It’s LGBT Pride Month, so we at Gold Derby have decided to celebrate the best queer-themed films that have won Oscars (check out our gallery above). As LGBT people have struggled for equality in America, so too have LGBT stories struggled for acceptance in media over the years. It took until 2017 for an LGBT film to win Best Picture at the Oscars: “Moonlight,” about a young black man in Miami coming of age while coming to terms with his sexuality. But the success of “Moonlight” might not have been possible without “Brokeback Mountain” paving the way. So which gay romance is the greater film? Vote in our poll at the bottom of this post.
“Brokeback Mountain” was a significant cultural event when it was released in 2005, starring two A-list stars (Heather Ledger and Jake Gylllenhaal, both Oscar nominated) in an unabashed love story between two men who herd sheep in Wyoming and fall for each other. Like the main characters, the film struggled for acceptance. Though it swept through the fall awards season, winning Best Picture at the Golden Globes, Producers Guild Awards, BAFTA Awards and more, it lost the Best Picture Oscar in one of the Oscars’ biggest upsets. It still won Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana) and Best Original Score (Gustavo Santaolalla), but its loss to “Crash” in the top category led many to suspect academy homophobia.
“Moonlight” arrived 11 years later at a time when the academy was under fire not just for excluding gay stories but also stories about people of color. It stars three actors as Chiron, who grows up poor with a mother addicted to drugs and a deepening love for his best friend Kevin. This time around the overwhelming Oscar frontrunner was “La La Land,” and the upset turned out to work in the favor of the LGBT film. But which LGBT Oscar winner do you prefer? Vote in our poll below, and click through our gallery above to see other noteworthy Oscar winners with LGBT characters and themes.