Though the competition was stacked, DeBose, who already had a Golden Globe and SAG Award win under her belt at the time of her Oscar win, beat out other icons Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter), Judi Dench (Belfast), Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog), and Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) for the title of this year's Best Actress.
"Even in this weary world that we live, dreams do come true, and that's really a heartening thing right now," DeBose said in her emotional acceptance speech.
\u201c"So to anybody who has ever questioned your identity [. . . ] or you find yourself living in the grey spaces, I promise you this \u2014 there is indeed a place for us." #Oscars\u201d
— Human Rights Campaign (@Human Rights Campaign)
"Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes, you see an 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," she continued. "So to anyone who has ever questioned your identity, or if you find yourself living in the grey spaces, I promise you this: there is indeed a place for us."