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Golden Globe Awards

In Golden Globe Nominations are queer stories needing to be told

The biggest LGBTQ takeaway from the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards nominations could be something incredibly positive and important



The nominees for the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced Monday, Dec. 11, 2023.( Golden Globes photo by Michael Buckner/Penske Media)

HOLLYWOOD – According to Jamie Tabberer of Attitude, the movie May December has been dubbed “Gay Christmas” because it “stars two women beloved by ‘the gays’, as well as for its camp, melodramatic nature.”

Apparently, the movie is also part of “Golden Globes Christmas” as well since both the main actresses, and the film were on the list of this morning’s nominees. (Although in the world of political/strategic/illogical positioning, Julianne Moore is nominated as a “supporting role.” Hello? If one is the December of the title of the film? Anyway…)

Will cinematic “gay Christmas” become a “gay late Valentine’ on February 24th?

The ambiguity of what works, performers, craftspeople and themes are “LGBTQ” permeates the nomination list from top to bottom. From the aesthetics and principles of Barbie to the eroticism of Saltburn, to the LGBTQ adored diva Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, seek and you can find plenty of queer support and celebration. There are proudly out actors like Lily Gladstone, to ones we wish were queer, who presumably aren’t queer, playing queer characters like Bradley Cooper. There is also the newly outed Billie Eilish singing “What Was I Made For”, which was clearly not to be a proud out queer person for young people to emulate. 

Due to the realities of the award show nomination processes, there never is a guiding philosophical eye lending critical thinking to the focus of what and whom is recognized. The process is a popularity vote crap shoot, guaranteed to accidentally produce interesting focus, and inevitable “snubs.” In the case of the Golden Globes, even who is doing the recognizing is still a matter of contention. In 2021 the Los Angeles Times threw the show into what it calls “a credibility crisis” by revealing that not a single voter in its base was black. The Globes are back now under new ownership, and presumably a broader voter outreach. 

Because of this haphazard nature, LGBTQ representation and interest can be equally logjammed and, at the same time, non-existent in spots. While there is not an ounce of queerness in the Male Actor in Musical or Comedy Motion Picture category, Timothee Chalamet’s gay following notwithstanding, the Male Actor in Drama Motion Picture category has queerness in four out of the six nominations.

The biggest queer takeaway from the nominations could be something incredibly positive and important however. It is not about what is queer, what characters are queer, what performers are queer, and what gay icons were recognized. 

It is about what LGBTQ legacy, history and cultural impact is being immortalized. In this area, the Golden Globes have a chance to shine a spotlight. Clearly, nominee leader Barbie challenges the male toxicity-laden patriarchy of our society. Its Pepto Bismal pink coating covers medicine we need to absorb on a deeper significance level than its lighthearted presentation.

The Globes seek to commemorate three landmarks of LGBTQ history that have cried out to be told, and embraced. 

Coleman Domingo plays Bayard Rustin in the film Rustin. America’s Black Holocaust Museum calls Rustin the “unsung architect of the Civil Rights Movement.” He is credited for shaping the movement behind the scenes, hidden for his homosexuality. The movie, and now the Globes’ recognition are now giving him spotlight.

The Lavendar Scare was a time in the United States when queer people were literally “frightened to death”, according the National Archives. “Beginning in the late 1940s and continuing through the 1960s, thousands of gay employees were fired or forced to resign from the federal workforce because of their sexuality. The purge followed an era in which gay people were increasingly finding each other and forming communities in urban America.” This year brought us the Limited Series Fellow Travelers starring Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey. The series and Bomer both received nominations. The series and now the Globe’s recognition bring awareness to an era of queer persecution that needs to be remembered.

Both Jodie Foster and Annette Bening are nominated for Nyad. Diane Nyad was the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. She did so when she was 63 after numerous failed attempts. The portrayal is inspirational on many levels. Foster and Benning play strong real queer women empowered and determined. Foster historically came out as queer in a Golden Globes speech after years of speculation about her sexuality. Nyad broke misconceptions on expectations around gender abilities, and the limitations of age. In many ways, these women and their enduring strength symbolize the queer movement as a whole. Now there is a movie, and the Globes is calling our attention to it.

In short, it is not really about the personalities nominated, not nominated and the exact identities and labels we can pin on them.

It is about the conversations The Globes, and other upcoming nominations, will inspire us to have.

Those promise to be queer as hell.

Complete List (here)


Rob Watson is the host of the popular Hollywood-based radio/podcast show RATED LGBT RADIO.

He is an established LGBTQ columnist and blogger having written for many top online publications including The Los Angeles Blade, The Washington Blade, Parents Magazine, the Huffington Post, LGBTQ Nation, Gay Star News, the New Civil Rights Movement, and more.

He served as Executive Editor for The Good Man Project, has appeared on MSNBC and been quoted in Business Week and Forbes Magazine.

He is CEO of Watson Writes, a marketing communications agency, and can be reached at [email protected]