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Actress Ariana DeBose becomes first openly queer woman of color to win Oscar

Actress Ariana DeBose made history Sunday night becoming the first openly queer woman of color to win an Academy Award.

94th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Actress Ariana DeBose poses with her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for 'West Side Story' in the press room at the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. / Getty Images

DeBose appeared as Anita in Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story." 

"I don't know, it's overwhelming because I could see Rita tonight," the 31-year-old said backstage at the Dolby Theatre. "It was really special to be able to see her sort of willing me to say what I wanted to say.

Rita Moreno, who played the same role in the original film was present. Moreno won the same award for her role in the 1961 film.  

"And I think the other layers, I'm an openly queer woman of color," DeBose added. "I'm the second Latina to win an acting award... I think that just proves there's space for us and it's a beautiful moment to be seen. And I am really honored by that."

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