The bi Latinx actor, known for starring roles in Encanto and Brooklyn: Nine-Nine, attributed her success to the "multitudes" of her identities. She did so accepting the Fusion Achievement Award Friday at the LGBTQ+ BIPOC film festival's opening night gala.
"What I'm finding really interesting hearing about my work is that I'm simply really just trying to bring myself to what I'm doing. I'm just trying to bring versions of myself, all the things that I hold, all the multitudes inside of me. And I know that every single artist in this room feels that same way," she told the packed auditorium at the Japanese-American Cultural and Community Center in Downtown Los Angeles.
Beatriz went on to praise the creatives in the room, many of whom represented intersectional identities that were reflected in the festival's lineup. She also took the entertainment industry to task, which in the past "tried to push us into corners" instead of centering historically marginalized people. But in 2022, she celebrated a sea change in authentic storytelling.
"You see yourselves, you see yourselves and how brilliant and shining you are, and how many facets you have, and how much you have to say. And you've been so brave to choose this profession because it's not one that in the past has celebrated us," she noted. "In fact, it's tried to push us into corners, to define us, but we're choosing to define ourselves. And that's really exciting. It's a thrilling time to be alive, making art with you all. So thank you."
Beatriz was honored by Outfest for her contributions to LGBTQ+ storytelling and visibility. Encanto co-star Wilmer Valderrama and Gloria Calderón Kellett presented her with the award.
Sandra Oh was also an honoree; she accepted the James Schamus Ally Award from actor Alec Mapa. Oh appeared virtually due to contracting COVID-19, and also delivered a speech advocating for the power of marginalized voices in media. “In these times, I feel we need to examine and question our place in the order of life and take responsibility at every turn,” Oh told the gathering. “We need to examine the way we can bring our voices, our work, our art, to bring change to the world by opening hearts and minds.”
Outfest Fusion runs until April 17 with both in-person and virtual programming. Check out the full lineup at OutfestFusion.com.