Mya Taylor Becomes First Transgender Actor to Win Major Film Award

Taylor won for her role in the film Tangerine.

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In the continuing trend of awards shows that are better at recognizing diversity than the Oscars, the Independent Spirit Awards (now in its 31st year) aired last night–with three out of the four major film acting awards going to actors of color.

Both best lead male and supporting male awards went to Beasts of No Nation cast members Abraham Attah (who won for his first ever on-screen performance) and Idris Elba (who also brought Attah up on stage during his acceptance speech), and the best lead female award went to Brie Larson for Room–but one of the shining moments of last night’s awards was Mya Taylor’s win for best supporting female for her role in the iPhone-filmed movie Tangerine, the first major film award given to a transgender actor.

Taylor’s speech was brief and to-the-point, but in a few words managed to sum up the growing frustrations many have had about the lack of diversity in Hollywood–on everything from awards nominations to casting decisions, especially when it comes to casting cisgender actors to play transgender characters. “There is transgender talent–there’s very beautiful transgender talent,” she said. “So you better get out there and put it in your next movie.”

Watch Taylor’s acceptance speech below. Did you watch the Independent Spirit Awards last night? What were your favorite parts?

(via Buzzfeed)

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