Edith Windsor is one of the two plaintiffs whose joint victory before the Supreme Court led to last year’s landmark decision in favor of marriage equality. In 2009, after the death of her spouse and longtime partner, Thea Speyer, Windsor learned that because her marriage was not recognized by the federal government, she was required to pay more than $300,000 in estate taxes. Windsor fought back, in United States v. Windsor, all the way to the Supreme Court, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and winning a national following as a beloved and charismatic leader for human rights. Together with Speyer, Windsor is the focus of the documentary film Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement. Her many honors and awards include the Women’s Rights Award from the American Federation of Teachers and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Out magazine.
Onstage with Windsor, we welcome back actor, writer, and activist James Lecesne, whose hit Off Broadway one-man show The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey we are proud to have premiered in the Barn during Twenty Summers’ inaugural season. Lecesne is a cofounder of the Trevor Project, which was inspired by the Oscar-winning film for which he wrote the screenplay. He has appeared on Broadway, published YA novels, and is a frequent speaker at events focused on issues facing LGBT youth.