There were a lot of winners at last night’s Emmys, and only one real loser (i.e., the President, who was the butt of almost every joke.) However, the night was also a major win for the queer community, as several LGBTQ performers and stories took home awards for delivering stellar entertainment during the past year.
Queer women, specifically, were a clear force to be reckoned with. In addition to Kate McKinnon winning a second trophy for Saturday Night Live, there was openly gay Lena Waithe making history as the first black woman to win a comedy writing Emmy. Waithe’s equally hilarious and moving script for the “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None (co-written with Aziz Ansari) is what led her to the front of the pack, and deservedly so. Waithe made sure to thank her “LGBQTIA family,” adding: “I see each and every one of you. The things that make you different? Those are your superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape, go out there and conquer the world. Because the world would not be as beautiful without us in it.”
Even Queen RuPaul herself graced us with her presence for a brief sketch in which she appeared as “Emmy” and spilled the tea on all of her fellow award statues in Hollywood. (In case you were wondering, the People’s Choice Award is a “basic woman” and “messy bitch” who once hooked up with a bowling trophy.) Before the Emmys even aired last night, RuPaul, along with Alexis Bledel, had actually already won big at the Creative Arts Emmys — or as Kathy Griffin calls them, the “Shmemmys” — on the Sunday prior. RuPaul won for the second time as Best Host of a Reality Competition for RuPaul’s Drag Race, while Bledel won Best Guest Actress for her fiery turn as the fierce, resilient lesbian character Ofglen on The Handmaid’s Tale. Speaking of The Handmaid’s Tale, openly gay lead writer Bruce Miller accepted a trophy for the show when it won Best Drama — making it the first streaming show to win a Best Series Emmy.
To bring things full circle, Black Mirror won two awards for its heartfelt, inspirational, unabashedly romantic “San Junipero” episode, which centered on a dimension-spanning lesbian love story. Said writer Charlie Brooker when accepting one trophy: “Love will defeat hate. Love will win.”