And the award for Best Performance by a Giant Statuette in a Pride Parade goes to... Oscar!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences marched in its very first Pride Parade over the weekend, hitting the streets of Hollywood on Sunday with an oversized Oscar statuette, festively wearing a rainbow boa, and a clear message: "The future of film is inclusive."
"Academy Pride's first entry into the LA Pride Parade has brought LGBTQ+ employees and their Allies together to celebrate and share the Academy's commitment to not just their LGBTQ+ staff, but also to the LGBTQ+ Community," Academy Pride's Kathleen Dimpfl tells A.frame. "I am proud to be part of this new adventure, and it's only going to get bigger and better each year."
Joining together for the occasion was Academy Pride (the Academy's first LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group) and the LGBTQ+ Coalition (an affinity group for LGBTQ+ Academy Members), alongside Oscar himself, of course. "There were lots of wide-eyes and surprised faces seeing not only such a large Oscar, but one in pride attire," says Cieara West, one of the many members of Academy Pride who marched.
"Oscar is such a ubiquitous symbol that evokes a sense of tradition, leadership, and excellence. The instant smiles of recognition and cheers from the crowd were so heartwarming and great motivation on our journey," shares McKenna Warde, with Jessi Jones putting it simply, "Everyone loved Oscar — he was the belle of the ball!"
Beyond a chance for Oscar to show off what he's learned from multiple decades worth of Best Costume Design winners, the parade was a historic moment for the Academy to embrace and commit to diversity and inclusion within and outside of the institution, now more than ever.
"It meant the world to me. With reflection and gratitude for our foremothers and forefathers, Pride is a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community and I felt celebrated by the Academy," Jones tells A.frame.
"It felt very bonding to march with my Academy colleagues — some who I had never met," says Andria Mack. "As a native Angeleno, I felt proud to represent the spirit of inclusivity in the City that I love."
"Being able to take part in the oldest Pride parade in the nation was such a massive honor! I walked proudly for all my BlPOC, disabled, trans and closeted queer family and friends to see the strength in our community and hope for the future of inclusive filmmaking," Warde says. "While it is so critical to provide access to diverse storytelling, I also believe that expression of queer joy is just as important... and what a celebration we had!"
Academy Pride is the Academy’s first LGBTQ+ ERG consisting of Academy staff and their allies, whose main goal is to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive working environment for all LGBTQ++ staff members thru education, advocacy and support.
The LBGTQ+ Coalition is an affinity group for LGBTQ+ Academy Members. The coalition exists to foster inclusion and encourage education at the Academy while advocating for increase representation, recognition, and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in the film industry at large.