It sounds like some audience members are taking the title Straight White Men far too literally.
Non-binary performer and activist Kate Bornstein stars as Person in Charge 1 in Young Jean Lee’s privilege-checking Broadway satire. Bornstein was interrupted earlier this week by a heckler while delivering the opening monologue alongside fellow trans docent Ty Defoe.
“I’m deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support in response to an attempted shaming of me,” Bornstein writes on Facebook. “It’s true what people are saying: a woman, in response to my opening line of the show, ’Good evening, ladies, gentlemen, and the rest of us,’ called out from the audience, ’You’re not welcome here.’ She could not have been more wrong.”
Bornstein adds that the cast and crew of Straight White Men have been nothing but welcoming. “I don’t know who she thought she was talking about when she claimed that I’m not welcome. I was not shamed by her. I was puzzled. What could have caused this woman’s outburst?”
“I’ve been chewing that over,” Bornstein continues, “and the best I can come up with is that one of her children or grandchildren has gone through a gender transition that troubled her greatly, to the point that she just boiled over when I took the stage.”
“Look, Straight White Men is a great work of art. And great art does upset people. It happens all the time. Please know that I’m not upset, or afraid. I’m more than ever proud to be part of this show.”
To the woman in our audience who felt it was appropriate to yell, “You’re not welcome here!” at Kate Bornstein, our beloved friend, co-worker, and now family member….. feel free never to come back.
— Armie Hammer (@armiehammer) August 9, 2018
Bornstein’s co-star Armie Hammer tweeted, “To the woman in our audience who felt it was appropriate to yell, ’You’re not welcome here!’ at Kate Bornstein, our beloved friend, co-worker, and now family member… feel free never to come back.”
The Call Me by Your Name star also corresponded with another audience member who confirmed that the woman and her husband were “also both booing loudly.” He asked for the heckler’s seat number and said he “will pass this along to the appropriate people at the theater.”
Straight White Men runs through September 9 at the Hayes Theater in New York.