Gender Fluid star makes Oscar history

Kelly Mantle, an openly gender-fluid performer is the first actor in the 89-year history of the Academy Awards to have been submitted — and considered — for a nomination in both the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories.
Kelly Mantle
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Mantle, who was a contestant on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, was submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Confessions of a Womanizer, a comedy co-starring Gary Busey in which Mantle plays Candy, a transgender sex worker.

This marks the first time that a contender can be eligible for both categories and can win in either. In previous years, the Academy Awards would only take into account the biological gender of the person competing.
The film’s director, Miguel Ali, commented on Facebook:
“The Academy Awards have confirmed that Kelly Mantle will be considered for both the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Confessions of a Womanizer” — this is in recognition of her androgynous identity,
Of course – I hope we get Kelly nominated. Regardless, we are bringing spotlight to our androgynous and transgendered community.”

He commented further on the portrayal of transgender actors within the movie industry, stating: “I firmly believe that our androgynous/transgendered acting community is the most untapped resource in Hollywood. We need to bring them more attention, and by doing so, we will create more empathy for our androgynous/transgendered brothers and sisters.”

The Drag Race star is gender fluid, but uses masculine pronouns. The Academy rules state that if Kelly does ultimately receive a nomination, it will be under one category. Regardless, the feat is historic landmark for LGBT performers in the entertainment industry.

Gender-fluid and trans characters have been represented by Oscar-nominated actors in the past, such as Eddie Redmayne for ‘The Danish Girl’, Hilary Swank for ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and Linda Hunt winning the supporting actress prize for playing a male dwarf in ‘The Year of Living Dangerously’.



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