When we think of trailblazers, we think of people who break barriers so that more inclusive stories can me told. Ryan Murphy has fulfilled that definition, and then some, with groundbreaking prime time productions like Glee.
Murphy, an honoree at this year’s VH1 Trailblazer Honors, has inspired the cast of his revival of the Broadway play The Boys in the Band long before he started working with them. Actor Cheyenne Jackson is still in awe of Murphy’s choice to have Glee’s two gay male lead characters kiss and attend prom together. “[That show] was such a mainstream, middle America, powerful moment in history,” he describes, “That was on network TV. That’s still not done.”
Zachary Quinto, well known for his role in Murphy’s FX series American Horror Story, praised the show creator for “encouraging mainstream audiences to look at this from a different perspective.” As well as “engaging them in stories they might not otherwise participate in.” Although Glee is the most shining example of his inclusive storytelling, we all know this to be a theme weaved throughout all of his work.
Tuc Watkins of One Life to Live and Desperate Housewives, as well as Robin De Jesus of Camp, all have heartwarming memories of how Murphy’s work made them feel seen and opened doors for them to live their unadulterated truth.
Watch the clip above, and don’t forget we’re honoring Ryan Murphy at Trailblazer Honors, June 28 at 9:30/8:30c on VH1. Tune in!