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LGBT representation strong at 90th annual Academy Awards

Screenwriter James Ivory accepts ‘Call Me By Your Name’ award; ‘Fantastic Woman’ wins foreign language prize



DANIELA VEGA at the Academy Awards Sunday night. (screen capture courtesy ABC)

Despite a bloated presentation that clocked in at almost four hours, the telecast of the 90th Academy Awards had some spectacular moments, especially for LGBT movie fans.

The big moment came when “A Fantastic Woman” won the award for Best Foreign Language Film, the first Oscar win for he country of Chile. Directed by Sebastián Leilo, the movie centers on Marina Vidal (Daniela Vega), a trans woman who is kicked out of her apartment when her boyfriend suddenly dies. Vega’s moving performance marked a cinematic milestone—a trans woman being payed by a trans actress in a mainstream movie.

The award was presented by veteran actress and LGBT icon Rita Moreno (now appearing in the Netflix reboot of the classic sitcom “One Day at a Time” which now features a lesbian character and is set in a Cuban-American household). In the most fabulous entrance of the evening, Moreno strutted to the microphone wearing the same dress she wore to accept her Academy Award for “West Side Story.”

Vega made even more cinematic history when she became the first openly trans person to be a presenter on the Oscar stage (appropriately enough, she introduced Sufjan Steven’s performance of his song “The Mystery of Love” from “Call Me By Your Name”). She acknowledged the importance of her appearance on the Oscar stage, saying, “Thank you so much for this moment.” She also encouraged the audience to “open your heart to love.”

Sadly, the trans director Yance Ford did not win for his documentary “Strong Island.”

Openly gay screenwriter James Ivory (“Maurice”) also made Oscar history when he accepted the prize for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Call Me By Your Name,” the only award for the film. The 89-year old Ivory became the oldest person to win an Academy Award. In a touching speech he mentioned his late collaborators Ismail Merchant (who was also his life partner) and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

In another noteworthy development, after Disney’s “Coco” won the award for Best Animated Feature, no one commented when two members of the creative team (producer Darla K. Anderson and co-writer and co-director Adrian Molina) thanked their same-sex spouses. In the past, such declarations of LGBT love would have made headlines.

In addition, “Coco” director Lee Unkrich underscored a major theme of the evening when he said, “Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters!”

Perhaps this means Tio Oscar and Tio Felipe were a gay couple after all.

“Coco’s” lovely ballad “Remember Me” took home the Oscar for Best Original Song, beating out the power ballad “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” written by the gay-straight duo of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. During the ceremony, “This Is Me” (which will undoubtedly be performed at every Pride celebration this summer) was given a powerhouse performance by cast member Keala Settle. Settle also appeared in a commercial for Walmart that was actually part of the ceremony.

“The Shape of Water,” a queer celebration of community and resistance, was nominated for 13 Oscars (the most nominations this year) and won four: Best Picture, Best Director (Guillermo del Toro), Best Score for Alexandre Desplat and Best Production Design. Richard Jenkins, who played the heroine’s next-door neighbor and gay best friend did not win, nor did his co-stars Octavia Spencer and Sally Hawkins.

While the creative team behind “The Shape of Water” gathered the most statues, no movie dominated the evening. “Dunkirk,” “The Darkest Hour” and “Blade Runner 2049” won several of the design awards (and Gary Oldman won Best Actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “The Darkest Hour”). Not surprisingly, Mark Bridges won Best Costume Design for his sumptuous couture designs in “Phantom Thread.”

And in an unexpected moment, a very surprised Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for his powerful horror film, “Get Out.”

ARMIE HAMMER and TIMOTHEE CHALAMET at the Academy Awards Sunday night. (screen capture courtesy ABC)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won acting honors for Frances McDormand (Best Actress) and Sam Rockwell (Best Supporting Actor). McDormand’s acceptance speech was a call to action. She asked all the women in the audience to stand and be recognized and she called on everyone to demand “inclusion riders” in their contracts. (Inclusion riders are clauses that require that film crews meet minimum diversity standards to retain the services of the artist.)

Several major movies surprisingly went home empty-handed, including: “Lady Bird,” “The Post” and “Mudbound,” which was directed by the ground-breaking Dee Rees, an out black lesbian.

In what may have been the funniest moment of the very long telecast filled with lame jokes, Mark Bridges (Best Costume Design) won the Jet Ski that host Jimmy Kimmel promised to the winner who gave the shortest acceptance speech, Bridges cam in at 38 seconds.

A full list of winners is here.


