The Academy Awards are finally getting more diverse. This is the first year there are black actors in every acting category. Even though the queer community is represented pretty well, there are plenty of great gay films that didn’t get the nod. Here’s a look at some of our favorite gay film moments, some of which caught the Academy’s attention and some which did not.
1. Moonlight Has Everyone Talking
It’s no secret we really like Moonlight—and, thankfully, the Academy did too, giving it eight nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Score.
Most people set the odds on La La Land sweeping most of the awards it’s nominated for. (#OscarsSoWhite, after all, and what’s whiter than a musical about a white man turning his white girlfriend on to jazz?) Thankfully, Moonlight‘s expected to pick up, at the very least, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.
2. Kelly Mantle Was Submitted for Best Supporting Actor and Actress
— Kelly Mantle (@thekellymantle) December 6, 2016
As Laura Jane Grace said, Gender Is Over (If You Want It), and there couldn’t be a better example than Kelly Mantle. This gender-fluid performer and former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant (and who made our list of 100 Intriguing LGBTs to Look Out for in 2017) was submitted for both the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress awards for an amazing performance in Confessions of a Womanizer. Sadly, Mantle didn’t get nominated, but the dual-submission threw an interesting wrench in the Academy’s gender-defined categories.
3. I Am Not Your Negro Was Nearly 40 Years in the Making
In 1979, gay black author James Baldwin pitched a book to his agent called Remember This House, which would have been a personal account of the assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X (assassinated 52 years ago on Feb. 21, five days before this year’s Oscar ceremony) and Martin Luther King, Jr.—all three close friends to Baldwin.
Sadly, the book was never finished—only 30 pages were completed at the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987—but director Raoul Peck turned those 30 pages into the Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro. Not a bad return for a project 38 years in the making.
4. King Cobra Had the Only Premiere Party
The film King Cobra premiered late last year, and the IFC premiere and after-party were off the chain. The film is a dramatic adaptation of the murder of Cobra Studios producer Bryan Kocis by porn performer Harlow Cuadra and his boyfriend Joseph Manuel Kerekes. As befits a dark look at the seedy underbelly of gay porn, the premiere was full of sexy go-go boys, erotic art and stars like Christian Slater and Nico Tortorella.
5. Looking: The Movie Tied Up Loose Ends
HBO may have unceremoniously cancelled Looking in 2015, but thankfully last year we got to see what happened to Patrick, Richie and the gang. Of course, the biggest news to come from the film was that Dom (played by Murray Bartlett) finally got to follow his dreams and open up a chicken restaurant. (Thanks to Dom, queers around the world felt empowered to follow their dreams and open their own metaphorical chicken restaurant.
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