It was a historic night at the Primetime Emmy Awards for RuPaul, who broke  the record for most Emmy wins by a person of colour, after winning his 11th  Emmy for RuPaul’s Drag Race; taking home the trophy for Outstanding  Competition Program. 

Joined onstage by Michelle Visage, season 13 winner Symone, and finalist  Gottmik, RuPaul, 60, told the audience, “Thanks to all of our lovely children  on our show from around the world. You know, they are so gracious to tell  their stories of courage and how to navigate this difficult life, even more  difficult today. This is for you. And for the kids out there watching: You have a  tribe that is waiting for you. We are waiting for you, baby: come on to Mama  Ru.” 

RuPaul, had earlier won two other Emmys for RuPaul’s Drag Race at the Creative Arts Emmy ceremony held on September 12; Host for a Reality or  Reality-Competition Program and Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.  The win for his hosting duties was his sixth straight win in that category, and as such notched another historic marker for RuPaul. 

RuPaul, one of the Executive Producers of Drag Race, won his first Emmy  Award in 2016 when he was named Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program.  

#EmmysSoWhite Trends After Awards

The 2021 Emmy Award nominations made headlines when they were  announced on July 13, when the nominee list included a record 49 performers of non-Anglo origin in acting and reality host categories. The nominations also  included a number of out actors including Samira Wiley for The Handmaid’s Tale, Bowen Yang for SNL, Jonathan Groff for Hamilton, and Hannah Einbinder and Carl Clemons-Hopkins for Hacks

The nominee list also included a historic nomination for Mj Rodriguez, who as  the star of FX’s Pose, became the first-ever transgender actor to be  nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Rodriguez, who  played Blanca, lost to Olivia Colman for The Crown

Pose racked up a total of nine nominations for its third and final season,  including nods for Billy Porter for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series  and Outstanding Drama Series.

But aside from RuPaul, no other out performers took home an award in any of the individual categories. Out actor Jonathan Groff, was part of Disney+’s Hamilton team, which won the Emmy for Best Variety Special. 

With white actors having swept the drama, comedy and limited series acting  categories at this year’s televised ceremony, #EmmysSoWhite was soon  trending on Twitter.

Queer Nominees, Presenters Make A Splash

The  ceremony did feature a number of out performers as presenters, including Dan Levy, joined by the rest of the Schitt’s Creek cast, SNL’s Bowen Yang, and Sarah Paulson from Ratched

Other LGBTQ+ fan favourites who took home awards included the indomitable Jean Smart who took the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in  a Comedy Series for Hacks.  

Ewan McGregor won Best Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for his titular role in Halston produced by Ryan Murphy. 

At the earlier Creative Arts Emmy ceremony, the fifth season of Queer Eye won for outstanding structured reality program, although the five hosts lost to  RuPaul as Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program. 

Kerry Washington took a moment before handing out the Emmy for  Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, to pay tribute to Michael  Kenneth Williams, who passed away on September 6, 2021.

GLADD tweeted that  Williams was “a possibility model for so many young, Black gay and queer  kids to see themselves on screen played with so much life, love and passion.”  Williams had become well known for his Queer roles in The Wire, and  Lovecraft Country

LGBTQ+ actors also made a splash on the Emmy red carpet, with perennial  runway favourite Billy Porter in Ashi Couture, Carl Clemons-Hopkins from  Hacks in Christian Siriano, Mj Rodriguez in Atelier Versace, and The Crown’s Emma Corrin in Miu Miu. 

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