Eddie Broadway has received multiple titles and awards for his work as a drag performer, such as Mr. Trans USA for 2020.
Broadway began his work in 2011, after watching a group named Twisted Sisters and auditioning to join the group.
After spending some time with the group, Broadway moved on as a solo performer, joining many pageants and making a name for himself as a performer and found it as an opportunity to “represent something bigger than myself.”
Broadway explained that while he was growing up as an assigned female, he did not have an opportunity to perform until he found the drag community.
Following the beginning of his performance career, Broadway began identifying as gender-fluid in 2012.
He met his first transexual man who shared his experience.
“He showed me a genuine side of himself and of what it really means to be trans-masculine, prior to that I had this idea in my head of what that meant, media and movies painted it in such a gross and deviant light, so it was nice to meet someone that was authentic,” Broadway said.
That conversation stuck in the back of Broadway’s mind for the next few years, until 2014 when he stopped performing after being named Mr. Phoenix Pride.
“I thought about how I felt more alive and more centered with myself when I was in drag than out of drag, I had to take a step back and ask if it was because I feel more confident or because I was presenting male,” Broadway said.
He realized during his break that he wanted to be a male-presenting person on and off the stage.
In 2014 Broadway began hormonal therapy and transitioned publicly as Mr. Phoenix Pride, which he said felt like part of his responsibility as a performer.
“I refused to stay silent and continue to refuse to stay silent, I share my journey all the time and that’s because I’m a performer and I never want to hide who I am,” Broadway said.
Broadway has also worked to share with the community in other ways, creating the Broadway Gatlyn Spectrum Grant, which provides $5,000 to help transexual men in Arizona pay for surgery to help them transition.
Broadway explained that the money for the grant comes from fundraising events, drag shows, bake sales and more.
Edward Michael, a promoter for drag shows in the Valley and the moderator of ArizonaDrag.com, has known Broadway for 10 years and developed a close working relationship with him.
“Eddie has a certain drive and passion to not only educate, but to inspire, not only to make people more confident, but to help them be their genuine selves,” Michael said.
Michael said that Broadway consistently makes an effort to educate people about himself and the trans community, taking the time to help people realize that their perceptions are incorrect.
Beyond his public image, Michael said that Broadway is just a good person, and that makes him special.
“Being nice is the first step to standing out,” Michael said.
Damon Woods, a fellow drag performer, explained what it meant to have Broadway as a leader in the community and what makes him so admirable.
“His undying fight for the trans community,” Woods said. “He puts a community before himself and I find that to be so empowering and humbling to see one do.”
Outside of his life as a drag performer, Broadway is also a program therapist at Valley Hospital, where he specializes in providing care for active duty members of the military.
Broadway said he is currently working toward his independent license, which would allow hime to begin his own practice, work for the government and many other paths in the field.
Reflecting on his own story, Broadway realized how much he had changed people’s lives.
“You don’t realize the impact you have just by bing yourself,” Broadway said.