Karla Sofía Gascón makes history as first trans woman to win Cannes Best Actress

Karla Sofía Gascón gets emotional as she speaks on behalf of the cast of Emilia Perez. Image credit to Reuters.
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Spanish actor Karla Sofía Gascón made history this weekend by becoming the first transgender woman to win the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival.

At 52, Gascón received the award alongside the cast of the musical crime comedy Emilia Pérez, which features Selena Gomez, Zoe Saldaña, and Mexican actor Adriana Paz. Her performance as a Mexican drug lord who transitions after coming out as a transgender woman was particularly praised.

In her acceptance speech, Gascón, speaking on behalf of the ensemble, declared, “Selena Gomez, I am in love with you.” She dedicated the award to “all transgender people who suffer and must keep faith that changing is possible.” She continued, “Tomorrow, there will be plenty of comments from terrible people saying the same things about all of us trans people. But I want to end with a message of hope. To all of them, like Emilia Perez, we all have the opportunity to change for the better, to become better people. If you have made us suffer, it is time for you also to change.”

Unfortunately, her prediction about negative comments soon came true. Online hate was quickly followed by criticism from French far-right politician Marion Maréchal, head of the Reconquête! party, who dismissed Gascón’s win as “female interpretation” and falsely claimed that “progress for the left is the erasure of women and mothers.”

In response, six European LGBTQ+ groups — Adheos, Familles LGBT, Fédération LBGTI+, Mousse, Quazar, and Stop Homophobie — have filed a complaint against Maréchal with the Paris Public Prosecutor for her “transphobic insults.”

Stop Homophobie stated on Twitter/X that “this illegal behavior reinforces the climate of violence in which LGBT+ people live in France.” The group emphasized that “Maréchal’s speeches are heard by those who take action,” noting that since 2016, violence against LGBT people has surged by more than 129 percent, with transgender individuals being the most affected. “We are more determined than ever to protect them,” they wrote.

About Korina Estrada 180 Articles
A writer and an advocate of self-love and body positivity. She loves baking cookies, practicing her calligraphy, and creating short stories of local folklore.

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