• Ariana DeBose became the first openly queen woman of color to win an Academy Award
  • The "West Side Story" star was also the second Latina to win an acting Oscar
  • Troy Kotsur made history as the first deaf man to win an Academy Award for his acting role in "CODA"

Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur made history at the 2022 Oscar Awards.

DeBose became the first openly queer woman of color to win an Academy Award and the second Latina to win an acting Oscar. She bagged the Best Supporting Actress award for her portrayal of Anita in "West Side Story." Anita is the close confidant of Maria and girlfriend of Bernardo in Steven Spielberg's remake of the classic musical. Rita Moreno, who played the same role in the original version, also won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1962.

"You're staring at me right now, and I'm so grateful," DeBose said in her acceptance speech, as per Variety. "Your Anita paved the way for tons of Anitas like me. I love you so much."

DeBose was emotional as she acknowledged her newest milestone. She also quoted Anita's line, "I want to be in America," before adding, "Because even in this weary world that we live in, dreams do come true."

"Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of color and Latina who found her life and strength in art," she continued. "That's what I believe we are here to celebrate. So to anybody who has ever questioned your identity, ever, ever, ever, — or you find yourself living in the gray spaces — I promise you this: There is indeed a place for us."

DeBose and Moreno were the first women to be honored for playing the same role. However, Anita was not the first character to have won two Academy Awards. Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro also snagged Oscars for playing Vito Corleone in "The Godfather" and "The Godfather, Part II," respectively.

Meanwhile, Kotsur was as victorious as DeBose for making history as the first deaf man to win an Academy Award for his acting role in "CODA." His co-star, Marlee Matlin, was the first deaf actor to win an Oscar 35 years ago for her leading role in "Children of a Lesser God," Variety reported.

Kotsur became a clear frontrunner in the competition against Ciarán Hinds ("Belfast"), Jesse Plemons ("The Power of the Dog"), J.K. Simmons ("Being the Ricardos") and Kodi Smit-McPhee ("The Power of the Dog") after taking home key precursor awards, including a British Academy Film Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Critics' Choice Award. He was the first deaf male actor to receive those awards.

Kotsur shared that the "CODA" cast met Joe and Jill Biden at the White House and shared how Matlin stopped him from teaching the president and first lady swear words in sign language. He also dedicated his victory to his father in his emotional speech.

"My dad, he was the best signer in our family, but he was in a car accident, and he became paralyzed from the neck down, and he no longer was able to sign. Dad, I learned so much from you. I'll always love you. You are my hero," Kotsur said.

Ariana DeBose
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Actress Ariana DeBose poses with her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for 'West Side Story' in the press room at the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. David Livingston/Getty Images