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Ariana DeBose Becomes First Openly Queer Woman of Color to Win Acting Oscar: ‘There Is Indeed a Place for Us’

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Rebecca Rubin Film and Media ReporterFor the second time in Oscars history, the Academy has recognized an actress for playing Anita in “West Side Story.”Ariana DeBose took home the best supporting actress Oscar for her version of Anita — the close confidant of Maria and girlfriend of Bernardo — in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic musical.

It’s the same show-stopping role that won Rita Moreno an Academy Award for best supporting actress 60 years ago in 1962.On stage, DeBose paid tribute to her “West Side Story” predecessor Moreno — who was in the audience — for breaking ground for Latinos in Hollywood.“You’re staring at me right now and I’m so grateful.

Your Anita paved the way for tons of Anitas like me. And I love you so much.” In another history-making moment, DeBose became the first openly queer woman of color to win an acting Oscar.

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