A Letter from GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano
Tonight, I watched the Academy Awards amidst a predominantly non-LGBT audience -- and, like many of the people in the room, I was disappointed that Brokeback Mountain did not win Best Picture. But there was still plenty for which to be thankful (including Ang Lee's Best Director award for Brokeback Mountain and Philip Seymour Hoffman's win for Best Actor.) The film buffs, attending the Oscar Night America party in Miami Beach, were cheering Brokeback Mountain because they genuinely supported the movie -- and because they connected emotionally with the film's tragic love story.
No matter where you watched the Academy Awards, whether at a big catered event in Hollywood or in your own living room, our community has cause to celebrate.
This year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences handed out a total of 5 Oscars to LGBT-inclusive films. Five movies with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender content were nominated for a combined 21 Academy Awards. The Oscar wins and nominations of these films have created a remarkable level of visibility and discussion of our lives.
Every day, LGBT Americans face prejudice and discrimination. And films like Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Transamerica are a testament to the power of cinema to create greater understanding of who we are. These are films that, in many ways, capture an important moment in history and the questions we face today. Will we fight for a world where all people are able to live and love honestly? Or will we allow hatred and bigotry to force us to hide in the closet, deny our love and deny who we are? Last night's ceremony was an important tribute to films that have invited audiences to open their hearts to our love and our relationships like never before.
Best Director winner Ang Lee summed it up perfectly during his acceptance speech when he thanked the characters of Ennis and Jack: "They taught all of us who made Brokeback Mountain so much about not just all the gay men and women whose love is denied by society, but just as important, the greatness of love itself."
That most important message -- connecting millions of Americans with the greatness of the love that we experience -- is at the heart of the work we do at GLAAD. It's the kind of aspiration that defines the world we seek to create. And it ensures that films like Brokeback Mountain will endure beyond this year's awards ceremonies and continue to invest an ever-growing audience in the pursuit of fairness and equality for all.
For all the latest on the big night, including a complete list of LGBT-inclusive Oscar winners, multi-media clips and highlights from the ceremony, please visit http://glaad.org/.