National Coming Out Day: Cheyenne Jackson, Andrew Lippa, Lea DeLaria, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ann Hampton Callaway and More Share Stories of Pride

By Adam Hetrick
11 Oct 2013



Douglas Carter Beane
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane, playwright of The Nance, The Little Dog Laughed, Xanadu and Cinderella.

I have had nothing but an unending parade of days of being proud to be gay. I never had a moment I hated myself for being gay. Truly, and kids, I was a teenager when Harvey Milk was shot and Anita Bryant was in full swing. I blame my overdeveloped sense of self-worth to that double album set in the Wyomissing Public Library of Nöel Coward singing his songs in New York and in Vegas. It was known at that point that Coward was gay. So I had a listen, fell in love with the talent and figured being queer was not all so bad. I began to devour everything he wrote and that was written about him. I still do.

Then when I was older, I watched Tennessee Williams on "The Today Show" selling his autobiography and the interviewer asked if he were homosexual. And I remember sly Tennessee drawling out with, "Some boys like girls, I'm a boy that likes boys." It was so simple, so true and the interviewer was so startled there was no need for a follow-up question. I quickly began a Tennessee devouring then-and-there that also continues to this day. I heartily encourage all the kindergays to read these writers and to know our history.

So what can I tell you? The theatre has always been a beacon to the world of what acceptance and celebration of gay lives can be. How lovely to watch, in my lifetime, the rest of the world catch on.

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