Stories of Pride Revisited: Cheyenne Jackson, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lea DeLaria, Gavin Creel, Jenn Colella, Terrence McNally and More Celebrate

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28 Jun 2014

In honor of Playbill's 30 Day of Pride, we take a look back at one of our favorite past features in which we asked LGBT members of the theatre community to share their personal stories of love, self-acceptance and pride in their lives and in their work. #PlaybillPride

This feature originally ran on Playbill.com in honor of the 43rd annual Pride March in NYC. 

Click through to read their stories. 

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Bryan Batt

Bryan Batt, performer and original cast member of Jeffrey, Cats and the AMC series "Mad Men."

I have had the good fortune of having several pivotal moments where I was completely overwhelmed with pride and joy: The Supreme Court's decision on June 26, Obama's inaugural speech, being a part of the play and film Jeffrey, standing center stage on Broadway singing "I Am What I Am" in La Cage aux Folles, or when I helped a very troubled teen with coming to terms with his sexuality despite his religiously confused parents.

But the most wonderful moment I can recall is something someone else did. I was riding with the cast on the Jeffrey float in my first Gay Pride Parade, and I had just officially told my mom and brother of my sexuality, although my conservative brother had suspected all along and said, "Thank God, I thought you weren't getting any!" Anyway, I still had many questions. Marriage, same-sex benefits, or even equal rights had never even been a part of the equation – a new world was opening up – to be completely free, you must be honest. My parents had not raised me to be a liar, so out I went. Although the parade passed the haters across from St. Patrick's Cathedral, when we got further into the Village, I saw this elderly lady who reminded me of my late grandmother holding a big sign that read "Love, however expressed, is a beautiful thing."

I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of peace and contentment and pride. It was almost as if she was giving me her blessing from above. I knew then that I would be just fine.



Continued...

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