The Academy Awards, the grandest event of the year in the realm of filmmaking, has been honouring cinematic brilliance through a myriad of categories for over 90 years. However, one of the most noteworthy contributions of the Oscars is its significant role in elevating the visibility of the LGBT+ community. By recognizing movies that portray LGBT+ characters and themes, the Oscars have helped to garner wider acceptance and mainstream attention for these once-taboo subjects.
This year, queer-themed narratives took center stage at the awards ceremony, with Everything Everywhere All At Once taking home 7 wins and ruling the night. This film, filled with numerous queer themes, features a non-heteronormative female protagonist who yearns to reveal her true romantic inclinations to her family. The second-generation Chinese immigrant embarks on a mission to traverse alternate dimensions and forge connections with the alternate lives she could have lived, standing alone as the sole precursor of hope in preserving the fabric of existence.
In addition to the success of Everything Everywhere All At Once, the night proved to be a triumph for Asian representation. Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian actress in the Oscars’ 95-year history to win the Best Actress award.
As Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert won their Best Director prize, Scheinert expressed gratitude to his parents for letting him to “dress in drag as a kid, which is a threat to nobody.” During the ceremony, Ke Huy Quan delivered a stirring speech, referring to his triumph as “the realization of the American Dream,” and emphasizing the importance of believing in one’s aspirations. Jamie Lee Curtis, on the other hand, acknowledged the countless individuals who have contributed to her success, including her daughter Ruby, who is transgender. They both got their very first Oscar for their heart-wrenching performances in the movie.
Other queer-themed movies, such as The Whale, also had their moments in the spotlight, with Brendan Fraser winning the Best Actor category for his portrayal of an English teacher with morbid obesity who is desperate to reconnect with his teenage daughter. They also got the win for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
What these two films have in common, besides their inclusivity of LGBT+ themes, is that they are both produced by the American independent indie entertainment studio A24. This studio was also responsible for producing the Best Picture winner Moonlight, solidifying their dedication to showcasing diverse and important stories on the big screen.
The glitz and glamour of the Oscars were once again fired up by the vibrant presence of LGBT+ stars. This year’s champagne carpet was awash with fabulous ensembles, as our favorite queer icons strutted in style and made bold fashion statements that left us in awe.
The colorful and diverse display of fashion was a powerful reminder of the entertainment industry’s progress toward inclusivity and representation. For the LGBT+ community, the presence of queer celebrities at the Oscars is a source of inspiration, reaffirming their rightful place in the spotlight.
Through their influential presence, these stars continue to pave the way for greater acceptance and celebration of diverse identities in society. Indeed, the Oscars remain a crucial platform for promoting inclusivity, ensuring that the stories and perspectives of all individuals are recognized and celebrated.
Article by Ciprian Ciobanu
Ciprian Ciobanu is a Gen Z Editor for GAY45 and an MA student at the University of Timisoara, majoring in painting but working in a mixed media field. Ciprian is currently finishing his studies and working on the process of developing and reflecting on the relationship between art and the trends of a given time from music, fashion, popular stories.