Queer Women Shine At The 94th Annual Academy Awards 

Ariana DeBose makes history as the first out woman of color to win an Academy Award while Kristen Stewart and Niecy Nash wow on the red carpet.

Sunday’s Academy Awards might just have been the gayest ever, thanks to some of our favorite out women celebrities. 

Ariana DeBose became the first queer woman of color, and the second Latina woman, to win an Oscar, which she scored in the best supporting actress category for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.”  

In her acceptance speech, DeBose asked the audience to “Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of color and Latina who found her life and strength in art. That’s what I believe we are here to celebrate.”

She added, “So to anybody who has ever questioned your identity, ever, ever, ever – you, you find yourself living in the gray spaces – I promise you this: There is indeed a place for you.” 

She follows in the footsteps of Rita Moreno, the first Latina woman to win an Academy Award, also for her portrayal of Anita in the original motion picture, “West Side Story.” DeBose thanked Moreno, who was in attendance Sunday night, telling her that, “Your Anita paved the way for tons of Anitas like me. I love you so much.”

Although Kristen Stewart might not have won in the best actress category for her role as the late Princess Diana in the movie “Spencer,” she wowed the audience on the red carpet with her fiance Dylan Meyer. Stewart sported a Chanel ensemble that included a satin jacket, short shorts, and a chiffon blouse unbuttoned to her navel – and a whole lot of Chanel jewelry to match. 


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Niecy Nash and wife Jessica Betts also made a splash on the red carpet for what was their first Oscar appearance, just one month after making history as the first same-sex couple featured on Essence magazine. Nash accessorized her ruffled pink dress with a clutch that read “Wifey for Lifey” while Betts sported a sharp, white suit. 


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To make the night even gayer, out comedy legend Wanda Sykes was one of three funny ladies to host the evening’s ceremony. She and co-hosts Amy Schumer and Regina Hall opened the night with a dig at Florida’s recently passed Parent Rights in Education bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics. 

“We’re going to have a great night tonight – and for you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night,” Sykes quipped as she, Schumer, and Hall broke out into choruses of “gay” while the crowd cheered. 

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