Ariana DeBose Become First Queer Woman of Colour to Win Oscar

Photo: arianadebose/Instagram

Ariana DeBose, an American actress, has earned the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at the 94th Academy Awards, which were held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. DeBose earned the award for her performance as Anita, the lover of Sharks gang leader Bernardo, in Steven Spielberg’s production of West Side Story, in which she sings the renowned song America.

Rita Moreno became the first Latina to earn an Academy Award for her role as Anita in West Side Story sixty years ago. Ariana DeBose earned the award for best-supporting actress for the same role today. After winning Oscar, she has joined an exclusive club of Oscar winners who have received the award for the same role. They are the first female duo to achieve this feat.

DeBose is an openly queer Afro-Latina woman. DeBose, who was born in North Carolina and trained in dance, has appeared on Broadway in shows such as “Hamilton” and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” before starring in the Netflix television musical “The Prom” as a cheerleader trying to come out of the closet. Furthermore, she also earned a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, and British Academy Film Award for her performance.

Additionally, women won 10 of the 43 individual Oscar statuettes presented at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday night. This figure shows the lowest representation for female winners since the 2018 Academy Awards. With wins for Best Director Jane Campion, as well as others for Sian Heder for Best Adapted Screenplay and Billie Eilish for Best Original Song, that’s 23 percent of the overall individual winners across the Oscars’ 23 competing categories.