The Tony awards have always been a gay affair, complete with out hosts like Neil Patrick Harris and winners like David Hyde Pierce famously thanking their partners at the podium. This year will also be a night for the ladies, with musical Fun Home — based on out author Alison Bechdel's autobiographical graphic novel — up for 12 Tonys. While Fun Home is one of the rare shows to center around the lesbian experience, LGBT themes are not new to Broadway. Here are the shows that told our stories and helped change the public's perception of our lives:
Before becoming an Emmy-winning HBO film, Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart debuted in 1985 at The Public Theatre in New York City. The play centers around the start of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, which felled many of Kramer's friends and former lovers. The play focuses on a writer named Ned Weeks, who's trying to nurse his partner back to health from a then-unknown disease, all while pleading for the government to take action. The play would be revived for Broadway in 2011, and win big at the Tonys.