The Academy Awards are among the top honors bestowed by Hollywood — a standard of excellence for content and art in the film industry. Not only did I value the impact that this win would have for the LGBTQ community, but also what it would mean for the industry overall in terms of representation in film. And often, the characters represented can still end up the butt of juvenile jokes or the unfortunate recipients of miserable and loveless existences.
In the biggest show of LGBTQ inclusion in Oscar history, three of the four acting awards went to performers playing queer characters and the eventual Best Picture winner featured a queer character in a central role. Among the major acting categories, 7 of the 20 nominees were for actors playing queer roles, and 5 of the 8 Best Picture contenders featured queer characters either in central or significant supporting roles. Both decisions were rescinded after objections from both the public and the Academy membership.
Sam Smith sparked controversy during his Oscar acceptance speechclaiming he was the first openly gay man to win an Academy Award. In fact, the Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter - who won Best Original Song for Spectre's Writing's on the Wall - isn't even the first openly gay man or woman to win in his category. Taking to the stage, the singer said: "I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said no openly gay man had won an Oscar.
Queer representation in mainstream cinema has been a point of contention for a long time. Although the past few years has seen inclusiveness in film improve by leaps and bounds, actors, activists and advocacy groups regularly lament the lack of real inclusion when it comes to the representation of gender identity and sexual orientation in the movies. Just recently, [straight] comedian Jack Whitehall came under fire for accepting a role in the upcoming Disney film Jungle Cruisein which he plays a gay character.
Individuals are identified as LGBT though they may not have self-identified at the time of their nomination. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. University of Michigan Press.
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In fact, many have even nabbed Oscar nominations and awards for their roles. William plays a transgender prisoner who escapes her mundane reality through fictional stories. Christopher won the Best Supporting Actor for his role in Beginnersin which he plays a gay man who comes out in his later years.
And while some categories are disappointingly homogenous—no women were nominated for Best Director, for starters—the Oscars race is groundbreaking for queer cinema. Five films with queer plots or sub-plots were nominated for Best Picture— Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, A Star is Born, and Vice —accounting for more than half the nominees in that category, and a staggering number compared to previous years. Inno queer movies were nominated for Best Picture, despite Carol receiving six other nods. The Academy has also favored gay male narratives but snubbed lesbian ones.
Gay — and lesbian, bi, and trans — is gold! At least if you're talking about those statues handed out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences every spring. His character, Elio, is the heart of Call Me by Your Name, the acclaimed gay film by Luca Guadagnino centering on a year-old's summer romance with a year-old graduate student, Oliver Armie Hammer.
To recognize those who were openly gay Oscar winners, here are 11 notables to take home a statue before Smith. A rare EGOT winner, Gielgud is considered one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, and he was the first openly gay actor to win an Oscar, and he did it for his turn in the British comedy starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli. He carefully crafted the controversial X-rated film starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman as two hustlers in New York City to appeal to both a gay and mainstream audience, which allowed other filmmakers to directly address gay identity in later films. Etheridge publicly discussed her sexuality as she began campaigning for President Bill Clinton in