and the winner is..

All the best and gayest moments from the 2022 Emmy Awards

(left to right) Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder, Jerrod Carmichael, Murray Bartlett | Screenshots: YouTube, Television Academy

Last night, the 74th annual Primetime Emmy Awards celebrated the best in television from what was one heck of a great year for the medium. 

Saturday Night Live stalwart Kenan Thompson presided over a loose but fun show that spread the love, with major awards going out to Abbott Elementary, Squid Game, The White LotusTed Lasso, and Succession, just to name a few.

And, you know what? The whole evening was pretty queer! Below, we’ve assembled a list of the night’s gayest, can’t-miss moments, from LGBTQ winners and presenters, to the biggest gags, to the looks that we were living for.

You can see a full list of the night’s winners on the official Emmys website. But re-live the best of the show below:

Hannah Einbinder’s euphoric crush

The queer Hacks star arrived on stage to present the night’s second award, but let her co-star Jean Smart do all the talking. Turns out, she’s got a little stage fright, but showed up anyway because “she gets a better view of Zendaya.” She’s never been more relatable.

Murray Bartlett wins Best Supporting Actor for The White Lotus

Taking home the gold for Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie was gay Aussie hunk Bartlett, who we’ve been crushing on since he tried to open up that peri-peri chicken shop on Looking. His gracious and charming acceptance speech included everything a gay could want: A shout-out to his “P-town family” (a group we’d die to be a part of), a shot of showrunner Mike White with a giant glass of red wine in hand, a mention of his partner Matt and his mom *swoon* and a quick glimpse of co-star Connie Britton screaming with delight.

Madonna Julia Garner is an awards magnet

At the age of 28, Miss Garner already has quite an impressive trophy collection, having now earned her third piece of hardware for her supporting turn in Ozark. Does this bode well for her work in the upcoming Madonna biopic at a future Oscars ceremony, when she plays the Queen Of Pop herself? Or are we just hopeless stans desperately trying to will this movie into, well, anything but a flop?

Related: Our dream cast for who should play Madonna’s lovers in her upcoming biopic

Sheryl Lee Ralph brings the theatrics to the Emmys stage

Once and forever a Dreamgirl, Sheryl Lee Ralph’s barn-stormer of an acceptance speech kicked off with the opening lines of Dianne Reeves’ “Endangered Species.” The whole audience was already on their feet for the Abbott Elementary star when the musical moment transitioned to her equally powerful speech: “To anyone who has ever had a dream and thought your dream couldn’t come true, I am here to tell you this is what believing looks like.” Oh, absolutely!! It’s always a joy to watch a veritable legend like Ralph get her long-deserved due, and her moment was everything you could’ve hoped for. You could tell that Lizzo, bless her heart, was not prepared to follow up such a show-stopping moment.

Squid Game’s “Red Light, Green Light” doll serves glamour

But who was she wearing???

Bowen Yang is horny on main(stage)

The SNL star looked so d*mn good in a patterned jacket, “honored and horny” to share the stage with Thompson. The Fire Island star got to fire off some great quips, shouting out Selena Gomez (that Tony Bennett joke, oh my god), Melanie Lynskey, and The White Lotus gang. Honestly, we’re the honored and horny ones every time we get to see Yang on our screens.

The Jennifer Coolidge acceptance speech we’ve been waiting for

At long last!!! House DJ Zedd clearly knew the vibe, spinning CeCe Penniston’s “Finally” as Coolidge walked up to the microphone to claim her trophy for Supporting Actress in The White Lotus. In classic Coolidge fashion, the speech was hilarious and off-the-cuff, keeping us guessing at whether her hurried read-through of the names on that crumpled paper was all part of the plan. Intentional or not, it was absolute genius. And because Coolidge always delivers exactly what the gays want, she wrapped up the whole thing with a cute little shimmy.

The Drag Race streak ends (boo!)—to Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls (woo!)

