Cheryl Moch & Cinderella’s Real True Story

This June Keshet is so very excited to be partnering with the Jewish Women’s Archive to celebrate Pride. Each week we will bring you a profile of a different individual who has helped break down barriers and fight for her community as an LGBTQ (or ally) Jewish woman. To discover even more amazing, groundbreaking, Jewish women visit JWA.

When Cheryl Moch’s play Cinderella, the Real True Story opened in 1985, having the princess demand that her father change the laws so she could marry the cross-dressing Cinderella seemed completely far-fetched. Several members of the British Parliament were so shocked by the idea that they threatened to close down the production during its London run. And that, of course, only inflamed the public’s curiosity, leading to sold-out shows.

Now, thirty years later, the Supreme Court has ruled that states have no right to prohibit same-sex marriage, and for a large majority of young people, it’s the thought of denying gays the right to marry that seems ludicrous. We’ve undergone a sea change of public opinion.

In the 1980s, fewer people knew openly gay couples, and the images of gays, lesbians, and transgender people in the media were not only rare but usually based on painful stereotypes. With her same-sex fairy tale, Moch helped imagine a better world, and the success of her work helped make it easier for other creators to gain traction.

Today, it’s hard to find someone who claims NOT to know any gays or lesbians, or who has not been exposed to positive images of gays, lesbians and transgender people through shows like Glee and Transparent, YA writers like David Levithan, and plays like Fun Home. And all of that has helped us get to the point where the changes in the law just confirm the happily ever after we know all couples deserve.

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