Queer actress Ariana DeBose just made history


The Academy Awards are still weeks away, though one nominee has already made history.

West Side Story star Ariana DeBose took home the Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress last night for her performance in the film. The event marks the first time in the history of the awards that a queer woman of color has snagged the trophy.

“Thank you. My heart is beating in my chest right now. It’s taken a long time for me to feel comfortable calling myself an actor,” DeBose, 31, said in her acceptance speech. “My roots come from the dance world and the Broadway stage, and the Anita we see on screen took every bit of me but she took 10 years to make and I’m extremely proud of her and our film. And I really do believe that when you recognize one of us, you recognize all of us so thank you SAG-AFTRA for this recognition.”

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“It’s an honor to be seen, it’s an honor to be an Afro-Latina – and openly queer woman of color, a dancer, a singer, and an actor,” DeBose later told reporters in the SAG Awards press room. “It’s indicative to me that I will not be the last and that’s the important part. Whatever firsts are attached to my name, they are immensely special to me but I’m focused on the fact that if I’m the first of anything that means I won’t be the last.”

Elsewhere at the SAG Awards, The Power of the Dog shocked viewers when it failed to win any awards. Within Hollywood, the film is widely considered a frontrunner for Oscar glory. Darkhorse winners also triumphed, including Coda‘s Troy Kotsur, who took home a Best Supporting Actor Award and Jessica Chastain, who snagged Best Actress for her work in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. 

Queer viewers also got another treat in the form of a Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion reunion, as stars Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino reunited in character to present the award for Best Comedy Ensemble.