Out & About

Mayor’s office to host Pride tie-dye party

Guests to make colorful shirts for ‘PEACE. LOVE. REVOLUTION’ theme



(Photo by Prime Look/Bigstock)

The Mayor’s Office for LGBTQ Affairs will host “Love Out Loud: Tie Dye Party for Pride” on Wednesday, June 7 at 5 p.m. at the Frank D. Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs.

The event, hosted along with the DC Center for the LGBT Community and Capital Pride Alliance, will be an afternoon for community and artistry. Guests are encouraged to bring their creativity to make some colorful tie-dye shirts in line with this year’s Pride theme, “PEACE. LOVE. REVOLUTION.”

This event is free to attend and more details are available on Eventbrite

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Out & About

D.C. to celebrate LGBTQ poetry

Pride Poem-a-Day presents second installation



(Screen capture via Vimeo)

DC Pride Poem-a-Day will present its second installation of short videos featuring LGBTQ poetry from the Washington, D.C. area to celebrate Pride month.

A new video will be released each day in June and will feature different poets reading an original poem on the theme of “heritage.”

The videos highlight LGBTQ poets from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, races, and countries of origin, and also poets from minority religions, multi-lingual, and disabled. 
To access the poetry, visit DC Pride Poems’ website.

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Calendar: June 2-8

LGBTQ events in the days to come



Friday, June 2

Center Aging: Friday Tea Time will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. This event is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests can bring a beverage of choice. For more information, contact [email protected].

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Pride Kickoff Social” at 7 p.m. at The Commentary. This event is ideal to make new friends in the LGBTQ community and enjoy the bottomless happy hour specials at Puro Gusto. Admission is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Saturday, June 3

Virtual Yoga Class with Jesse Z. will be at 12 p.m. online. This is a weekly class focusing on yoga, breath work, and meditation. Guests are encouraged to RSVP on the DC Center’s website, providing your name, email address, and zip code, along with any questions you may have. A link to the event will be sent at 6 pm the day before.

LGBTQ People of Color Support Group will be at 1 p.m. on Zoom. LGBTQ People of Color can come together and talk about anything affecting them in a space that strives to be safe and judgment free. There are all sorts of activities like watching movies, poetry events, storytelling, and just hanging out with others. For more details, visit or

Project DC Events will host “DC Pride Crawl” at 2 p.m. at Dupont Circle’s best bars. Guests are encouraged to put on their brightest and most colorful outfit, grab friends, and enjoy a day of drinks and celebration. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Sunday, June 4

AfroCode DC will be at 4 p.m. at Decades DC. This event will be an experience of non-stop music, dancing, and good vibes and a crossover of genres and a fusion of cultures. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

“Largest LGBTQIA+ Singles Flamingle” will be at 7 p.m. at THRoW Social DC. Guests can enjoy signature cocktail and wine specials, food, games, and live music while mingling with single people in the local LGBTQ community. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Monday, June 5

Center Aging Monday Coffee and Conversation will be at 10 a.m. on Zoom. LGBT Older Adults — and friends — are invited to enjoy friendly conversations and to discuss any issues you might be dealing with. For more information, visit the Center Aging’s Facebook or Twitter.

Capital Pride Interfaith Service Planning Meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. The Capital Pride Interfaith Service is an “integrated service” respectfully demonstrating the breadth, depth, and sincerity of our faith, exposing the lie that anti-gay fundamentalists have a monopoly on faith and religion. For more details, [email protected]

Tuesday, June 6

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Pride Reception” at 5 p.m. at Turkish Coffee Lady. This event is to foster cross-cultural connectedness and make friends in the LGBTQ+ and allied community. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Pride on the Patio Events will host “LGBTQ+ Social Mixer” at 5:30 p.m. at Showroom. Dress is casual, fancy, or comfortable and guests are encouraged to bring the most authentic you to chat, laugh, and get a little crazy. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite

Wednesday, June 7

Job Club will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. This is a weekly job support program to help job entrants and seekers, including the long-term unemployed, improve self-confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective job searches and networking — allowing participants to move away from being merely “applicants” toward being “candidates.” For more information, email [email protected] or visit

Center Aging Women’s Social & Discussion Group will be at 6:00p.m. on Zoom. This group is a place where older LGBTQ+ women can meet and socialize with one another. To register, visit the DC Center’s website

Thursday, June 8

KINETIC Presents will host “KINETIC Pride 2023 DC Weekend Pass” at 10 p.m. at four D.C. venues. This partnership with Capital Pride Alliance will feature a performance by global pop star Betty Who at Echostage, stunning visuals, and top talent. Tickets start at $149 and can be purchased on Eventbrite

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