Michael Urie on Stonewall 50: I Hope Coming Out for LGBT People Gets Easier, Safer, and Maybe Even Unnecessary
Michael Urie welcomes growing LGBT equality under the law, though he adds: ‘There are so many ways to hurt a person that aren’t illegal. That hasn’t changed and may never change.’
In this special series, LGBT celebrities and public figures talk to Tim Teeman about the Stonewall Riots and their legacy—see more here.
Michael Urie is an actor (Ugly Betty, Torch Song Trilogy) and co-producer of the Pride Plays festival for Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, June 20-24.
When and how did you learn about the Stonewall Riots, and what did you make of them?
I didn’t learn about the Stonewall uprising until l moved to New York at 19. Shockingly, it wasn’t covered in U.S. History in my Texas public school…
What is their significance to you?
To me, it remains one of the great civil rights acts. A minority group, fed up with injustice and led by a minority within the minority; anger and strength turned into power and action.
How far have LGBT people come in the last 50 years?
These 50 years have provided great leaps for the LGBTQ community, and we have the heroes of the uprising to thank for that. There are still many people in this country who look at us as abominations, and while many laws have changed in our favor, there are so many of us still at risk, especially in the trans community. And there are so many ways to hurt a person that aren’t illegal. That hasn’t changed and may never change.
What would you like to see, LGBT-wise, in the next 50 years?
I’d like for every LGBTQ person to feel they are equal citizens under the law. I don’t know that there will ever be a time when LGBTQ isn’t “other,” although that would be nice, but I hope that the inevitable “coming out” we all have to do every day gets easier, safer, and maybe even unnecessary.