‘Bros’ stars Ts Madison, Dot-Marie Jones and more share their personal LGBTQ heroes

(left to right) Ts Madison, Dot-Marie Jones, Eve Lindley, Jim Rash, Miss Lawrence | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Billy Eichner‘s Bros is, first and foremost, a big, raunchy, hilarious gay rom-com. But it’s also got a lot on its mind, including—oh, you know—the entire history of queerness and the hundreds of thousands of people who paved the way so that a movie like this could exist.

Some of Bros‘ funniest scenes find Eichner’s Bobby Lieber contending with this massive legacy as he and a panel of board members quibble over the exhibits for the grand opening of the (unfortunately fictional) LGBTQIA+ Museum in New York City. Seriously, how can one building possibly honor such an expansive history?

While we can’t even begin to answer that question, we can talk to Bros‘ ensemble—the incredible actors who make up the aforementioned museum board—about their own personal LGBTQ heroes that they’d like to see featured in a museum one day. Below, Dot-Marie Jones, Eve Lindley, Jim Rash, Miss Lawrence, and Ts Madison tell Queerty about the queer and trans icons who have changed their lives, and share what makes them museum-worthy legends.

Dot-Marie Jones


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“For me, I always say I never had a big coming out. I just lived my life and I was who I was—maybe it’s because I’m older, I don’t know. But the two main women that I looked up to, who were just always themselves—and I say them now because they’re friends—are Amanda Bearse [who appears in a supporting role in Bros] and Sandra Bernhard. They have never been anything but their authentic selves, and that’s what I try to do every day. And some days and make good choices and sometimes not, but you just keep pushing, and you keep striving. So I just appreciate what they stand for more than anything.”

Eve Lindley


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“I think there’s so many people who we don’t even know about—who I would love to know about—and I think there should be a way to pay tribute to them. And then there’s, of course, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson who are such big figures. They do get talked about a lot nowadays, but they still haven’t really had their own kind of exhibit, or anything like that. And I would love to see more of a tribute to them.”

Jim Rash


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“I recently was just watching Visible: Out On Television, and I thought about all of these people. And one that popped out to me was Charles Nelson Reilly. Even though he’s a blip in [the series,] it talks a lot about his life, both in game shows and not hiding behind himself. But I just think there’s so many comedy legends that I would love to see a room dedicated to them. And it doesn’t just have to be comedians. But nowadays we can have holograms, so can’t we perform with them? Can’t we be on Match Game and Hollywood Squares with Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly?”

Miss Lawrence


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“I worked on a film where I played a gender-nonconforming individual who was around in the ’40s—in  The United States Vs. Billie Holiday—and his name was Miss Freddy. I learned that Miss Freddy was a real person, and he was a person that defied all odds. He put up resistance to the police, and being told how he could look and how he could dress. He was so responsible for the way Billie Holiday dressed and what she looked like, which influenced a lot of our our culture and fashion and beauty [today.]

And, while studying for that particular character, I learned about a former gay slave named William Dorsey Swann—that a lot of people don’t know about—who was a drag queen, slave. And what that showed me was that we have literally been around since the beginning! You go all the way back to the Roman Empire to you name it, we’ve been there from the beginning.”

Ts Madison


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“There are so many people that are deserving of a space. Just sitting here listening to Miss Lawrence talk… like, this is something that I just learned in this moment! And it’s moments like these that help me—even as an older queer person—realize there’s still so much more that we have to learn. And it’s [hard to] zero in on one person because we have contributed to so much. Look at how popular culture is now, you know? The things that are going on in popular culture right now are probably derived from some queer person.

When you talk about fashion, when you talk about slang, catchphrases, gossip—all of it! It comes from the girls, honey. The girls!”

You can see and hear more from this history-making cast when Bros hits theaters on September 30.

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