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Queer Oscar Firsts & Superlatives

marlon brando
Associated Press

Hit the red carpet for 90 years of queer Oscar history!

The 90th annual Academy Awards are on Sunday night and for as long as the Oscars have been around, queer people have played a big part in them. From behind the camera, to some of its greatest stars, there's good reason why the Oscars are the Gay Super Bowl.

Related | The Fab Five Are Here to Help You Throw the Ultimate Oscars Party

And while the Oscars haven't always been known for their diversity, thanks to some new voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and one monumental mix-up last year, this year promises to be a groundbreaking year with a slew of impressive nominations.

Related | The 10 Biggest Snubs of This Year's Oscar Noms

Check out just how gay the Oscars have been since literally day one, below:


Janet Gaynor(7th Heaven, Street Angel, Sunrise - 1927/28)
Not only the first LGBT acting Oscar-nominee and -winner, but also the first Best Actress, ever [public domain]


Charles Laughton(The Private Life of Henry VIII, 1932/33)
First LGBT Best Actor Oscar-nominee and -winner [public domain]


George Cukor(Little Women, 1932/33)
First Oscar-nominated LGBT director [publicity still]


Cole Porter ("I've Got You Under My Skin," from Born to Dance, 1936)
First LGBT Original Song nominee [public domain]


Aaron Copland (Of Mice and Men, 1939)
First LGBT Original Score nominee [public domain]


Noel Coward (In Which We Serve, 1942)
First LGBT Original Screenplay nominee, along with George Oppenheimer, also nominated that year for The War Against Mrs. Hadley [Allan Warren, Wikimedia Commons]

ab fab patsy stone trans

John Van Druten(Gaslight, 1944)
First LGBT Adapted Screenplay nominee

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Edwin Willis (32 nominations, 8 wins including An American in Paris, 1951)
Most nominated LGBT person, art direction

Nancy Hamilton (Helen Keller in Her Story, 1955)
First LGBT Best Documentary Feature winner

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Vincente Minnelli (Gigi, 1958)
First LGBT Best Director winner...and Liza's dad


William Inge (Splendor in the Grass, 1961)
First LGBT Original Screenplay winner

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Tony Richardson (Tom Jones, 1963)
First LGBT Best Picture winner; also won Best Director


Katharine Hepburn (12 nominations, 4 wins)
Most nominated LGBT actress, still more Best Actress Oscars than Meryl...for now

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Marlon Brando (On the Waterfront, 1954; The Godfather, 1972)
First two-time LGBT Best Actor winner, most nominated LGBT actor (8)

Related | Quincy Jones Spills the Tea, Says Marlon Brando Had Sex With James Baldwin


Paul Winfield (Sounder, 1972)
First black LGBT Best Actor nominee [public domain]

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William H. Reynolds (7 nominations, 2 wins including The Sound of Music, 1965)
First LGBT Best Film Editing nominee/winner


Angela Morley, (The Little Prince, 1974)
First openly transgender nominee [YouTube]

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Peter Shaffer (Amadeus, 1984)
First LGBT Best Adapted Screenplay winner

Rob Epstein and Richard Schmiechen (The Times of Harvey Milk, 1984)
First gay-themed film by openly gay filmmakers to win an Oscar

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Howard Ashman (4 posthumous nominations for Original Song, 1 posthumous win for "Beauty and the Beast" from Beauty and the Beast, 1991)
Most posthumous nominations; 7 total nominations, 2 total wins


Scott Rudin (9 nominations, 1 win)
Most nominated LGBT producer [Matt Sayles/AP Photo]

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Melissa Etheridge ("I Need to Wake Up," An Inconvenient Truth, 2006)
First openly LGBT woman to win Original Song [Flickr]


Lee Daniels (Precious, 2009)
First LGBT African-American Best Director nominee

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Geoffrey S. Fletcher (Precious, 2009)
First LGBT African-American screenplay winner


Anohni ("Manta Ray," Racing Extinction, 2015)
First openly transgender Original Song nominee [Francesco Carrozzini. Courtesy of Trunk Archive]


Byron Howard (Zootopia, 2016)
First LGBT Best Animated Feature winner

Dee Rees

Dee Rees (Mudbound, 2017)
First queer black woman nominated for a screenplay Oscar [Marcie Revens]

amy sedaris period

Rachel Morrison (Mudbound, 2017)
First (queer/black) woman nominated for Best Cinematography

Strong Island\u2019s Call for Justice

Yance Ford (Strong Island, 2017)
First openly trans man nominated for an Oscar (Best Documentary Feature) [Netflix]

Gifs: Giphy

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