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Here are the best (more or less) gay moments from the 2017 Tony Awards

Broadway's biggest night delivered

Here are the best (more or less) gay moments from the 2017 Tony Awards
Screenshot / CBS
Ben Platt and Dear Evan Hansen were the big winners of the night

Kevin Spacey’s Opening Number

Spacey’s appointment as host sparked some discussion, especially after it was said the Tony Awards were unable to find anyone else.

The stage and screen veteran gave a hilarious, and pretty impressive, 11-minute opener and a lot of self-deprecating humor.

We cannot pick our favorite thing about this – is it the quick changes? Groundhog Phil? The cast change joke, paying homage to Groundhog Day’s Andy Karl who has been playing for weeks wearing a cast because he tore his ACL before opening night? Or the Rockettes leading a not-quite-kickline featuring the cast of Come From Away?

And that is not even mentioning the nods to all the gay rumors which followed both Spacey and Whoopi Goldberg (who literally comes out of a closet here) through their careers. Or his stint as Norma Desmond.

We are also fans of Spacey’s troupe of handsome dancers. Don’t judge us, you thought it too.

Lin-Manuel Miranda honoring Orlando, one year on

Lin-Manuel Miranda wore a rainbow ribbon to the Tonys

Lin-Manuel Miranda wore a rainbow ribbon

The 2016 Tonys fell on the same day as the shooting at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida.

Last year, Hamilton creator Miranda dedicated his Tony to the victims when he read out a moving sonnet which brought just about everyone to tears.

They also removed all guns from their 2016 performance, in a show of respect.

This year, Miranda showed his support for the victims once more.

In a sea of blue ribbon attached to lapels, to show support for the ACLU, he wore a rainbow one.

Rachel Bloom being Rachel Bloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Bloom star is a theater nerd and proud.

Last night she flaunted that badge of honor in a series of hilarious Instagram posts, where she invited Andrew Rannell and Sam Pinkleton into her Theater Kid Revenge Corner.

Part 1 of my ongoing video series tonight, “Theater Kid Revenge Corner.”

A post shared by Rachel Bloom (@racheldoesstuff) on

A post shared by Rachel Bloom (@racheldoesstuff) on

Or creeped on Lea Salonga on the red carpet.

A post shared by Rachel Bloom (@racheldoesstuff) on

And we cannot leave this without mentioning her hilariously adorable and completely relatable reaction to Patti LuPone coming backstage.

Same, Rachel. Same.

Can we please get her as host next year, now?

Gavin Creel finally taking home a Tony

Third time lucky was the motto for out star Gavin Creel this year.

After his nominations for his roles in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Hair, both for Best Actor in a Musical, landed him nothing, Creel can finally add a Tony Award to his growing awards cabinet.

He won the Best Featured Actor in a Musical category for his role in Hello, Dolly!.

And in his speech, Creel called on his fellow actors and theaterpeople to change young actors’ lives by paying college for them.

‘My professors, my classmates: They instilled in me an appreciation for what it is to be an artist and what it is to be lucky to be part of this incredible community,’ he said.

‘If you’re out there and you have money, and I know a lot of you in this room have a lot of it, start a scholarship. Change someone’s life the way that Art and Marty Harron changed mine.’

Bette Midler showing everyone who’s the real boss

With a tight schedule, award ceremony minutes are worth pure gold.

But that does not mean you can just cut off your stars – at least not if their name is Bette Midler.

The gay icon won Best Actress in a Musical for her engagement in Hello, Dolly! and gave a speech dotted with jokes. She also jokingly proposed to her makeup whizz, Natasha Katz, who she says makes her look 30 years younger.

But the star was not satisfied with the allowed length, it seems.

So when the orchestra started playing her out Midler kept talking and thanking her cast, much to the audience’s delight.

She even told the musicians to ‘shut that crap off’.

And then, when she got backstage, Midler kept talking.

Because if you have had a career as long as hers, 90 seconds are just not enough to thank everyone.

A gay, Jewish composer and his best friend getting halfway to their EGOT

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul won a Tony for Dear Evan Hansen

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul won a Tony for Dear Evan Hansen

Benj Pasek and his writing partner (and former roommate) Justin Paul wrote the music for this season’s uber hit Dear Evan Hansen.

And their speech contained, once more, a nod to theater and theater kids everywhere.

‘When we were kids, we dreamed of having a home and a place where we could belong, and theatre and cast albums were that thing for us,’ they said.

‘We hoped to write a show that people who were looking for a home could find one. And we are so grateful to everyone who gave us the opportunity to try and do that.’

After clocking the Tony, they are now en route to making it an EGOT – ie winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.

How will they do that, you ask, given that musicals do not run for Oscars or Emmys? Here is how: they also wrote the lyrics for La La Land and are overall busy bees.

City of Stars landed them an Oscar. Dear Evan Hansen landed them the Tony.

Dear Evan Hansen could also land them the Grammy, for best Musical Album, and they are working for a live musical on Fox, which makes them eligible for an Emmy.

Our fingers are crossed.

Ben Platt telling young people to own their weirdness

Whether Ben Platt is straight, gay, or bi – and we won’t join in on the speculation on his sexuality here – he is undoubtedly one of this year’s breakout stars.

As he accepted the Tony for Best Actor in a musical, for his heartbreaking performance as anxious teen Evan Hansen, his speech held a simple, but powerful, truth.

‘And finally to all young people watching at home, don’t waste any time trying to be like anybody but yourself,’ Platt said.

‘Because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful. Thank you.’

A polyamorous lesbian taking center stage

Jenn Colella stars in 9/11 musical Come From Away

Jenn Colella stars in 9/11 musical Come From Away

Okay, for this one you have to know your Broadway folks and you maybe need to squint a little.

But lesbians on Broadway are far less well-known than their gay male counterparts, so every one of them deserves shoutout. And because this year’s candidate performed alongside her cast mates last night, we can totally count her.

Jenn Colella is both an out lesbian and, as she told Out last year, in a polyamorous relationship with an opposite-sex couple and another woman.

She is also a self-described ‘magnificent hugger’ and turned out to be one of the stars of this season.

Currently, Colella plays first female American Airlines captain Beverley Bass in Come From Away. The musical tells the stories of people stranded in Gander, Newfoundland during 9/11.

Even without taking home a Tony – she lost out to Dear Evan Hansen’s Rachel Bay Jones – she is a winner in our book.

And just because we can here is a clip of Colella performing her big solo piece, telling her characters story in one go:


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