Words: Alastair James; pictures: ABC
Jessica Chastain sent love to the LGBTQ community last night as she collected the award for Best Actress at the Oscars while blasting anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Winning for her portrayal of the American TV personality Tammy Fay Bakker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye Jessica was one of a few celebrities that touched on the recently passed 'Don't Say Gay' bill in Florida.
The bill, which is due to come into effect on 1 July, effectively bans the discussion of LGBTQ topics in elementary schools.
"You are unconditionally loved for the uniqueness that is you"
Receiving her honour from Sir Anthony Hopkins, the Tammy Faye actress said suicide was something that had touched many families, including her own.
"And especially members of the LGBTQ community, who oftentimes feel out of place with their peers. We’re faced with discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country, with the only goal of further dividing us," she continued.
She also said: "There’s violence and hate crimes being perpetuated on innocent civilians all over the world. And in times like this, I think of Tammy, and I’m inspired by her radical acts of love.
"I’m inspired by her passion. I see it as a guiding principle that leads us forward, and it connects us all in the desire that we want to be accepted for who we are, accepted for who we love, and to live a life without the fear of violence or terror."
Finally, she said: "And for any of you out there who do, in fact, feel hopeless or alone, I just want you to know that you are unconditionally loved for the uniqueness that is you."
One of the night's hosts, Wanda Sykes, also referenced the Florida bill telling the audience: "We’re going to have a great night tonight. And for you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night."
LGBTQ campaigners in Florida fear the 'Don't Say Gay' bill could lead to further stigma for LGBTQ youth, which could lead to increased suicides.
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