can’t be seen, this is for you,” Ghee said.

The pair’s wins come 14 years after Karen Olivo won the Tony for Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Musical for her role as Anita in West Side Story.

Olivo announced that they were non-binary and used she/they pronoun via Instagram in 2021.

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