Gender-Fluid Performer Kelly Mantle Is Poised to Make Oscar-Eligibility History

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"RuPaul's Drag Race" Season Six Finale
Kelly Mantle. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Gender-fluid performer Kelly Mantle is about to make Oscar-eligibility history. Mantle, who was a contestant on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, was submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Confessions of a Womanizer, a film co-starring Gary Busey in which Mantle has a role as a transgender prostitute. The Wrap is reporting that the film’s producers submitted Mantle, who is gender fluid (but uses masculine pronouns) for both male and female acting categories, and the Academy has confirmed that he will be considered in both. This is an historic moment for both Mantle and the Academy, which has never acknowledged gender fluidity in its categories before. (Actors playing across gender identity have been nominated in the past; the most recent nod went to Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl.) With this decision, Mantle is eligible for both categories and can win in either, which is not only a win-win for him, but for the LGBTQ community at large.

Gender Fluid Kelly Mantle Makes Oscar History