During the 72nd annual Tony Awards ceremony this June, 30-year veteran of the Broadway world Nick Scandalios received an award for his advocacy for and assistance to LGBTQ families nationwide.
The Tony Awards celebrate excellence in live Broadway theater every year in New York City, recognizing the best of productions and performances, as well as of regional theater.
A longtime executive in the industry, Scandalios was given the Isabelle Stevenson Award, a special and non-competitive award honoring someone from the theater community who has shown outstanding dedication to humanitarian, social service or charitable causes.
Upon receiving his award, Scandalios took to the podium and spoke about how he and his late husband Ric Swezey’s decision to raise children inspired them to help other families in the LGBTQ community.
“The pure bliss and joy of holding Kate and Luke as infants in our arms moved us to want to help others to have the same experience…” he said. “Every child deserves to be raised in a loving home and to grow up having a chance to reach their full potential.”
Since the birth of his twins Late and Luke via surrogate in 2007, Scandalios has served on the board of directors for the Family Equality Council — a New York City-based non-profit organization that advocates on a national scale for legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families — and played a key role in the movement’s success in winning marriage equality through the Windsor and Obergefell Supreme Court rulings.
Additionally, when his husband died in a trampoline accident in June, 2017, Scandalios established the Ric Swezey Memorial Fund for Family Equality Council, raising more than $500,000 for an initiative aiming to share the stories of LGBTQ families.
A native of Hicksville, NY, Scandalios hails from a large Long Island Greek family and is the Executive Vice President of the Nederlander Organization — a 106-year-old theater production powerhouse with venues around the U.S. and London, including nine on Broadway.
The executive went on to say during his speech that he will “continue to fight” against anyone who “for no other reason than discrimination” tries to prevent children in need from being united with LGBTQ families.
He also spoke about how the tragic loss of his husband Ric changed their family forever.
“We, like many others, learned the hard way what the darkest side of loving so deeply and feeling so joyful can be,” Scandalios said. “Sorrow, pain, grief and yes — feelings of despair and sudden loss.”
Finishing his speech, Scandalios addressed his children Kate and Luke seated in the audience, calling them his ‘superheroes,’ before ending with a teary-eyed tribute to his husband.
“I will always be the other half of you”
Tony Awards 2018: Nick Scandalios Acceptance Speech
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