The Oscars this year were slated to be the queerest in history.
And, as the 91st Academy Awards wrap up and Hollywood stars leave the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, it is fairly safe to say they delivered.
Significantly, the Academy’s top three awards all went to films with LGBTI themes.
Rami Malek took home the Best Actor award for his role as gay rock icon Freddie Mercury in biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
And, the Academy awarded Olivia Colman Best Actress for her depiction of Queen Anne as she romances two women.
Finally, Green Book, which charts a black musician’s journey through the American Deep South, won Best Picture. Many believe the main character to be LGBTI, as he has a same-sex sexual encounter in the movie.
But let’s start at the beginning, with the red carpet.
Gender fluid looks won the red carpet
Actor and LGBTI activist Billy Porter wowed the Oscars red carpet with an amazing tuxedo gown. American designer Christian Siriano crafted the gender busting piece.
— Christian Siriano (@CSiriano) February 24, 2019
Renowned drag queen and A Star is Born Actress, Shangela, meanwhile, made history as perhaps the first ever drag queen to walk the red carpet. ‘I hope that means something to somebody out there’ she also said.
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Actress Awkwafina and one of the hosts Amy Poehler also broke the binary in glamorous tuxedos.
LGBTI artists rocked the Oscars stage
Queen, fronted by gay popstar Adam Lambert, opened the 91st Academy Awards.
They performed with an image of queer rock legend Freddie Mercury behind them.
— Bumblebee /unbrokenfaith16 (@Lonelywarrior3) February 25, 2019
— Music News Facts (@musicfactnews) February 25, 2019
Later in the evening, the audience responded to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of Shallow from A Star Is Born with a standing ovation.
— Lady Gaga Facts (@LGMonsterFacts) February 25, 2019
Gaga became an Oscar winner
Lady Gaga went on to win her first ever Oscar. The Academy named Shallow, from A Star is Born, as Best Original Song.
‘I’ve worked hard for a long time, and it’s not about, you know, it’s not about winning’ she told the audience.
‘But what it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it,’ the first-time Oscar winner also said.
LGBTI movies won big
Bohemian Rhapsody took home four awards out of five nominations. The Academy named Rami Malek Best Actor for his depiction of Freddie Mercury.
‘We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life unapologetically as himself’ Malek told the audience in his acceptance speech.
He said the Oscar win was ‘proof that we are longing for stories like this’.
In a heartfelt speech, Oscar winner Rami Malek praises his mom, says he knows his dad is looking down on him, thanks Queen, and says the world “is longing for stories” about people being “unapologetically” themselves.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 25, 2019
The biopic also took home awards in sound editing, sound mixing, and film editing.
The film has been incredibly well-received commercially. But, some critics say it fails to examine Mercury’s queer identity in any meaningful or nuanced ways.
Meanwhile, the Academy named Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Anne in The Favourite, Best Actress.
At the end of her acceptance speech, Colman blew a kiss to Lady Gaga.
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) February 25, 2019