Oscars pride: 22 great LGBT films that won Academy Awards

In honor of LGBT Pride Month, we’ve compiled a list of great LGBT-themed films that won Oscars, dating back to 1972’s “Cabaret.” Click through the gallery above.

Perhaps surprisingly, only nine performers have won acting Oscars for playing gay roles, beginning with William Hurt‘s Best Actor win for 1985’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Other actors to win for playing LGBT roles include Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia”), Charlize Theron (“Monster”), Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote”), Sean Penn (“Milk”), and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”). No gay performer has won an acting Oscar while out of the closet. The late Sir John Gielgud — a Best Supporting Actor winner for 1981’s “Arthur” — went to great lengths to hide his sexuality, especially after a 1953 arrest for solicitation. And Joel Grey, who won in the same category for 1972’s “Cabaret,” did not come out as gay until 2015.

In 2005, many prognosticators predicted that “Brokeback Mountain” would be the first LGBT-themed film to win Best Picture, particularly after the film earned similar honors at BAFTA, PGA, the Golden Globes, and Critics Choice. Even presenter Jack Nicholson seemed shocked when he opened the envelope and announced “Crash” had been named Best Picture.

Following that Oscar ceremony, many critics and fans accused academy voters of homophobia, and it would be another 11 years before a film featuring a lead LGBT character would be named Best Picture. In one of the great upsets in recent Oscar history, Barry Jenkins‘s “Moonlight”– the story of an African-American boy and his struggles with accepting his sexuality– bested presumed favorite “La La Land” in the top category after the latter had swept the precursor awards.

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