The Golden Globes 2021 nominees were announced today in Los Angeles and there were a multitude of LGBTQ actors, films, television and other nominees announced. Two LGBTQ-inclusive films, The Life Ahead and Two Of Us, were nominated for Best Picture.
The Golden Globes 2021 nominees were announced today in Los Angeles and there were a multitude of LGBTQ actors, characters, films, television and other nominees announced. Two LGBTQ-inclusive films, The Life Ahead and Two Of Us, were nominated for Best Picture.
In truth, it’s somewhat difficult to single out which of this year’s slate count as nods to LGBTQ inclusion. Thanks to ongoing pressure from advocacy groups like GLAAD and growing public demand via social media and other platforms, there’s a growing queer presence in the content produced by the Hollywood machine; LGBTQ characters and/or creative talent are part of the mix in multiple titles throughout the list. In just the four Best Picture categories alone, Promising Young Woman, Music, The Prom, Onward, and the aforementionedThe Life Ahead and Two of Us can be considered queer or queer-adjacent. When you consider all the other categories as well, keeping track of the LGBTQ connections becomes a challenge.
That, of course, is nothing to complain about. It’s a sign that decades of media invisibility for non hetero-and-cis-normative people and their experiences are at long last giving way to an era of increased visibility.
Still, there is at least one eyebrow-raiser.
A disquieting note comes from the nomination of James Corden as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Motion Picture, for his role as a gay Broadway actor in Ryan Murphy’s movie adaptation of The Prom. Corden identifies as straight, and despite his status as a long-standing and supportive ally, his performance in the film has been criticized by many observers as leaning heavily into the realm of stereotype and caricature. Add to this the continuing discussion around straight actors playing non-straight roles, and the nomination – already a surprise, at least in part because of the notable snub of Corden’s co-star Meryl Streep in the Best Actress category – has stirred controversy, as well.
Corden is not the only nominee, however, who is being honored for “playing gay.” Rosamund Pike, who is straight, earned her Best Actress in a Drama nod for playing a lesbian con artist; in addition, performers Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holliday), both nominated for playing real-life musical icons in films that address their bisexuality, and Jodie Comer, nominated once more for her acclaimed work as a lesbian assassin in the Hulu series Killing Eve, have never publicly identified as anything other than straight. These nominations have not met with the same level of vocal criticism levied at Corden’s nod. Pike, Davis and Day will all face off against each other in their category.
Dwelling on the problematic, as tempting as it is, overshadows the considerable triumph represented by the impressive score of Schitt’s Creek. The beloved Canadian sitcom has already made history by sweeping all its eligible acting categories at last year’s Emmy Awards for its final season. It is now positioned for a possible repetition of that feat, with series stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, and Annie Murphy in the running in the Television Comedy division for Best Leading Actor, Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. Levy, playing a pansexual-identified character who becomes half of arguably one of television’s all-time favorite same-sex couples to date, is gay in real life. The show is also up for Best Comedy or Musical Television Series.
As for the rest of the lineup, here’s a breakdown of the other most notable LGBTQ-relevant nominees:
The Best Television Series Drama category includes two shows featuring LGBTQ storylines and characters, Netflix’s Ratched and HBO Max’s Lovecraft Country.
Out actress Sarah Paulson joins previous winner Comer in the running for Television Drama Best Actress, nominated for the title role in Ratched. The series also picked up a nod for out actress Cynthia Nixon in the Supporting Actress category.
Out actor Jim Parsons was tapped as a contender for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Netflix’s Hollywood. Though the show is a drama, he will be competing directly against Levy for the win, since the Golden Globes lump supporting performances together in a single category rather than differentiating between drama and comedy, as they do for the leading players.
In the Best Comedy Series category, The Flight Attendant, a popular HBO Max show featuring two gay men among its cast of major characters, picked up a nomination.
