Metro Weekly

3 of the 4 Acting Oscars Went to Queer Characters

Three of the four acting trophies given out this year were to stars playing characters who are somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum.

Brendan Fraser accepting his Best Acting Oscar for The Whale.
Brendan Fraser accepting his Best Acting Oscar for The Whale.

There were only a handful of openly gay nominees at the 2023 Academy Awards, but several explicitly homosexual – or queer-leaning, in some scenarios – characters were honored with the most prestigious statue in Hollywood.

Three of the four acting trophies given out this year were to stars playing characters who are somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum.

That’s a huge milestone, and it shows that Hollywood is moving in a positive direction when it comes to representation…now if we can only get some gay actors to win prizes as well.

Best Actor

Actor Brendan Fraser has made a triumphant return to the big screen, winning his first-ever Oscar in a coup few could have predicted just a few years back.

Fraser received the Best Actor award for his role as Charlie, a reclusive English professor who weighs over 600 pounds and is struggling to reconnect with his daughter in the movie The Whale. The character is also dealing with the death of his partner, which caused him to gain weight and become isolated from his family, who rejected him after coming out.

The Whale is based on the play of the same name by openly gay writer Samuel D. Hunter, who also adapted it for the film.

Fraser, who is not gay, took the opportunity to thank his wife and children while on stage, expressing his gratitude for their support throughout his career.

Some LGBTQ moviegoers loved the picture, while others took huge issue with it, but either way, another gay male character just won an Oscar.

Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh won her Oscar for portraying Evelyn Wang, who isn’t actually queer… at least not in the real world. The mother and Chinese immigrant has a difficult time accepting the fact that her daughter has a girlfriend, even failing to properly identify her to the family’s grandfather. This all happens in the normal universe, but, of course, there is so much more happening in Everything Everywhere All At Once.

In a parallel universe, Yeoh is actually dating Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, who in the world we spend the most time in is actually trying to nail the business owner for tax issues.

Their love is only shown a few times throughout the film, but it seems deep and real. It’s two women of a certain age dancing and kissing and just generally being in love — with hot dog fingers, no less — and it’s beautiful. The fact that not too much was made of their lesbian relationship speaks to its normalcy.

Best Supporting Actress

Just like her co-star and sometimes on-screen love interest Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curits also won her Oscar for a role that wasn’t entirely queer, but which had moments in which the character identified as such. In Everything Everywhere All At Once, Curtis plays an IRS accountant who is trying to take down Yeoh and her family’s business — some of the time.

When in a different universe, Curtis’ Deirdre Beaubeirdre is in a lesbian romance with Yeoh’s Wang. Though we only see snippets of that love, it’s clear the two are head over heels for each other and committed to the life they’ve made.

Yeoh and Curtis actually demonstrated their love for one another in this world throughout the award season, with Curtis even planting a kiss on Yeoh at an award show for all to see.

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