(The Hill) – Ariana DeBose made history on Sunday at the 94th annual Academy Awards as the first openly queer woman of color to win an Oscar for acting.
“Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. When you look into her eyes you see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro Latina, who found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate,” DeBose said in her acceptance speech upon receiving the best-supporting actress award for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” musical film.
“So to anybody who’s ever questioned your identity ever, ever, ever, or you find yourself living in the grey spaces, I promise you this: there is indeed a place for us,” she added.
The win marked the “West Side Story” star’s first Oscar nomination and victory. She has won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and a SAG Award for the same role.
Rita Moreno won the same award for the same role in 1962, making her the first Hispanic actress to win an Oscar for acting, CNN reported.