On the Film side, while the nominees for Best Picture (Drama) don’t include any notable LGBTQ storylines or characters, one of them, Promising Young Woman, does feature transgender actress Laverne Cox in a significant supporting role. The Prom received a nod in the Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) race; in addition to Corden’s role, the film features a number of other queer characters, as well as multiple out performers, and its story centers on the efforts of a lesbian teenager to force her high school to allow her to take her girlfriend to the senior prom. In the same category, Music, written and directed by out bisexual singer/songwriter Sia, also received a nomination. The inclusion of both films in that race were something of a surprise – especially the latter, given that Sia’s acclaimed cinematic debut is still mostly unseen by all but a few industry insiders.
Up for Best Animated Picture is Disney/Pixar’s Onward, which won praise for its casual inclusion of an openly-identified gay character – voiced by out actress Lena Waithe – in a minor role.
As mentioned above, the Best Foreign Language Film category includes The Life Ahead, an Italian drama starring cinema icon Sophia Loren which also features a transgender leading character, played by trans actress Abril Zamora. It will compete with France’s Two of Us, a drama about longtime lesbian lovers who face separation due to a health crisis.
In the Best Supporting Actress Category (again, as with television, the Globes combine both dramatic and comedic films for supporting roles), out actress Jodie Foster is up for the prize for her work in The Mauritanian.
Also of note: out producer/director Ryan Murphy, whose body of work has established himself as one of the de facto leaders in the effort to claim space for LGBTQ people and narratives in mainstream entertainment culture, has an impressive three projects represented in this year’s nominations: Ratched, Hollywood, and The Prom. His film of The Boys in the Band, however, is one of many worthy films and shows to be snubbed this year – a particularly egregious omission in light of the presence of titles like The Undoing, Emily in Paris, and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm among the honorees, all of which received mixed critical and audience reception, at best. If we’re being fair, the same could be said of Murphy’s three nominated shows and films, though each found popularity with enthusiastic fans.
Lastly, the recipients of this year’s two honorary awards are each notable for their LGBTQ connections. Screen legend Jane Fonda, who will be honored with the Cecil B. deMille Award, is one of the stars of Netflix’s extremely LGBTQ-friendly Grace and Frankie, while Carol Burnett Award-winner Norman Lear has been lauded for his many groundbreaking contributions toward inclusion in the classic sitcoms he has created and developed in a career that spans over 70 years.
Hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards will air live coast to coast on Sunday, Feb. 28 from 8-11 p.m. ET/5-8 p.m. PT on NBC. Poehler will host the awards show from the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, where the Golden Globes are typically held, while Fey will be set up in The Rainbow Room, which is inside NBC’s corporate headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Jane Fonda will receive this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award and Norman Lear will be awarded the Carol Burnett Award.
The complete list of nominees is below.
Best Picture Drama
Best Picture – Musical/Comedy
Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy
Best Actor – Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Best Director Motion Picture
Best Screenplay Motion Picture
Best Picture – Animated
Best Picture – Foreign Language
Best Score Motion Picture
Best Drama Series
Best Musical/Comedy Series
Best Television Motion Picture
Best Actress – Television Motion Picture
Best Actor – Television Motion Picture
Best Television Actress – Drama Series
Best Television Actor – Drama Series
Best Television Actress – Musical/Comedy Series
Best Television Actor – Musical/Comedy Series
Best Supporting Actress – Television
Best Supporting Actor – Television
Cecil B. deMille Award
2021 Winner: Jane Fonda
Carol Burnett Award
2021 Winner: Norman Lear
Four Olympics, 13 years, and now a Gold Medal for Tom Daley
“I hope any young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone. You can achieve anything.”
TOKYO – Standing there on the podium with tears forming in his eyes, a masked for Covid-19 British Olympic diver Tom Daley saw his dreams of Olympic Gold finally come true Monday. Watching a live-stream of the event intently, at the moment Daley secured his victory, Tom’s husband, writer Lance Black and Tom’s mother took in the results and jumped up screaming in joy.
