Once Said, Always Forever!
The Oscars’ Gay Memorable Moments
(Picture: Tom Hanks winning the Oscar for Actor in a Leading role in 1994 for his performance in "Philadelphia." - 66th Annual Academy Awards)
Many does not recognize the importance and power of the Oscars, the actual prize, let a lone being nominated. It could increase a film’s viewership to a higher percent, and it categorizes the actor/actress to credible and acknowledged for serious roles. The Annual Academy Awards have witnessed many political moments that went on to make history and change views! In 2002 Halle Berry became the first black actress to win an Oscar in the best actress category. In 1973, the legendary actor Marlon Brando declined the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in “The Godfather” because he was protesting Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in the film industry. In 2002 Halle Berry became the first black actress to win an Oscar in the best actress category. She took that moment to honor the black actresses that came before her who didn’t have the same opportunities. “This moment is so much bigger than me,” She said. In 2010 “The Cove” was awarded the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, a documentary film that analyzes and questions dolphin hunting practices in Japan. And when Natalie Portman introduced best actor nominee Demián Bichir for his role in “A Better Life” in 2012 she identified his character as an “undocumented immigrant”—and not with the pejorative ‘illegal’ term. But what about moments that consisted on LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender/Transsexual Questioning/Queer) among the years? Here’s what My.Kali observed
Jodie Foster – 1992
Jodie Foster accepts her Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in “Silence of the Lambs” at the 64th Academy Awards in 1992. “This has been such an incredible year. And I’d like to dedicate this award to all of the women who came before me who never had the chances that I’ve had, and the survivors and the pioneers and the outcasts; and my blood, my tradition.”. You can just read between the lines, can’t you?
Sandra Bullok – 2010
Sandra Bullock with the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in “The Blind Side,”
The actress emotionally acknowledged her mother’s effort in raising her and her siblings, along with loving others regardless… “She said to be an artist, you had to practice every day, and for reminding her daughters that there’s no race, no religion, no class system, no color, nothing, no sexual orientation that makes us better than anyone else.” the actress said in her Oscar speech. “We are all deserving of love.”
David Niven interrupted by Robert Opel – 1974
At the 46th Oscars in 1974, actor David Niven was interrupted when introducing Elizabeth Taylor, who was set to present the Oscar for “Best Picture,” when a streaker ran across the Oscar stage naked while he formed a peace sign with his fingers. The streaker, Robert Opel, a noted gay rights activist, was a photographer and art gallery owner who snuck backstage after posing as a journalist, since he was once employed by The Advocate magazine.
In 1978, Opel opened an art gallery in San Francisco devoted to gay male art called Fey-Way Studios, which brought fame to artists like Tom of Finland and Robert Mapplethorpe. He was murdered in 1979 during a robbery of the studio.
Sean Penn – 2009
Best actor winner Sean Penn delivered a controversial, political acceptance speech for his role as Harvey Milk in “Milk“. “Thank you. Thank you. You commie, homo-loving sons-of-guns.” the actor said in his acceptance speech. The film is based on the true story of Harvey Milk, a homosexual San Francisco politician revolutionary in his fight for gay rights.
“And finally, for those, two last finallies, for those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support.”
Dustin Lance Black – 2009
“Oh my God. This was, um. This was not an easy film to make.” Dustin gave the most incredible acceptance speech after being awarded Best Original Screenplay tonight at the Academy Awards
“I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you, thank you, and thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk.”
Tom Hanks – 1994
Tom Hanks picked up the Oscar for Best Actor for playing a gay man dying of AIDS in “Philadelphia” and has thanked his high school drama teacher in a powerful and moving speech. “I would not be standing here if it weren’t for two very important men in my life, so… two that I haven’t spoken with in awhile, but I had the pleasure of just the other evening. Mr. Rawley Farnsworth, who was my high school drama teacher, who taught me to act well the part, there all the glory lies. And one of my classmates under Mr. Farnsworth, Mr. John Gilkerson. I mention their names because they are two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with, to fall under their inspiration at such a young age. I wish my babies could have the same sort of teacher, the same sort of friends.”
He’d cleared the name check with the teacher in advance, but they had not discussed Hanks’ mentioning he was gay. Turns out, the teacher was cool with it. Producer Scott Rudin watched the telecast from home, and three years later, the Kevin Kline movie “In & Out” replayed the moment to answer that question. Watch trailer (here)
HIllary Swank – 2000
Hillary Swank collected her Oscar for best actress in 2000, and was the first to speak so openly about transgender rights in her tribute to Brandon Teena, the murdered transgender man who she played in Kimberly Peirce’s Boys Don’t Cry.
“And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Brandon Teena for being such an inspiration to us all. His legacy lives on through our movie to remind us to always be ourselves, to follow our hearts, to not conform. I pray for the day when we not only accept our differences, but we actually celebrate our diversity. Thank you very much.”