After Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty mistakenly announced La La Land as the winner of the Academy Award’s Best Picture, people seem to have forgotten to talk about the importance of Moonlight’s win. Ten years after the first LGBTQ+ film was nominated for an Oscar (Brokeback Mountain’s loss in 2007 was a surprise to many), Moonlight became the first LGBTQ+ movie to win the award.
Moonlight is important for queer people in general, but it is even more important for queer people of color. Up until fairly recently, there was not very much, if any, representation of queer people of color in mainstream media and after the past two years of every single acting award nominee being white (#OscarsSoWhite), it was refreshing to see many stories about people of color in the mix. With the rise of streaming services, like Netflix or HBO, releasing their own content, shows featuring queer people of color have been popping up exponentially. These services are not as limited with what they can show, because they are not on regular television and they often discuss deeper content than their small screen counterparts. With shows like Orange is the New Black taking the world by storm, regular network shows have been pushed beyond to work to be more inclusive, giving us shows like Grey’s Atanomy and How to Get Away with Murder.