Daley along with his British teammate diving partner Matty Lee won the gold with a score of 471.81 in the men’s synchronized diving on Monday at Tokyo 2020 narrowly besting the defending champions, China’s Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen by just 1.23 points.
“I still can’t honestly believe what is happening,” Daley told BBC Sport. “That moment, being about to be announced as Olympic champions, I was gone. I was blubbering.”
Daley tells young LGBTQ people: “You can achieve anything”
Later at a press conference, Daley, an openly gay athlete talked about the experience of being gay and at the games;
“In terms of out athletes, there are more openly out athletes at these Olympic Games than any Olympic Games previously. I came out in 2013 and when I was younger I always felt like the one that was alone and different and didn’t fit. There was something about me that was never going to be as good as what society wanted me to be. I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone. You can achieve anything.”
“I feel incredibly proud to say I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion.”— LBC (@LBC) July 26, 2021
Gold medal winner Tom Daley says he hopes his performance will inspire young LGBT people to realise “you can achieve anything”.
Read more: https://t.co/9b5sr5kcZe pic.twitter.com/XCFyZR5S7A
They’ve done it!#GBR‘s Tom Daley and Matty Lee win the men’s synchronised 10m platform final – a career first gold medal for four-time Olympian Daley!#Diving @TeamGB @fina1908 pic.twitter.com/iiwW5u4JTJ— Olympics (@Olympics) July 26, 2021
Drew Pisarra’s ‘dangerously funny and queerly inventive brain’
‘You’re Pretty Gay’ shatters expectations and social mores
Is there anything more absurd than this, wondered gay poet and writer Drew Pisarra. Pisarra, then, was an assistant to a paralegal at a toothpaste company.
Fiercely protective of the pattern on its toothpaste, they wrote letters to rivals who, they felt, were infringing on their copyright.
Even when their competitors were in countries in the middle of a civil war, “They would write back, ‘we can’t respond now, we’re in a war,’” Pisarra said.
But that didn’t soften the heart of the toothpaste company. They’d insist that “this most important matter be dealt with as soon as the war ends,” Pisarra said.
If you think that authors don’t encounter the absurdity and grit of everyday life or that all writers do is drink coffee (or sip stronger libations) while looking at the sunset, you haven’t met Pisarra.
Pisarra, 56, whose new short story collection “You’re Pretty Gay” is just out from Chaffinch Press, has worked at everything from ventriloquism to domestic work.
The word “unique” is so hackneyed that it’s a cliche to say it’s a cliche. But there’s no other way to describe “You’re Pretty Gay.”
This collection “is a prime example of Drew Pisarra’s dangerously funny and queerly inventive brain,” said Kevin Sampsell, author of “This Is Between Us.” “Each story is its own performance, its own shattering of expectations and social mores.”
Pisarra, who lives in Manhattan, gives readers a mosaic of wit, surrealism, sex, queerness, memory, mortality and self-discovery.
In “You’re Pretty Gay,” there are gay bars in New York and New Orleans.
You’ll find everything from adolescent bullies fighting over a rare caterpillar to a character taking an AIDS test and, later, meeting up with Mrs. Claus.
“Mrs. Claus I didn’t even know you were alive,” says the narrator of “Arctic Chill.” “I didn’t even know you were real. I haven’t received a gift from you or your husband in ten years.”
Another of Pisarra’s tales revolves around a trip to hell. “I love traveling,” says the narrator of “The Hat from Hell, “I got this hat when I was in Hell back in 1992.”
In “Granny,” siblings gather after their mother’s death. “All anyone could remember of her was that chair, how she sat in it for the last 40 years,” Pisarra writes, “immobile as ‘Jeopardy’ and the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ glared at her night after night.”
Pisarra’s characters yearn to find love, sex, and who they really are.
“In my quest to bed mankind, I tended to avoid perfection’s rejection,” says the narrator of “Every Man for Myself.”
