California — This year, the prime-time Emmy Awards has Bella Ramsey — who identifies as nonbinary — up for a Lead Actress award. And many are unhappy a nonbinary performer is nominated for a gendered award.
After I saw Ramsey’s Emmy nomination, I scrolled through a flurry of posts about it on social media. Some fans of Ramsey thought the Emmys should change their awards to be gender unspecific. Others wanted Ramsey to publicly advocate for a nonbinary option rather than accepting the nomination.
Now, this isn’t the first time an issue like this has come up. Justin David Sullivan, a nonbinary Broadway performer, withdrew from Tony award consideration. They expressed that choosing between two gendered categories didn’t feel right. And the Tony Awards responded that they’re working on making categories more inclusive going forward.
I hope the Emmys will follow suit because I think it’s on award shows to create that space. These programs have the flexibility to change, and the whole point of them is to recognize the artists that represent our world today. All artists deserve to be celebrated without having to sacrifice a part of their identity.
Audrey La Jeunesse (she/her) is a high school senior from the Bay Area.
Edited by shaylyn martos and Amber Ly