It’s not a cliché to say that musicals are a big deal for much of the LGBTQ community. Over the decades, the art form has created a platform for some of our favorites divas and given us ample opportunity to indulge in that good ’ol fashioned razzle-dazzle. For queer kids bitten by the acting/singing/dancing bug, the theater has long felt like a safe space, and given many of us our first experience in a community that accepted us no matter who we were. Whether on Broadway or in the movies, musicals have provided queer audiences with the songs and the tools for emotional expression in its purest form. In this final Why We Love: Pride Edition, The A.V. Club invited some of our favorite LGBTQ celebrities and academics to sing the praises of the musicals that changed their lives. From the first shows the ever saw, to the ones that gave them their voice, these are the musicals that showed us what it truly meant to be loud and proud.
Why We Love: Pride Edition’s “Musicals” episode unpacks the aw-shucks inspiration of Little Orphan Annie, the relatable longing of The Phantom Of The Opera, Stephen Sondheim’s unique pattern of patter, and so much more. Featured talent includes: Visible: Out On Television’s Wilson Cruz, Peppermint, What We Do In The Shadows’ Harvey Guillén, Waiting To X-Hale co-host Karen Tongson, Drag Race’s Nina West, Homophilia host Dave Holmes, scholar SA Smythe, and Guy Branum.
While Why We Love: Pride Edition is an ode to the pop culture that resonated with LGBTQ audiences over the decades, The A.V. Club recognizes that there wouldn’t even be a Pride Month to celebrate without the Black trans community. In honor of the Black trans trailblazers who have always been at the forefront of queer liberation, we’ll be taking an opportunity while promoting each new episode of Why We Love: Pride Edition to shine a spotlight on a different Black trans organization you can support and donate to.
Today we’re highlighting: BTFA Collective. The Black Trans Femmes In The Arts Collective aims to “connect the community of Black trans women and non-binary femmes who work in the arts and to build power” among themselves. In light of recent events, the BTFA Collective recently established the Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund, which is raising funding to support Black trans protestors with resources, medical care, and bail. Additional funding raised will be redistributed to Black trans-led orgs doing the work to minimize violence against the community. You can find a link to donate to the Black Trans Protestors Emergency Fund here.