In January 2013 I wrote a blog post about Jodie Foster coming out in her acceptance speech honoring her for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes (read that post here). At the 2013 Golden Globes there very well may have been other important milestones for LGBT people but my central focus was on Jodie Foster’s bravery and courage to come out in what arguably is one of the biggest moments of her life. Her speech was a game changer and is every bit as relevant today as it was then.
The 2015 Golden Globes was a whole other story! Let me preface with I am not a huge TV watcher or movie goer. My main motivation for watching the Golden Globes was to see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who happen to be two of my favorite female comedians. But what I got from those Golden Globes was so much more.
The LGBT community was at the forefront of what felt like every category. The most amazing piece is that it was the whole LGBT community – not just gay men – it was everyone. That alone is some exciting progress. Here’s a quick recap of the LGBT related film nominees and winners in some cases –
- The Normal Heart, which is a movie about the early AIDS crisis. I saw this movie and it was heartbreaking but so important for the history of the early AIDS crisis to be talked about. Matt Bomer (gay in real life – who thanked is husband and children in his acceptance speech) won best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, miniseries or motion picture made for TV. The film was also nominated for best TV movie or miniseries and best actor in a miniseries or TV movie.
- The Imitation Game, which is a movie about the life of Alan Turing, a computer genius and cryptanalyst, who is also gay. I haven’t seen this movie yet but it is on my list. It was nominated for best motion picture – drama, best actor in a motion picture – drama, best supporting actress in a motion picture, best screenplay and best original score. Even with no wins, this many nominations is important to note. It is important to see that LGBT people were always a part of history just now their stories are being told.
- Orange is the New Black is a Netflix series chronicling life in a low security women’s prison. This is a show that I do watch and enjoy. While it is a women’s prison, it covers lesbians in great detail. While it did not take home any awards it was nominated for best TV series – comedy, best actress in a TV series – comedy and best supporting actress in a series, miniseries or TV movie.
- House of Cards is a recent love of mine. My wife and I binge watched two seasons over the course of a week. This show is written so brilliantly and will keep you in suspense. There are a few times within the series where we see that the main character, Francis Underwood, is bisexual. Kevin Spacey won best actor in a TV series – drama. The series was also nominated for best TV series – drama and best actress in a TV series – drama.
- Transparent is the series I was so excited to see take home a Golden Globe. There is a known lack of transgender awareness within our society so to see this show highlighted on such a grand scale is amazing. This show is on Amazon Prime and it is done so well. It was nominated for best TV series – comedy and best actor in a TV series – comedy.
- This is the win I paid most attention to. Jill Soloway, the creator of Transparent, was very classy. She started her speech noting “to the memory of Leelah Alcorn, and too many trans people who died too young.” She then stated in another part of her speech “Because in doing so, you made a break for freedom; you told your truth; you taught me how to tell my truth and make this show; and maybe we’re going to be able to teach the world something about authenticity and truth and love.” Then she held her statue and proclaimed “To love.”
- Then when Jeffrey Tambor won, repeatedly thanked the transgender community. He said “Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for your patience. And thank you for letting us be a part of the change.”
Anyone who attempts to portray the LGBT community can find themselves in hot water within the community for not accurately representing a part or the whole community. I write this from the vantage point that visibility is the key here. These 5 nominees (and winners) put LGBT on the map for many people who are not yet paying attention. It is quite hard for an anti-LGBT person in middle America to not see this amount of activity on such a mainstream award show like the Golden Globes. While I don’t expect hearts and minds changed overnight – the visibility these 5 nominees (and the others who are not mentioned in this post) is certainly getting us on a path to additional acceptance. It truly is a long road paved with patience.