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Equality Moments - How the Broadway Community Connected

At 10:32 pm last Friday night, the news began to leak. Cell phones began buzzing backstage across the Great White Way and during the curtain calls of some shows like Priscilla Queen of the Desert and The Normal Heart, cast members shared the historic news with exuberant audiences: the New York State Senate had voted 33 to 29 in favor of marriage equality.  New York had just become the sixth state in the nation to legalize gay marriage.

While some sat glued to their televisions, others ran out to join the party. Wherever the members of the theatre community found themselves that night, they stayed connected through Facebook, Twitter and the unspoken feeling of unity that victories like this can bring.  Looking back at the evening's tweets and status updates from actors, producers, directors and other theatrical professionals who played such a great part in the monumental effort to make this dream come true, one can re-live those hours of joyous celebration and well-earned relief.  Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, these quotes tell the story of a community that wears it's heart on it's sleeve and lets humor pave the way.

Max Von Essen, Actor, via Twitter:

C'mon come through New York. NEW YOOOOOOOORRRRRK!!!

Demond Green, Actor, via Facebook: 

Let's Marry!!!!! New York is AWESOME tonight!!!!!!

Jamison Stern, Actor, via Facebook:

Crap!!! Now, in addition to all the other shit she can throw at me....My mother can now say 'When are you gonna get married?!?!'

Tom Viola, Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, via Facebook:

....To all my friends already picking a date. Can't wait to be there. But expect a card. A very loving card. And tears. But not an appliance, silver service, linens or china. Just saying!!! Love to all!!!!!!!!! What a time not to be a cater waiter?!?!?!

Jamie McGonnigal, Director and Activist, via Facebook:

I am so overwhelmed with passion and emotion and love and PRIDE that WE finally did this. New York and the World will be a better place because of calls made, protests held, lobbying done, facebook articles shared and tweets retweeted. It was ALL of us that made this happen. I am proud to be a part of our LGBTQ community and to have so many straight allies who worked so hard. Thank you for recognizing our humanity.

Celia Keenan-Bolger, Actor, via Facebook:

Can't think of a better place to find out the marriage equality vote passed than the curtain call of The Normal Heart. Truly one of the most emotional nights of my life.

Roger Rosen, Actor and Blogger, via Facebook:

Can't help but wonder if the NY caterers and divorce lawyers are already hiring extra help.

Jimmy Smagula, Actor, via Facebook:

I'm about to open my windows on 47th street and blast Judy and Barbra!!!! (as he posted a video of a Get Happy/Happy Days are Here Again mash-up from Garland and Streisand.)

Dan Perry, BCEFA Staffer, via Facebook:

As we celebrate today, let's spare a thought for our opponents, who lost absolutely nothing.

Jim Caruso, Host of Jim Caruso's Cast Party, via Facebook:

Starting to sew up a lovely gown. Anyone?

Dennis Stowe, Actor, Currently performing out of town at the Westport Playhouse, via Facebook:

YES NEW YORK!! Wow I wish I was there right now!! AMAZING!!

Lavell V. Blackwell, Composer, via Facebook:

All righty, NYC gays. Who wants to get married? I'm not picky, but you'll need to come from money!

Erin Leigh Peck, Actor and author of this article, via Facebook:

Finally!  I can marry a gay man!

Adam Epstein, Producer, via Facebook:

" ... Without human rights, neither peace nor human happiness is possible. Because human rights represent the most sublime and inalienable value, ... their violation cannot be permitted, whether by states or any other force." Daisaku Ikeda(Buddhist leader and scholar)

Scott Nevins, TV Personality and Host of "The Smoking Gun Presents", via Facebook:

Happy Gay Pride NY ! As I said during LA Pride: let us all remember those men and women who came before us, many of whom lost their lives fighting so that we can have this celebration. We stand on their shoulders and are propelled forward towards full equality by their initial brave efforts. When you are out celebrating, please behave in a manner that would make our entire community proud.

Gavin Creel, Actor, Activist and Founding Member of Broadway Impact, via Facebook:

Just woke in london 2 the GREATEST NEWS EVER! i am grateful to the NY lawmakers, @BroadwayImpact, those fought before us, & most of all YOU.

Joe Barros, Producing Artistic Director NY Theatre Barn, via Facebook:

We're legal, bitch.

Jim Newman, Actor and Parent, via Facebook:

NY came to its senses!!!!

Nikki Snelson, Actor, via Facebook:

OOOOOOO....I bet I am gonna need some wedding attire for all my gays soon!!!

Georgia Stitt, Composer and Musical Director, via Facebook:

 I expect a LOT of wedding invitations, y'all. Congrats!

Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Actor, via Twitter:

"New York today, tomorrow the world!!" --HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3

Nick Demos, Producer and Director, via Facebook:

Will you marry me?

Eric Kirchberger, Actor and Comedian, via Facebook:

I never thought I would describe a status update as historic, but I couldn't help but tear up when I just saw the first of my gay friends change his relationship status to "engaged." This is a beautiful moment for my friends, for NY state and, frankly, for all of humanity. Congratulations NY!

Richard Jay-Alexander, Director, via Facebook:

New York City seems like the center of the universe today! :)

Joe Dipietro, Playwright, via Facebook:

Eventually, hate and bigotry will always lose. An amazing day to be a New Yorker.

Marissa Jaret Winokur, Actor, Tony Award Winner, via Facebook:

I HAVE NEVER BEEN PROUDER TO BE A NEW YORKER!

Tiffany Schleigh, Performer and Event Producer, via Facebook:

Lady GaGa is feverishly searching through her refrigerator for something to wear in celebration.

Paul Loesel, Composer/Musician, via Facebook:

Proud to finally be officially married to my husband in our own State. Go New York!

Michael Cassara, Casting Director, via Facebook:

Now, had I only provided seed money for that designer cummerbund start-up!

Tiffany Schleigh, Writer/Composer, via Twitter:

I CAN LEGALLY GET MARRIED IN NEW YORK NOW! LOVE ALWAYS WINS! MARRIAGE EQUALITY! WE ARE LOVE! LOVELOVELOVE!

Scott Nevins, TV Personality and Host of "The Smoking Gun Presents", via Twitter:

I love that the NY Senate passed the Gay Marriage bill on Gay Standard Time (almost 11pm = hit the bars time!)

The tweets and the comments and the status updates continued throughout the night as the Broadway world joined New York's victorious LGBT community in celebrating Equality.  Again and again, on Facebook walls and Twitter pages, theatre folk summed up the night so eloquently with this quote:

"The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come."

- Tony Kushner,  Angels in America.



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From This Author Erin Leigh Peck

Erin Leigh Peck is a New York based actor, writer and mother. She has performed on and off Broadway, in regional theatre and on tour, (read more...)