In Hollywood, just like in any other place, there are gay people, gay actors, lesbian actresses, bisexual/transgender, etc. It’s just normal if you ask me. The difference is that they have access to a large audience, they have fans and they are popular worldwide.
This year, another gay artist won an Oscar, and he’s included on our list. Sam Smith, openly gay, won the Best Original Song award with “Writing’s on the Wall,” for the James Bond movie, “Spectre.” But the artist did not know that he wasn’t quite the first gay artist to win an Oscar after Sir Ian McKellen, our second Oscar winner on the list. So he made a little mistake when he received the award:
“I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar,” he said. “If this is the case — even if it isn’t the case — I want to dedicate this to the LGBT community all around the world.”
Ooopss… actually Sir Ian McKellen was referring to actors exclusively.
However, here’s a list with the other 10 openly gay people that won an Oscar and you’ve probably never heard about.
Allan Ball, 2000
In 2000, Alan Ball won Best Original Screenplay for American Beauty. Screenwriter, producer, and director Alan Ball is one of the most talented artists in Hollywood, and the mind behind many TV shows like Six Feet Under and True Blood.
John Corigliano, 2000
John Corigliano received the Academy Award for Best Original Score for “The Red Violin.” Corigliano was born 16 February 1938 in New York City and he spent most of his life composing classic music.
Dustin Lance Black, 2009
In 2009, Dustin Lance Black won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with “Milk,” a film that follows the story of gay politician and activist Harvey Milk. His speech of acceptance was so moving and it goes like this.
“I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours. (Wild applause from the audience.) Thank you, thank you, and thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk.”
Melissa Etheridge, 2007
In 2007, the Award for Best original song was handed to Etheridge for “I Need To Wake Up,” from “An Inconvenient Truth.”
The song is part of Etheridge’s 1993 album “Yes I Am,” a turning point for the singer. The year the album was launched, Melissa Etheridge came out as a lesbian.
Pedro Almodóvar, 2000, 2003
Almodovar is a genius of the movies, no wonder he won two Oscars. One for Best Foreign Language Film in 2000 with “All About My Mother,” and a second one with 2003’s “Talk to Her.”
Bill Condon, 1999
Condon got the Best Original Screenplay Award for Gods and Monsters, and did you know that he directed The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn I and II?
Elton John, 1995
Everyone knows Elton John, but how many of you knew that the artist has won an Oscar for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from Disney’s “The Lion King,” in the Best Original Song category? Well, he did!
Stephen Sondheim, 1991
He is a composer and lyricist and his work is described as genial by many artists. In 1991 he nabbed an Oscar with “Sooner or Later,” sung by Madonna in “Dick Tracy.” But you wouldn’t believe the wide range of great movies he composed music for: Into the Woods (2014), Sweeney Todd (2007) and West Side Story (1957) are just a few of many.
He lived with dramatist Peter Jones for eight years, until 1998 and he is currently in a relationship with Jeff Romley.
John Schleinsinger, 1969
John Schleinsinger won the Oscar for his direction of “Midnight Cowboy” in 1969. He’s been in a relationship with photographer Michael Childers until the day he died, at the age of 77.
Scott Rudin, 2007
“No Country for Old Men” got Scott Rudin an Oscar in 2007, or the other way round. He was nominated for an Oscar five times with movies like “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “True Grit” and “The Hours.” His movies are masterpieces!
The director is currently in a relationship with theater publicist John Barlow
Howard Ashman, 1989, 1991
He won two Oscars for Best Original Song. One in 1989 with the music he composed for “The Little Mermaid” and another one in 1991 with his creations for “Beauty and the Beast.”
He came out during college years, in the ’70s and everything was going great, he was openly gay. Ashman died of AIDS in 1991, and he lived with this illness thinking that it would bring stigma upon his life so he kept it secret for a long time.