Oscars 2022: Kristen Stewart makes history as 1st openly gay acting nominee in 20 years
Kristen Stewart made history by becoming the first openly gay female to be nominated in the lead actor category at the Academy Awards
This is also Stewart's first-ever Oscar nomination
She is joined by Ariana Debose, an openly LGBTQ female actor to be nominated for Best Supporting Actress
This is also Stewart's first-ever Oscar nomination. The 31-year-old, who is engaged to her long-term girlfriend Dylan Meyer, has been nominated in the Best Actress category for her work as Princess Diana in Pablo Larrain's 'Spencer'.
Speaking of Pablo, she said, "I wish I could see his face. I am speechless and humbled this morning. I am bowled over by this. I never thought in a thousand years I’d be in the company of these four incredible women. I would pay to make movies. I would make them if it was illegal."
With this, Kristen is the first to be nominated in the acting category in 20 years -- after Ian McKellen for his work in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2002.
The Twilight star, however, is not the only openly LGBTQ+ actor to be nominated this year. She is joined by Ariana Debose, nominated for Best Supporting Actress for West Side Story, making her the tenth LGBTQ actor to be nominated in the category.
With these two names, the Oscar Awards for this year are the first to have two openly gay actors nominated.
Debose said in a statement, "My morning walk along the river was extra special today. I am absolutely overjoyed by this morning's news. To be recognized alongside such incredible women for their inspiring performances is surreal enough, but to share this celebration with Steven, Kristie, and the entire team that made our beautiful movie is a dream come true," reported Hello! magazine.
If she wins, Debose would be the first openly LGBTQ woman of colour to win an acting prize at the Oscars.
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, an American non-governmental media monitoring organization working towards LGBTQ acceptance, responded to the historic nominations and said, "This year’s Oscar nominations for performances from queer actors including Ariana DeBose and Kristen Stewart, as well for powerful LGBTQ stories in films like West Side Story, Flee, and The Mitchells vs. The Machines, are clear reminders of the opportunities that exist with audiences and critics when Hollywood invests in queer talent and tells diverse stories in bold and original ways."
"With several worthy LGBTQ stories, actors, and creators absent from this year’s list, the industry and Academy should prioritize investing in and recognizing creators and stories from LGBTQ and other marginalized communities that audiences both crave and connect with," she added.
While Stewart and Debose are not the first queer actors to get nominated, they are certainly the first ones to be openly gay at the time of the nominations. Previously, actors such as Jodie Foster, Elliot Page, and Cynthia Erivo had gotten the nod - but they had only come out as queer later.
While speaking to InStyle Magazine in 2020, Kristen had said she knew that she would be photographed while she was being affectionate with her girlfriend but she did not want to talk about it.
She added “I did feel enormous pressure, but it wasn't put on me by the [LGBTQ+] community. People were seeing those pictures and reading these articles and going, ‘Oh, well, I need to be shown’. I love the idea that anything I do with ease rubs off on somebody who is struggling. When I see a little kid feeling themselves in a way that they wouldn't have when I grew up.”