Celebrating Queer Triumphs in This Year’s Awards Season

Here’s The LGBTQ+ Award Season Favorites To Watch From 2023

Koko Da Doll in KOKOMO CITY by D. Smith. Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute.

It’s been an eventful year already in Hollywood gearing up for this year’s top award shows. At the Oscars, it’s easy to already feel a sense of loss with the unsurprising Barbie snubs that remind us that Hollywood is still a challenging place to be a woman. However, not enough is being said about how big a year this is for queer BIPOC actors. Queer actress Lily Gladstone made history as the first Native American actress to be nominated for Best Actress for Killers of the Flower Moon. It’s also a big year for rising star Colman Domingo, the openly gay lead of Rustin, who also made history as the first Afro Latino actor to be nominated for Best Actor.

Beyond the Oscars, GALECA: The Society For LGBTQ+ Critics has also released their nominations for the Dorian Awards, the highest honors of the group. The group provides a much-needed queer take on what films and performances deserve to be celebrated and rounds out the traditional awards categories with queer-specific awards including Best LGBTQ Film, LGBTQ Screenplay, LGBTQ Non-English Language Film, and Best LGBTQ Documentary. And, yes, they nominated Greta Gerwig for Best Director.

From Oscar royalty to new queer icons, this year will certainly be one for the books. Here is a roundup of the queer films at this year’s Oscars and a few Dorian Awards favorites that the Academy forgot.

All of Us Strangers

All of Us Strangers. Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures.

All of Us Strangers is one of the biggest Oscars snubs on this list and it certainly wasn’t because of the queer critics. Director Andrew Haigh’s emotional romantic drama about a gay screenwriter’s romance that ends up stirring up his traumatic past comes highly recommended with nine Dorian nominations. The film, which stars Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, is in theaters now and will be streaming on Hulu starting February 22.

Anatomy of a Fall 

Anatomy of a Fall. Photo courtesy of MK2 Films.

Taking home five Oscar nominations and six Dorian nominations, along with a Palme d’Or, Justine Triet’s French thriller Anatomy of a Fall should certainly be on your watch list. The film, which features a bisexual main character, follows the trial of a woman accused of killing her husband in which the sole witness is her blind son. While not streaming anywhere yet, it is available to rent.


Bottoms. Photo courtesy of Orion Pictures Inc.

Comedies rarely get the love at the Oscars, and that was true for Bottoms as well. While director Emma Seligman’s film saw no love from the Academy, it did receive three Dorian nominations. The hilarious indie about two high school girls, played by Ayo Edebiri and Rachel Sennott, who start a fight club to sleep with cheerleaders is certainly not one to overlook if you love a good, gay time. You can stream the film on Amazon Prime.

Kokomo City

Kokomo City. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

One of the most rhythmic and sexy LGBTQ+ films of the year might be this Oscar-snubbed documentary. First-time filmmaker D. Smith’s Kokomo City, a love letter to Black Trans sex workers in New York City and Atlanta, is unlike any other documentary on the awards circuit this year in the best of ways. It was nominated for two Dorian Awards and is now streaming on Showtime and Paramount+.


Maestro. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Director Bradley Cooper’s drama about American composer Leonard Bernstein, Maestro, was nominated for seven Academy Awards. The film, which also stars the straight actor, depicts the complex relationship between Bernstein and his wife and the affairs he has with men. Interestingly enough, the film didn’t have any sway over the queer critics at GALECA as it was not nominated for any Dorian Awards. You can stream the film on Netflix.


Nimona. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

The sole animated film on this list, Nimona is worth your time, especially if you love animated movies. In the charming film, a knight and a shapeshifting teen must team up to prove their innocence as the knight realizes the teen may be the monster he is sworn to kill. The film is full of queer moments not worth spoiling, ones that are rare for a film marketed to young people. The film was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars and Best Animated Film at the Dorian Awards. You can stream the film on Netflix


Nyad. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Another biopic, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s Nyad tells the story of queer swimmer Diana Nyad’s journey to become the first person ever to swim from Cuba to Florida. The film, which stars Jodie Foster as Nyad, was nominated for two Oscars and one Dorian. You can stream the film on Netflix.


Rustin. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Rustin certainly stands out this year for a few reasons. Principally, for its touching and powerful tribute to Civil Rights leader, advisor to Martin Luther King Jr, and Pennsylvania native Bayard Rustin, but also for the performance of gay Black actor Colman Domingo, who happens to also be a Pennsylvania native. The film was only nominated for one Oscar, but three Dorian Awards. You can stream the film now on Netflix.

The ABCs of Book Banning

To round out the list, the short documentary The ABCs of Book Banning reminds viewers of some of the challenges facing our community, specifically the banning of LGBTQ+ books in schools across America. The film was nominated for Best Short Documentary at this year’s Oscars. The Dorian Awards do not have a category for short-form. The film is streaming on Paramount+.

Hansen Bursic (he/him) is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and LGBTQ+ activist. His work for QBurgh has won a Golden Quill Award from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. Bursic's film work has screened all over the world from Frameline, the world's oldest and most prestigious LGBTQ+ film festival, to Reel Q here in Pittsburgh. His writing has been seen in online publications such as CinéSPEAK and QueerPGH. To learn more about Bursic's work, visit his InstagramFacebookTwitter, or his website.