Gender-fluid performer eligible in Male and Female Oscar categories

Photo: Kelly Mantle
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Kelly Mantle is a gender-fluid performer who has ties to television through season six of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and has made Oscar history as being the first potential nominee to be eligible in both male and female categories, according to The Wrap.

In an indie film from Harbor House Films and Miguel Ali, Mantle stars as a transgender prostitute in “Confessions of a Womanizer.” The flick also stars Andrew Lawrence and none other than Gary Busey.

However, when the producers of the film attempted to fill out Oscar paperwork, they didn’t know which gender to classify Mantle under. After speaking with Academy officials, the Academy confirmed that the performer can be nominated as either male or female, and so Mantle was submitted as both.

Photo : Devin Dygert
Photo : Devin Dygert

“Confessions of a Womanizer” originally saw its premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, California roughly two years ago, and became available to the public in theaters back in October of this year. The film received many awards including best narrative feature film as well as best director at the 2014 LA Underground Film Festival, making it a real contender for the Academy awards.

Previously, the Academy didn’t have a male or female branch, and just presented awards based on the sole performance of the actor. That practice changed just two years ago and since then Mantle has been the first person to be submitted in both categories, and according to the academy, is eligible to take home awards in either one.

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