Queer Girl Friday: Every LGBTQIA+ Highlight of the 2018 Emmy Nominations

Killing Eve Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh

I’m Selina, Awards Circuit’s queer Girl Friday for everything LGBTQIA+ on TV! The Primetime Emmy nominations were FINALLY announced this morning, with Netflix claiming the most nominations for a single studio (even with HBO’s “Game of Thrones” eligible again after a season off). Because I’m a queer nerd with too much time on my hands, I’ve compiled a list of programs prominently featuring queer stories, along with every single LGBTQIA+ actor nominated for an Emmy, and actors nominated for playing LGBTQIA+ characters. This list obviously only includes out folx, but it’s still longer than I anticipated; let me know if I’ve missed anyone in the comments below.

Nominated Shows With Queer Stories

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” Snags Outstanding Limited Series Nom

Ryan Murphy’s latest “American Crime Story” season, which focused on the murder of gay fashion designer Gianni Versace, is up for an Emmy in the Outstanding Limited Series category. The series has some stiff competition from “The Alienist,” “Godless” and “Genius: Picasso,” so we’ll just have to wait and see who will win.

“Killing Eve” Gets Nominations for Outstanding Drama and Lead Actress

Queer spy drama “Killing Eve” may have just premiered this TV season, but it’s already turning heads. Sandra Oh of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Sideways” fame is nominated for her role as Eve Polastri, an MI5 officer with a twisted, romantic obsession for female assassin Villanelle.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Earns Another Nom for Best Reality Program

The Emmy nominees list is full of some obvious heavy-hitters, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is no exception. The reality competition series, which has won four Emmys since its premiere in 2009, is up again for Best Reality Program, a category it’s never topped despite its massive popularity. Here’s hoping that changes this year. The behind-the-scenes half-time entertainment “Rupaul’s Drag Race: Untucked,” has also earned a nomination in the Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program category.

“Queer Eye” Snags Its First Emmy Nomination!

Yaaaas, queens! Netflix’s “Queer Eye” has earned its first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Structured Reality Program. I can hear JVN’s excited screaming from here.

LGBTQIA+ Emmy Nominees

Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Tomlin, one of Hollywood’s longest-reigning comedians, is up for the fourth year in a row for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She plays Frankie Bergstein, a hippie artist living with frenemy Grace Hanson after their husbands divorced them to marry each other. Tomlin hasn’t won the golden stature yet for this particular role, but she’s earned six Emmys over the years, so I doubt she’s sweating it.

Titus Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Burgess, who plays Kimmy Schmidt’s wonderfully over-dramatic roommate Titus Andromeda, is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Iconic.

Kate McKinnon, “SNL”

McKinnon, who won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2016 and 2017, has been nominated again for her work on “Saturday Night Live.” Not a surprise, but it’s nice to see one of the solidly funny people still on “SNL” get the credit she deserves.

Jane Lynch, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Lynch, of “Glee” fame, earned a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for playing famous female comic Sophie Lennon on the period comedy series.

Wanda Sykes, “black-ish”

The stand-up comedian and actor has snagged another nomination for portraying Dre’s boss Daphne Lido on ABC’s “black-ish.” She previously won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing on “The Chris Rock Show.”

Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”

Wood, known for her starring role on HBO’s head-spinning drama “Westworld,” is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She was also nominated for the role in 2017, though she didn’t ultimately take gold in the category. Perhaps the second time’s the charm?

Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Wiley, who shot to fame with Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black,” has been nominated for a second time for her work on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which swept the Emmys in 2017. The actress, who plays the rebellious lesbian feminist Moira on the series, is nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

Cherry Jones, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Jones is nominated as an Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Offred’s feminist mother, Holly Maddox, in the Hulu series. She previously earned an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress for “24.”

Sarah Paulson, “AHS: Cult”

One of Ryan Murphy’s favorite scream queens has earned another nomination for her work on “American Horror Story.” Paulson, who’s previously won a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe for her acting chops, is nominated for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her portrayal of Ally Mayfair-Richards, a lesbian character with a wife, son and some serious phobias.

Ricky Martin, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”

The popular Puerto Rican singer and actor is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. He plays Antonio D’Amico, the former partner of the late Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace.

RuPaul, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Mother Ru is up again for Best Host of a Reality Program, which she’s won for two years running. My prediction: she’ll slay the category once again.

Actors Nominated for Playing LGBTQIA+ Characters

Ron Cephas Jones, “This is Us”

In another nod to NBC’s latest family tearjerker, Jones has been nominated in the Guest Actor on a Drama Series category for his portrayal of William Hill. Hill, Randall’s biological father, was revealed as bisexual in Season 1 when old flame Jessie showed up on Randall’s doorstep. Jones is also known for playing Bobby Fish on “Luke Cage” and Winston Kipling on “The Get Down.”

Viola Davis, “Scandal”

That “How To Get Away With Murder”/”Scandal” crossover was epic, and it looks like the Television Academy agrees. Davis plays Annalise Keating, a kickass lawyer who happens to be bi, teamed up with Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope to change the corrupt U.S. justice system in the crossover. Davis is nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

Megan Mullally, “Will and Grace”

I’m not totally sure I should include Mullally’s outrageous Karen Walker in this list, but “Will and Grace” has hinted at her bisexuality enough times to be noted here. Mullally, who’s won two Emmys for the role, is up again for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.


Want to see who else earned an Emmy nomination? See the full list of nominees here.

Which Emmy nominees are you rooting for? Let me know in the comments below!

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Written by Selina Mixner

Selina is a queer, half-Filipina fangirl who loves TV, film and corgis a little too much. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Literature and Psychology from UC Santa Cruz. Her rules for writing are simple: is it tattoo-worthy? If not, try again.


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