Pisarra, whose first short story collection “Publick Spanking” was published in 1996, was born in Orange, N.J. When he was in the third grade, he moved to Maryland. There, except for living in Oxon Hill for a year, he grew up in Silver Spring.
When Pisarra was growing up, being gay wasn’t even remotely on the horizon. “There was such denial in the culture then,” Pisarra said.
From early on, he had feelings for men. “I had a crush on a boy in kindergarten,” Pisarra said.
He consulted books and a priest, which wasn’t helpful. They said he’d grow out of it.
“As a teenager, I recognized that I hadn’t outgrown it,” Pisarra said.
Pisarra was a college freshman when he came out. “I sobbed the night I came out,” he said.
He was out in college, Pisarra said, “but I wasn’t getting laid.” That changed when he moved to New Orleans after college.
Pisarra graduated from Hofstra University in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in theater.
In college, a professor had the students sit in a circle. Then, the teacher told them how she thought they’d be cast.
“She told me, ‘you’re a grotesque,’”Pisarra said, “‘You won’t work until you’re in your fifties. Because your face and body don’t match.’”
Pisarra was relieved to hear this. His sense of relief was related to being a young gay man in the late 1980s.
“I wasn’t interested in being closeted,” Pisarra said, “I wrote. I wanted to perform. I wasn’t interested in conforming.”
Since then, Pisarra has been creating – performing and writing his own material. Some of the stories in “You’re Pretty Gay” were originally created for the stage.
“I don’t write that often,” Pisarra said, “I started writing the stories in ‘You’re Pretty Gay’ 20 years ago.”
A prodigious reader, Pisarra has always “written to some degree,” he said.
Pisarra got turned on to writing poetry when he went to a meeting of a gay and lesbian writers group.
“There were, like, 10 people in this apartment,” Pisarra said, “there was a terrible woman sitting next to me.”
He would have dropped out of the group, if he hadn’t met writer Mare Davis, now his close friend.
“I said to her, ‘I never want to see any of these people again except you,’” Pisarra said, “She inspired me to get into poetry.”
Davis wrote the introduction to Pisarra’s poetry collection “Infinity Standing Up” (Capturing Fire Press).
Released in 2019, the volume of sexy, playful sonnets received glowing reviews from the Washington Post, the Blade and other outlets.
“Devour me! Think me not some crazy nut!,” Pisarra writes in one of his sonnets.
With lines like these, he gives Shakespeare a run for his money.
Pisarra has held a variety of jobs – many of which have involved the arts. He has helped homeless people with mental health issues to find housing.
“I ran a writers group for them,” Pisarra said, “I encouraged a super-talented woman to send her work out.”
The woman and Pisarra submitted their work to the same magazine. “Her work was accepted. Mine wasn’t,” he said, “I was thrilled!”
In an unusual career twist, Pisarra, who received a literary grant from the Café Royal Cultural Foundation, toured a ventriloquist act entitled “Singularly Grotesque.” He created the act after the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art commissioned him to develop a new solo piece.
“I was wandering around the library aisles and I found two (self-help) pamphlets on talking with ‘multiple’ selves,’” Pisarra said, “and I thought this is ventriloquism in a nutshell.”
Pisarra hadn’t watched much TV. But that didn’t keep him from interviewing with AMC to be its director of digital media.
“I thought why not,” Pisarra said, “it would be a chance to see what else is out there in the world.”
He worked on the websites for “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” “It was a pleasure to be part of the online team for these cultural phenomena!” Pisarra said.
With Molly Gross, Pisarra co-founded Saint Flashlight. In this project, he and Gross find inventive ways to get poetry into public spaces.
One of the project’s most innovative efforts has been putting haiku on movie marquees. It’s fun to see people, looking up, counting the syllables, Pisarra said. You sweat when you put the letters up on the marquee, he added.
“It’s part of the fun! It makes you feel like you’re making something matter,” Pisarra said.
