Moonlight made history by collecting a Best Picture win at the Oscars and becoming the first LGBTQ movie to win top gold. Besides that extraordinary milestone, writers Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney both took home the oscar for best adapted screenplay. In their acceptance speech Tarrell dedicated the award to the minority communities and GNC people.
Tarell Alvin McCraney: Amen, brother. I just want to echo everything he just said, but I want to say thank God for my mother, who proved to me through her struggles and the struggles that Naomie Harris portrayed for you, that we can be somebody. Two boys from Liberty City up here representing 305. This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and nongender conforming who don’t see themselves, we’re trying to show you you, and us. Thank you, thank you. This is for you. (via Harpers Bazzar)
Now that the oscar high is wearing down, McCraney is beginning to reveal his personal struggle with realizing his queerness as a child.
“Even though I went to school with a great deal of these people for more than two years—and, by virtue of our last names, saw them often—I cannot name a single person or spot one I called a friend. In fact, when I showed this to [Moonlight director] Barry Jenkins, he recognized many more students and could mention them by name—and we were never in the same grade, or even at the same schools. I don’t remember the people on this page as being any of the bullies who made my life a living hell in middle school. Actually, I know none of these people were those bullies. The faces of the bullies—of a boy named Terrell, and his friends, and someone named Kevin—are etched in my mind. I’d had the fight depicted in Moonlight the year before these photos were taken. Afterward, I walled myself off. I hid in the library from everyone, even people who wanted to just talk or hang. It was a very lonely, scary time. By eighth grade, I wasn’t sleeping much, as shown here [bottom center] by the bags under my eyes. I wore red flannel shirts because Eddie Vedder did.” (via OUT)
We’ve all felt the isolation of being a LGBTQ child, but we’re happy Moonlight got the attention it deserved so that our stories won’t be left in the dust.