Gender-Fluid Canadian Actor Ruled Eligible For Male & Female Awards

The Canadian Leo Awards will follow the Academy Awards in allowing a gender-fluid actor to compete in both male and female categories, The Hollywood Reporter writes. Previously, the Oscars ruled that Kelly Mantle would be eligible for awards for both men and women.

Ameko Eks Mass Carroll, a gender-fluid 11-year-old based in Vancouver, could be nominated in multiple gender categories for her role in short film Limina. The film, which was crowdfunded, is "about an intuitive gender-fluid child who embarks on a path of kindness."

"We are proud to join our colleagues at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognizing the importance of inclusivity when honoring artistic excellence," Walter Daroshin, Chair of the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of British Columbia and President of the Leo Awards, said Friday in a statement obtained by THR.

Carroll thanked the Leo Awards in return in a statement emphasizing the importance of representation.

"I would love to give the Leo Awards a ginormous thanks for making people under the trans umbrella feel more welcomed in the world," Carroll said in a statement.

Joshua M. Ferguson, Limina's non-binary co-producer and co-director with partner Florian Halbedl, also praised the move.

"Hopefully this decision will open up the important conversation at union levels, other awards, organizations and granting agencies across the country to strive for inclusivity in the industry when it comes to trans people and diversity," they told THR.

We applaud the move for obvious reasons. Entertainment has the enormous potential to lance bubbles by representing people of all genders and races in a sympathetic way. When people only see Muslim men represented as terrorists, or trans people only represented as killers or deviants, the natural assumption is a negative one. So normalizing people's gender identity can only be a good thing. After all, we need each other now more than ever.
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