He doesn’t want poetry to be confined to “The New Yorker.” “It should push the envelope,” Pisarra said, “It’s not just for the upper crust.”
Calendar: July 23-29
Events in the week to come
Friday, July 23
Friday Tea Time and social for older LGBTQ adults will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. You are welcome to bring your own beverage. For access to the Zoom link, email [email protected].
“Trans Support Group” will be hosted on Zoom at 7 p.m. This event is intended to provide emotionally and physically safe space for transgender people and those who may be questioning their gender identity/expression to join in community and learn from one another. All who identify under the trans umbrella or are unsure, and seek to continually reinforce principles of respect, acceptance, and protection through ongoing input from our attendees are welcome.
Saturday, July 24
The “Gay District Meeting” will be at 8 p.m. via Zoom. Gay District is a community-based organization focused on building understanding of gay culture and personal identity, awareness of community events and civil rights for gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and inter-sexed men between the ages of 18 and 35 in the D.C. metropolitan area. For more information, visit gaydistrict.org.
Join the DC Center in volunteering at Food & Friends from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 219 Riggs Road, N.E. Food and Friends prepares and delivers meals and groceries to people living with HIV, cancer, and other life challenging illnesses. Up to five volunteers are needed every month. If you need a ride from the Fort Totten Metro, call the Food and Friends shuttle at 202- 669-6437.
Sunday, July 25
“Crafternoons with Shop Made in DC!” will be at 12 p.m. at 1353 Wisconsin Ave., N.W. Guests are encouraged to bring a project or come and make one at Shop Made in DC’s classroom table. There will be various art supplies available. For more information, visit Eventbrite.
Monday, July 26
The Center Aging Coffee Drop-in will be at 10 a.m. at the DC Center. LGBT Older Adults and friends are invited for friendly conversations and current issues that you might be dealing with. For more information visit Center Aging’s Facebook or website.
Tuesday, July 27
Join Center Faith for Intersectional Faith Forums at 7 p.m. online. In this Forum, attendees will hear from panelists who participated in the LGBT history event “Stepping OUT on Faith” in 2014. These pioneers will speak about their interfaith spiritual experiences of the AIDS Memorial Quilt of the Names Project Foundation displayed on the National Mall 1987 that led to establishing Center Faith. For more information, visit Center Faith’s Facebook page.
Genderqueer DC support group will be on Zoom at 7 p.m. All those who identify as bigender, agender, genderfluid, or are not 100% cisgender are welcome to attend. For more information visit genderqueerdc.org or Genderqueer DC’s Facebook.
Wednesday, July 28
Join the DC Center for its virtual job club, 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. The event begins on Zoom at 6 p.m. For more information, email [email protected].
Friendship Place’s LGBTQ+ will host the final session of a free webinar series titled “Advocacy, Resistance, and LGBTQ+ Resilience” at 12 p.m. This event will be a panel conversation focused on the vital work of advocacy and resistance to ensure access and rights for the LGBTQ+ community. The panel will also touch on the importance of self-care in the work of advocacy and resilience that comes from community. For more information, visit capitalpride.org.
Thursday, July 29
“Queer Book Club” will be at 7 p.m. via Skype. This month’s book discussion will be “Black Boy Out of Time” by Hari Ziyad. If you are interested in participating, please email [email protected].
The Mayor’s Office will host a “Veterans Roundtable” on Thursday, July 29 at 12 p.m. This event aims to connect the District’s veterans with information, resources, and organizations that may be beneficial to a successful military transition.
It will be an informal discussion that revolves around varying topics including housing, employment, healthcare, and legal services. Upon conclusion of the discussion, all resource providers in attendance offer feedback on any topics discussed or how they can assist the veteran or their family in a positive capacity.
The event will be hosted in person and will highlight BIPOC Veteran Mental Health Awareness with speakers from the DC VA Medical Center. For more information, visit Eventbrite.
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