Kristen Stewart and Ariana DeBose Are Making 2022 Oscars So Gay, Dude

When Kristen Stewart arrives on the red carpet this March to celebrate her first-ever Oscar nomination, for playing Princess Diana in Spencer, she will be the first-ever Lead Actress nominee to bring her girlfriend/fiancée as her date. (Unless she leaves Dylan Meyer at home which feels unlikely and would wound me personally.)

She’s not the first-ever gay woman nominated for Best Actress, but she is amongst a very small cohort of out queer women to earn a nod: only bisexual performers Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga share that honor. Three other queer actors received Best Lead Actress nominations prior to coming out: Jodie Foster, who earned three nominations in the ’90s; Elliot Page, who was nominated in 2007 for Juno and has since come out as a trans man; and Cynthia Erivo, who was nominated for her role in 2019’s Harriet and came out in 2021.

Then we have the legendarily queer and highly decorated cohort of early Hollywood actors whose sexualities ranged from “open secrets” to “actual secrets” to “maybe not”: Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Crawford.

Meanwhile, 19 straight actors have been nominated for Best Lead Actress for playing queer characters.

In the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role category, Ariana DeBose will be the tenth LGBTQ+ actress celebrated by the Academy in that category, for her role as Anita in West Side Story. Debose dated props master Jill Johnson for several years beginning in 2014, having met her while both were working on the Motown: The Musical tour in 2013, and she is openly queer.

Previous queer nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role include Tatum O’Neal (1973), Lily Tomlin (1975), Jodie Foster (1976), Eva La Gallienne (1980), Linda Hunt (1983), Anna Paquin (1993), Angelina Jolie (1999), Queen Latifah (2002), Tilda Swinton (2007), and Cynthia Erivo (2021). Again, Jolie is the only actor “officially” out at the time of her nomination, although Tomlin and Hunt were both already in relationships with the women they’d eventually marry. In the “unconfirmed but definitely not straight according to me personally” bucket we have Spring Dell Byington (1938) and Sandy Denis (1966), who won for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Ariana DeBose is, then, the second Afro-Latina actress nominated for an Oscar for acting, the first queer Latina nominated for an Oscar for acting, the first queer woman of color who is out at the time of her nomination for an acting Oscar and the third queer woman of color nominated for an acting Oscar, along with Queen Latifah and Cynthia Erivo.

photo collage featuring Kristen Stewart (NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29: Kristen Stewart attends the 2021 Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on November 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic) and Ariana Debose (LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Ariana DeBose visits Magic FM, Bauer Radio on February 3, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Bauer Media)

Kristen Stewart Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic and Ariana DeBose photo by Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Bauer Media

This is the first time two out queer women have been nominated in acting categories in the same year.

There’s a few other LGBTQ+ items to celebrate:

The year’s most-nominated film, The Power of the Dog, is gay, and Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit Mcphee are nominated for playing gay roles.

Jessica Chastain was nominated for Best Actress for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, in which she played the titular Tammy Faye, an icon in the gay community. The film gets into her early displays of allyship, including bringing an HIV-positive gay pastor onto her show.

Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers, which Drew called “a masterpiece of Mommy issues,” earned an acting nomination for Penelope Cruz’s queer role and another for musical score.

The very queer and very fun The Mitchells vs. The Machines, centered on a queer teen, was nominated for Animated Feature Film. So was Flee, which tells the story of a gay man named Amin Nawabi, fleeing Afghanistan for Denmark as a refugee. Encanto, which stars queer actresses Stephanie Beatriz and Jessica Darrow, was also nominated for Best Animated Feature.

In conclusion, if you are curious about whether or not you have what it takes to be nominated for an Oscar for playing Princess Diana in Spencer, take our “Which Kristen Stewart Movie Are You?” Quiz.


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Riese

Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2988 articles for us.

21 Comments

  1. Sorry for originally putting this as a reply…
    This is such exciting news!

    Riese for fun I tried to count the 19 straight actresses nominated for playing queer (and trans) characters and I’m two short, who am I missing? Working backwards:

    Penelope Cruz
    Andra Day
    Viola Davis
    Melissa McCarthy
    Olivia Colman
    Cate Blanchett
    Rooney Mara
    Glenn Close
    Annette Bening
    Natalie Portman
    Judi Dench twice
    Felicity Huffman
    Charlize Theron
    Salma Hayek
    Nicole Kidman
    Hillary Swank
    Whoopi Goldberg

    I didn’t count Marlene Dietrich as I’m pretty sure she was queer.

  2. I’ve followed her career since the beginning and she’s come a long way. Really happy for Kristen she seems lovely. Just wanted to clarify that she actually identifies as bisexual.

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