Whether they were flocking to her Tony Award winning turns as Eva Peron in Evita and Mama Rose in Gypsy or her Olivier Award winning performance as Fantine in Les Miserables, Patti LuPone has always been adored by her gay fans.
The veteran of many other hits on Broadway (Anything Goes, Sweeney Todd) and the West End (Sunset Boulevard, The Cradle Will Rock) was asked by Metro Weekly about what her big gay following means to her.
‘It gives me credibility,’ LuPone says. ‘Not that the straight people don’t give me credibility, but I find that the gays are just more vocal.’
She has had gay friends all of her life and recalled the first one who ever came out to her: ‘He didn’t come out to me because we were about 6 years old, but I knew Philip Caggiano was different. And I think I knew he was gay. But not gay in the way we use gay now. He was different. He was flamboyant. I was standing in his driveway and I looked at him and went, ‘This guy is different. I like him.’ [Laughs.] So I was aware very early.’
LuPone is pleased with the progress being made in the US when it comes to LGBT equality including gay marriage being legal in the state of New York.
‘I think it’s fabulous!’ she says. ‘As a matter of fact, I threw a wedding on my press agent when he got married to his partner. I said, ‘I’m throwing you the party.’ Hon, it’s just love. It isn’t war. What have we been talking about here? We’ve been talking about war. It’s love. How can anybody deny that? Love is what we need more of.’