Last night, the Oscars pretty much summed up 2016 in a nutshell, and hopefully introduced the correction course 2017 will take to clean up the mess left behind. In the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that reflected rising racial tensions that reached a boiling point last year, the Academy attempted to turn a corner in its representation of racial diversity in the nominations. Cue a colossal card reading flub that really only makes sense to occur, particularly between two films as drastically different and equally admired as La La Land and Moonlight.
This year’s Oscars was a massive, albeit overdue step forward for the black and LGBTQ communities. Although we queer women gazed wistfully at our television screens last night, wishing our beloved Carol could have made these strides for lesbian film, a win for the gay community is a win for all of us. It’s a shame that it took so long, but also pretty poignant that the torch had to literally be passed from a film about straight, white people fighting against the odds to succeed in show business, to a film about a gay, black boy struggling to succeed at, well, surviving.
Unfortunately, the Oscars didn’t feature as many lady loving moments as some of the other awards season events have this year, but we were graced with the presence of the most iconic leading lesbian of the past year, Kate McKinnon. Kate took the stage looking ravishing and confident alongside Jason Bateman and reminded us (in case we could ever possibly forget) that she dominates in every way each time she steps out onto the stage. If we had to choose one person to represent us last night, we couldn’t have selected a better face of the lesbian community for 2017.
Although lesbian and bisexual female representation was minimal this year, the wins were nothing less than iconic, and the statements made by many of Hollywood’s finest spoke volumes. Robin Roberts, who has one of the most heartwarming coming out stories of all time, owned the red carpet interviews this year, asking the female stars thoughtful questions and avoiding focusing on the superficial comments on their chosen dress designer. But speaking of stars’ appearances, we noticed many of these gowns and tuxedos that are probably worth more than the house I just bought were adorned with various pins representing powerful stances in solidarity to equality organizations.
Colleen Atwood approached the stage to accept her award for Costume Design for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wearing a blue ampersand “Together” pin from GLAAD, which represents a declaration of one’s stance against all forms of discrimination against any community. Several stars, such as Ruth Negga and Lim-Manuel Miranda were rocking blue ribbons emblazoned with ACLU, a symbol of solidarity with those who are facing and fighting against hate. The gold PP pin that adorned Dakota Johnson’s clutch and Emma Stone’s dress might take a closer look to spot, but that one is in support of Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights.
Awards season has been exploding with bold statements, from Joy Villa’s Trump gown to Meryl Streep’s impassioned acceptance speech for her Lifetime Achievement, and the Oscars was no different, and perhaps took an even stronger stance. During an awards show where speeches prompt us to change the channel and the programs are criticized for being too long, everyone, regardless of political persuasion, tunes in for the red carpet looks. In awareness of where the attention tends to lie on this night, celebrities used their designer dresses and tuxes to show viewers where their support lies, and that’s with inclusivity. So cheers to Moonlight, GLAAD, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and everyone last night who showed us how great America already is.