Queer favourites win big at long-awaited 2023 Emmys

From Ireland shoutouts to EGOT winners and "evil gays", there was much to celebrate at the 2023 Emmys.

Split screen of three queer favourite Emmy award winners. Left is Jennifer Coolidge, middle is RuPaul and right is Ayo Edebiri.
Image: Left to right: @TelevisionAcad, @RuPaulsDragRace, @TelevisionAcad via X

The much-awaited 75th Primetime Emmy Awards took place on Monday night, January 15, with a number of queer favourites winning big. The ceremony, which was originally scheduled for September 2023, was postponed due to last year’s actors’ and writers’ strikes in Hollywood.

There were moments of LGBTQ+ brilliance throughout the entire night, including on the red carpet. While many of our favourite celebs arrived in style, Pedro Pascal and his trans sister Lux were particularly radiant as they posed for photos and earned the crown for perhaps the most powerful sibling duo at the soirée. Pedro was nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category for his role in The Last of Us, but lost out to Succession’s Kieran Culkin.


As for the awards themselves, there was no shortage of queer winners. In the same month that RuPaul snatched his eighth consecutive Emmy for hosting Drag Race, the show emerged victorious from the Outstanding Reality Competition Program category. This is the fifth time RuPaul’s Drag Race has collected the award and marks its 28th Emmy overall.

In his acceptance speech, Mama Ru said, “We are so honoured to have this award. You guys are just lovely for honouring our show and recognising all these queens.”

In reference to the increasing anti-drag sentiment and legislation in the US recently, he added, “And listen, if a drag queen wants to read you a story at a library, listen to her, because knowledge is power. And if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you. So listen to a drag queen!”


Elsewhere, queer icon Elton John officially joined the prestigious EGOT club after adding an Emmy to his six Grammys, two Oscars and Tony. The music superstar’s Disney+ release Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium won the award for Best Variety Special at Monday’s ceremony, which he was unable to attend due to a knee injury. John’s husband David Furnish accepted the trophy on his behalf.

The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri, who had already taken home a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award in the last week, continued her recent winning streak by collecting the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

The queer star, loved by many for her role as Josie in Bottoms, has also been claimed as the Irish people’s princess after she hilariously fed into false rumours that she played Jenny the Donkey in Banshees of Inisherin. The viral moment grew legs and has turned into a long-running joke, with Edebiri even giving a nod to the Emerald Isle at the Emmys, saying, “Shoutout to my people! Shoutout to Derry, shoutout to Cork, shoutout to Killarney, shoutout to Dublin!”


Jennifer Coolidge also added a healthy dose of humour to the event, thanking “all the evil gays” when accepting the award for Oustanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The fan favourite was recognised for playing Tanya McQuoid in The White Lotus, and she shared, “I had a little dream in my little town, and everyone said it wasn’t practical and it was far-fetched. It did happen after all, so don’t give up on your dream.”


Finally, GLAAD received the Television Academy’s 2023 Governors Award at the Emmys for its advocacy work and dedication to improving LGBTQ+ representation in media and entertainment industries.

“For all of us at GLAAD, this work is personal, for me, it’s about my wife and our kids, because what the world sees on TV directly influences how we treat each other and the decisions we make in our living rooms, schools, at work, and at the ballot box,” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis commented.

“The world urgently needs culture-changing stories about transgender people. More people say they have seen a ghost than know a trans person. When you don’t know people, it’s easy to demonise them,” she continued.

“Visibility creates understanding and opens doors, it’s life-saving. Our community has achieved so much and yet, we are still being victimised and villainised with cruel and harmful lies. Sharing stories is the antidote.

“And now is the time to take action – to support everyone in the LGBTQ community, because this story is still being told and we all can be the heroes,” Ellis concluded.

To read the full list of winners, queer and otherwise, from the 2023 Emmy Awards, click here.

© 2024 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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