Hammer and Bornstein are making their Broadway debuts in “Straight White Men,” which opened July 23 at New York’s Helen Hayes Theatre. Written by Young Jean Lee, the comedy-drama follows three brothers (Hammer, Josh Charles and Paul Schneider), who return to their childhood home to spend Christmas with their widowed father (Stephen Payne).
Bornstein, who identifies as a non-binary femme-identified transgender person and uses the personal pronouns “they” and “them,” stars as one of two “Persons in Charge,” commenting on the action throughout the play, which takes a satirical look at heteronormativity and masculinity.
During the Aug. 8 performance, a woman reportedly shouted, “You’re not welcome here!” at Bornstein as they delivered their first line at the start of the show. The heckler and a male companion also reportedly booed loudly while Bornstein was on stage.
Immediately following the performance, Hammer responded on Twitter.
Shortly after that, Charles retweeted Hammer’s comment, and made a suggestion of his own to the heckler:
Bornstein, meanwhile, wrote in a Aug. 9 Facebook post that they were “deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support” from co-stars and fans.
Describing “Straight White Men” as ”a great work of art,” Bornstein added: “Great art does upset people. It happens all the time ... I’m more than ever proud to be part of this show.”
Bornstein, 70, is a historic figure in the LGBTQ community. Their work as an artist and activist includes the 1994 book Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, as well as the performance pieces “Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger” and “The Opposite Sex Is Neither.”
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