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28 Jun 2013

Bill Russell
Photo by Monica Simoes

Tony Award nominee Bill Russell, playwright and lyricist of Side Show and Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.

Many years ago I was in the East Village and there was a guy sitting in his car who, it became clear, was pretty drunk. As I walked by I heard him mutter, "Faggot." I crossed over to him and said, "Hey, buddy, I'm proud to be gay. How do you feel about being an asshole?!" I grew up in cowboy country - the Black Hills of South Dakota - was always effeminate and took a lot of grief for it. That East Village incident is the first time I can recall talking back to a bully and it felt so good!

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