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13 LGBT Actors Emmy-Nominated For Playing LGBT Characters: Sarah Paulson

By /bent | /Bent August 20, 2014 at 9:20AM

We look back at the history of LGBT actors getting nominations for playing LGBT characters at the Emmys.
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Sarah Paulson

In this series of posts leading up to this year's Emmy Awards (going down on August 25th), we're highlighting the 13 LGBT actors who were nominated for playing LGBT characters in years past, in honor of the fact that a whopping 7 new additions to that list have been nominated this year (Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Laverne Cox, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nathan Lane, Joe Mantello and Kate McKinnon -- though notably Cox and Lane already lost their awards as the guest acting categories are announced a week in advance).  

We're going in chronological order, with the posts so far looking John Glover and his nomination for 1985's TV movie "An Early Frost" (read that here, along with some more background on Emmy's history with LGBT nominees), Ian McKellen and Ellen DeGeneres, who collectively are the only two LGBT people to receive two different nominations for playing LGBT characters, Angelina Jolie, the only bisexual person ever nominated for an Emmy for playing another bisexual personSean HayesVictor Garber and Leslie Jordan -- all for "Will & Grace" (and two of them winners), Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Nathan Lane -- both for "Modern Family," and Chris Colfer for "Glee."  That's a lot of dudes in a row. So thankfully we now come to a nominee from last year and only the third LGBT woman nominated for playing an LGBT character (though two more came this year): 

Sarah Paulson

Nominated For: Last year, the amazing Ms. Sarah Paulson got her second Emmy nomination in a row for playing lesbian journalist Lana Winters the second season of "American Horror Story" (she was nominated the year before for "Game Change"). She'd go on to make it a hat trick for this year's "AHS," though this time around she wasn't playing an LGBT character.
Did She Win?: No… she lost to Ellen Burstyn for "Political Animals"... though maybe they'll make up for it this year.
Significance: As noted before, this series has been seriously lacking when it comes to examples of LGBT women nominated for playing LGBT women. Paulson is only third to do so, and the first since 1998, with the "Asylum" season of "American Horror Story." 


Here's an unsettling clip of Paulson's amazing screams throughout "American Horror Story" (warning: some major spoilers):


Check back tomorrow for the last nominee… and check out the previous posts below:

John Glover
Ian McKellen
Ellen DeGeneres
Angelina Jolie
Sean Hayes
Victor Garber
Leslie Jordan

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

This article is related to: Television, Emmy Awards, LGBT at the Emmys