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LGBTQ+ Stories Dominate the 2023 Oscars

LGBTQ+ Stories Dominate the 2023 Oscars

Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Fraser and Michelle Yeoh with their Oscars

Everything Everywhere All At Once proved victorious with wins for first-time Oscar nominees Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Michelle Yeoh.

During the 95th Academy Awards, LGBTQ-inclusive films including Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Whale, and Women Talking took home Oscar trophies. Queer performers and presenters were also featured, including Ariana DeBose, Lady Gaga, Stephanie Hsu, Cara Delevigne, and Janelle Monáe.

After Jimmy Kimmel took to the stage with a comedic opening monologue, one that of course referenced Will Smith’s notorious Oscars slap, out actress Ariana DeBose and deaf actor Troy Kotsur presented the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

Everything Everywhere All At Once, which includes a storyline about a queer woman who wants to be open about her relationship with her family, was victorious in both categories – with first-time Oscar nominees Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis earning the awards.

Quan gave a moving speech, in which he called his win “the American Dream” and said that “dreams are something you have to believe in.” Curtis dedicated her speech to the hundreds of people who have made her work possible, including her transgender daughter Ruby.

Queer stories also won big in the non-acting categories. Women Talking, which includes a trans character in a key role, earned the trophy for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay). The Whale, which revolves around an overweight gay man dealing with grief, won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Taking home multiple non-acting awards was also Everything Everywhere All At Once, which won Best Writing (Original Screenplay), Best Film Editing, and Best Director. When Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert accepted their award for Best Director, Scheinert thanked his parents for allowing him to “dress[] in drag as a kid, which is a threat to nobody.”

Throughout the evening, the Academy also highlighted the nominees for “Best Original Song” with live performances that included several queer entertainers. Queer actress Stephane Hsu stepped in for Mitski to perform “This Is A Life” from Everything Everywhere All Once with David Byrne of Talking Heads and electronic trio Son Lux.

Lady Gaga also gave an incredibly raw performance of “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick. She prefaced the song by saying: “You might find that you can be your own hero even if you feel broken inside,” and received a standing ovation.

The last three major categories of the night also went to LGBTQ-inclusive films. Fraser took home the trophy for Best Actor for his role in The Whale. Michelle Yeoh won for Best Actress for her portrayal of Evelyn Quan Wang, and made history as the first woman Asian of Asian descent to win Best Actress. And in no surprise to anyone, Everything Everywhere All At Once took home the top prize of Best Picture.

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Becca Damante