Friday, January 22, 2010

Voice for Equality: Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel is an American actress, singer and songwriter. She is widely known for originating the Broadway roles of Maureen in Rent and Elphaba in Wicked. Menzel played the role of Florence in the 21st Anniversary concert of Chess at the Royal Albert Hall, London from May 12–13, 2008 alongside Kerry Ellis, Adam Pascal and Josh Groban. Menzel's film roles include appearances in Just a Kiss, Kissing Jessica Stein, Tollbooth, Water, Ask the Dust, Enchanted, and Rent, in which she and five other original cast members reprised their stage roles. Television appearances have included Rescue Me, Kevin Hill and Private Practice. It was announced in December 2009 that Ms. Menzel would be joining the cast of the television show, Glee (including VFE Lea Michele), for the second half of its first season, playing the director of the rival glee club, Vocal Adrenaline. Learn more here.

A longtime gay rights advocate, Menzel was an Honorary Chair of the Imperial Court of New York's Annual Charity Coronation Ball, Night of A Thousand Gowns on March 21, 2009. The International Imperial Court System (IICS) is one of the oldest and largest predominantly gay organizations in the world. The court raises money for charity through large annual fancy-dress costume balls in cities throughout North America and numerous smaller fundraisers each year. [Link]

Ms. Menzel's third, mostly self-penned album, I Stand, features a song called Gorgeous about a gay couple experiencing marriage difficulties. Menzel wrote the song based on her own relationship with her husband, African-American actor Taye Diggs. She and her husband have had to face threats and verbal abuse directed at them for being an interracial couple. The song is about trying to maintain a relationship while dealing with obstacles and resentment from the world outside. "I see it even more with my gay friends. I wanted to write a song about pursuing something you really believe in despite what others think." Before a performance at the WaMu Theatre in New York she said, "This song is about loving someone no matter what anybody else thinks - no matter what the world thinks, the government, your mother, your father, your church, your temple." [Link]

Freedom to Marry salutes Idina Menzel as a Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Ms. Menzel's support inspires you - get involved.

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing up Idina! :) She's definitely one of the biggest and my favorite voice of equality!