Pop Culture Fix: Ariana DeBose Is the First Queer Person of Color, First Afro-Latina to Win an Acting Oscar

Feature image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Good morning, my friends! I’ve got loads of links below about last night’s Academy Awards, all lovingly curated for you by Autostraddle Editor in Chief Carmen Phillips who stayed up until 5am working on them. She does it all, and all the time! Below that, some regular Pop Culture Fix links!

+ Ariana DeBose became the first openly queer woman of color (and the first openly queer person of color to win in an acting category) and the first Afro-Latina to win an Academy Award last night, which will look really nice in her trophy case with her BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. So far. That Tony is definitely coming, so I hope she saves room! Her acceptance speech was so moving I still have chills from it. Here’s the quote that’s making everyone listen up.

“You see a queer, openly queer woman of color, an Afro Latina who found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate. To anybody who has ever questioned your identity ever, ever, ever, or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: There is indeed a place for us.”

Congratulations, Ariana DeBose!

+ Carmen counted four wlw couples on the red carpet last night — Wanda Sykes and Alex Niedbalski, Kristen Stewart and Dylan Meyer, Queen Latifah and Eboni Nichols, Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts. Carmen says Ariana DeBose appears to be single, which is odd because half the team was calling her their wife in Slack last night.

Update: Sapphic Sleuth Shelli Nicole has let us know that Ariana DeBose was holding hands on the red carpet with Sue Makkoo and also they were pressing their little gay noozles together, so.

The two were seen canoodling at the Vanity Fair after party. 

Ariana DeBose and Sue Makkoo press their noses together on the red carpet

Photo by Rich Fury/VF22/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Yeah, that’s Queen Latifah with her partner Eboni Nicols ON THE RED CARPET TOGETHER. 

 Queen Latifah with her partner Eboni Nicolson the red carpet together

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Niecy Nash’s purse said “wifey for lifey.” 😂

Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts kissing on the red carpet: Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Wanda Sykes and her wife Alex Niedbalski. I wonder what Alex thinks about the portrayal of French lesbians on Killing Eve this season. 

 Wanda Sykes with wife on red carpet: Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Kristen Stewart in a British schoolboy shorts tux and and Dylan Meyer in a just regular gay suit. 

Kristen Stewart and fiancée kissing: Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

+ Ben Proudfoot won Best Documentary Short for The Queen of Basketball, which is awesome and you should absolutely watch it if you want to feel amazing. In his acceptance speech he called on President Biden to bring Brittney Griner home and also said: “If there’s anyone out there who still doubts whether there’s an audience for female athletes, let this Academy Award be the answer.” Here’s his full speech.

+ Elliot Page attended last night’s Academy Awards to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Juno. He looked so handsome and very happy and that makes me happy! (Juno, you will of course remember, made Drew’s list of Elliot Page Movies Ranked by Transness in the number four spot.)

Elliot Page honors Juno: Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

+ Wanda Sykes made a Don’t Say Gay joke in her opening monologue with Regina Hall and Amy Schumer.

+ Tessa Thompson at the Vanity Fair afterparty.

+ And then, finally, Stephanie Beatriz, Diane Guerrero, and Mauro Castillo performed some Encanto!

tephanie Beatriz, Diane Guerrero, and Mauro Castillo perform onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Okay and now some non-Oscars news.

+ 33 LGBTQ+ contestants who competed on Top Chef.

+ Russian Doll’s Rebecca Henderson on being the go-to lesbian after 40.

+ Margaret Cho joins Disney Plus’ teen rom-com Prom Pact.

+ Vico Ortiz on playing non-binary pirate Jim in Our Flag Means Death.

+ The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo will be a feature film adapted by Liz Tigelaar.

+ Atlanta season three opens with a white lesbian house of horrors.

+ Bridgerton queen Golda Rosheuvel was warned being openly gay would ruin her career.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. I screamed when I watched Ariana win. Just full on started screaming.
    I am glad she was able to rescue this film but she is a legend and I want her to have a billion original roles that highlight her in all her amazingness.

  2. I’m so happy that Ariana and Jane Campion won their Oscars.

    But by God the show was a shambles.
    CODA winning over The Power Of The Dog + the insane slap moment between Will Smith and Chris Rock.

    I’m so over awards shows right now.

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