We were feeling an awful lot of whiplash after one of the night’s most surprising upsets. RuPaul’s Drag Race has claimed the top prize for Outstanding Competition Program the past four consecutive years, but that herstoric run came to an end this year. Honestly, we’d be pretty bummed if it weren’t for the fact that the gold went, instead, to Lizzo and her wonderful series, Watch Out For The Big Grrrls. Though her girls couldn’t make it up to the stage, Lizzo made sure they were seen and heard, making a powerful point about the need for representation: “The stories that they share, they’re not that unique—they just don’t get the platform!”

Mike White claims two more wins for the gays

Though its first season premiered well over a year ago, it’s clear the Television Academy is as obsessed with The White Lotus as we are. Showrunner Mike White won the Emmy for directing the anthology series, and gave a sweet heartfelt speech. We love! Then, just a minute or so later—after a few cracks from Mindy Kailing and BJ Novak—he was back on stage, accepting another award for writing. The second go-around, he cut loose a little bit, referencing his time on Survivor (he really is living every gay’s fantasy) and the mounting expectations this puts on the upcoming second season of The White Lotus set in Sicily. Don’t sweat it, Mike, we’re going to eat it up!

The Goodburger reunion

We’re not saying there was ever anything all that gay about the bromance between Thompson and Kel Mitchell’s burger-slinging buddies, but do the ‘90s queers love seeing the All That besties reunited? We do, we do, we do!


 Jerrod Carmichael bares his abs and his soul

The comedian sure looked like a winner, claiming his Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special trophy in a giant white coat with nothing underneath. (Everybody say, “Thank you, Jerrod!”) But as he reminds us, his jaw-dropping, confessional comedy special Rothaniel came at great personal cost, putting distance between him and his family after coming out. His speech, in turn, was modest and contemplative, but nevertheless moving. To put it plainly, we’re in awe of Carmichael, and can’t wait to see what this singular talent does next.

Zaddy’s Home

No copoganda, but we’re never going to complain about seeing Chris Meloni—a.k.a. Detective Elliot Stabler, a.k.a. Daddy—on our television screens. He was a little too clothed for our tastes, but his bit with longtime Law & Order co-star Mariska Hargitay was cute, and how good did she look, too? We love Daddy and Mommy!

Related: Let’s all take a moment to watch Chris Meloni do squats and crunches with no clothes

Kelly Clarkson shouting, “ZENDAYA!!!!!!!”

The producers of this show deserve brownie points for letting Kelly Clarkson announce the Best Actress In A Drama series award, because it gave us that glorious moment where she shouted the Euphoria star’s name at the top of her lungs. Honestly, we would’ve been thrilled to hear her yell any of these women’s names (we have a huge soft spot for Melanie Lynskey), but there was something special about this moment. Just one multi-talented queen celebrating another. Congrats on Emmy Number Two, Zendaya!

“Thank you for the botox!”

Winning her second trophy for Hacks, Jean Smart ended her acceptance speech in classic Deborah Vance fashion.

RuPaul and Julia (???) Lewis

Oh, Ru… he totally called Miss Lewis “Julia,” didn’t he? Mama, it’s Juliette! But that’s okay because they made for one of those unexpected yet perfect pairings—the kind you always tune into these award shows to see. And, I mean, did we really expect Ru to remember her name? After all, he couldn’t even recall the name of his Queen Of Queens, Jinkx Monsoon, at DragCon this past year.

The White Lotus wins big

Without a doubt, the biggest success story of the Emmys had to be HBO’s scathing social satire, The White Lotus, which counts Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series among its whopping 9 wins across the main ceremony and previous Creative Arts Emmys. That’s more than any other show! The brilliant Mike White took the stage for one quick “thank you” correction, sharing the moment with his enormous ensemble—most of whom were nominated. Again, not to put any extra pressure on White, but all eyes are certainly going to be on The White Lotus: Sicily, coming later this fall.

Those Red Carpet threads

And, last but certainly not least, the night’s red carpet presented a nonstop runway of looks that had us gooped and saving so many photos to our camera roll. And you know our favorite queer stars turned it out, from Laverne Cox to Mama Ru and the Drag Race Season 14 dolls to Hacks scene-stealers Meg Stalter and Mark Indelicato—check out a few favorites below:


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