These Talented LGBT People Made Oscars History Today

"It's about believing in yourself and that anything’s possible."

At least three members of the LGBT community made history today with the announcement of the 2018 Academy Award nominations.


Out lesbian Dee Rees became the first African-American woman nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for Mudbound, which also earned out cinematographer Rachel Morrison the distinction of being the first woman nominated for Best Cinematography.

Yance Ford, meanwhile, got a nod for Best Documentary Feature for his investigative doc Strong Island—making him the first trans director to receive an Academy Award nomination.

Both projects were Netflix films.

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

“There’s no stopping us,” Morrison (above) told The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the nominations were announced. “Women are so qualified, they should just go for it. It’s not just about cinematography, it’s about believing in yourself and that anything’s possible.”

Her other credits include Fruitvale Station, Cake, Dope, Sound of My Voice, and Marvel’s Black Panther, which opens next month.

Greg Doherty/Getty Images

Rees, meanwhile, is best know for her feature films Bessie and the semi-autobiographical coming of age film Pariah. She’s also written and directed episodes of Empire and When We Rise, and is currently working on queer horror film with Get Out producer Jason Blum.

Ford has produced documentaries for many years, but made his directorial debut with Strong Island, which also won the Special Jury Award for Storytelling at Sundance.

Following Moonlight’s groundbreaking Best Picture win in 2017, this year’s nominations also included Chile’s A Fantastic Woman, nominated for Best Foreign-Language Feature. The film is a rare case of a transgender actress (newcomer Daniela Vega) playing a trans character, an aspiring singer accused of murdering her older boyfriend.


Richard Jenkins received a Best Supporting Actor nom for his work as a a closeted commercial artist in Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water.

The queer love story Call Me By Your Name was also nominated in four categories—Best Film, Best Actor (for Timothée Chalamet), Best Adapted Screenplay (for openly gay filmmaker James Ivory) and Best Original Song (for Sufjan Stevens’ “Mystery of Love”).

Some carped, however, that co-stars Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg, and out director Luca Guadagnino, were snubbed by the Academy.

The 90th Academy Awards air March 4 at 8/7c on ABC.

I believe that true, well-told stories have the power to change the world for good. I also love a good listicle.