The Queer Oscar History That Sean Penn Might Join


If Sean Penn walks away with a golden statue during Sunday’s Oscars, it’ll be the seventh Academy Award handed out for an actor playing a GLBT role. Do you know the six previous wins?

• William Hurt in Kiss of the Spider Woman
• Tom Hanks in Philadelphia
• Nicole Kidman in The Hours
• Charlize Theron in Monster
• Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote
• Hillary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, which to our knowledge is the only Oscar handed out for someone playing a transgender role

As the LAT notes, John Gielgud did win for Arthur, but while the actor was openly gay, his character of the “uppity butler/valet … wasn’t technically gay.”