During the announcement of Oscar nominees this morning, Men’s Health crush John Krasinski and name-butchering Academy Awards president Cheryl Boone Isaacs letdown fans of Carol and The Danish Girl, both queer films that failed to get Best Picture nominations. Because the nominees included zero Black actors, Twitter quickly resurrect last year’s #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. Luckily there’s one diverse Oscar category, in which a song by a Black man and a song performed by an Asian woman are competing against three different queers.
A trans person has been nominated for an Academy Award! It’s amazing! It’s incredible! It’s… happened before?
We haven’t confirmed it, but this year’s Best Original Song category might be the queerest of any category in Oscar history: gay crooner Sam Smith’s Spectre theme is competing against bisexual Lady Gaga’s showtune-ish ballad from campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground, while surprise nominee Antony Hegarty scored a nomination for her J. Ralph collaboration “Manta Ray,” from endangered species documentary Racing Excinction.
Hegarty first drew acclaim for her band Antony and the Johnsons, particularly after the 2005 album I Am A Bird Now. She is trans and uses female pronouns. Last month she released a percussive solo track, “Four Degrees,” under the name Anhoni. That song also carries a haunting environmental message.
A Jezebel commenter notes that this isn’t the first time a trans person got an Oscar nomination in a music category. Angela Morley was nominated for two Best Original Score Oscars in the seventies, both after her 1972 transition. She composed the nominated scores for The Little Prince (1974) and Cinderella story The Slipper and the Rose (1978). She also helped John Williams with the music for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, and later she went into TV work, composing for Wonder Woman, Dynasty and Dallas.
An LGBT Best Musical Oscar win could be a big boon for the community, especially if the winner uses their awards speech to highlight queer lives.