Ariana DeBose – Following the Footsteps of the First Latina Oscar Winner, Rita Moreno

Ariana DeBose is an American actress. She is the first openly queer woman of colour to win an Oscar, which she won in 2022 for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and in the 2022 SAG Awards for outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role for West Side Story. This was for her performance in the musical West Side Story for her role as Anita. Six decades ago, Rita Moreno also won an Oscar for her performance of Anita. Rita Moreno appeared in the 2021 West Side Story in a role designed for her specifically. Moreno was the first Latina Oscar winner in 1962. Ariana DeBose has performed in Hamilton (Disney), The Prom (Netflix), and in Schmigadoon! (Apple).


Ariana DeBose


On her Oscar win, she stated that

“You see an openly queer woman of colour, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art. And that is, I think, what we’re here to celebrate.”


Ariana DeBose is currently dating Sue Makkoo. In 2020, with Jo Ellen Pellman, she launched the Unruly Hearts Initiative, which helps young people connect with LGBTQ+ organisations. This stems from her performance in The Prom, which she describes as being “incredibly cathartic”, due to her own prom trauma, when she danced with a girl and was ridiculed. The Prom celebrates her identity and providing a light for queer kids


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Ever since I was a little girl, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Luck has nothing to do with being good at the sport. I have spent many, many hours… countless hours… on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come but believing that it would.

Serena Williams

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