The MTV Awards, Asia Kate Dillon, and a Genderqueer World
In a genderfluid future, we wonder how a genderqueer world will look like. Fortunately, MTV Awards and Asia Kate Dillon are showing us the way.
This is because both MTV and Dillon are dealing with issues of being a gender nonbinary person, or genderqueer, in a gender-categorized world.
MTV and genderqueer awards
MTV recently shook up their annual awards by removing gender-specific categories.
Instead of having the usual best actor and best actress categories, the MTV Movie & TV Awards will have a gender-neutral acting category that covers both male and female actors.
“This audience actually doesn’t see male-female dividing lines, so we said, ‘Let’s take that down’,” MTV president Chris McCarthy told New York Magazine.
For example, their nominees for best actor will compete with each other: Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya, Beauty and the Beast’s Emma Watson, and Hidden Figures’ Taraji P Henson.
However, it should be noted that the Grammys doesn’t distinguish between male and female performers, having categories as best pop vocal performance.
Likewise, the National Television Awards shifted from gender categories in 2008 to genderless, went back in 2012, before using the gender-neutral categories in 2014 again.
Genderqueer Asia Kate Dillon and the Emmys
Meanwhile, actor Asia Kate Dillon has done so well as the character Taylor Mason in the TV series Billions that everyone has taken notice.
But because Dillon has identified as gender non-binary– and so does the Billions character, Showtime asked which category Dillon would want to submit under for the upcoming Emmy Awards.
“What I learned through my research is that the word ‘actor,’ specifically in reference to those who performed in plays, came about in the late 1500s as a non-gendered word,” Dillon told Variety.
Dillon added that actor “applied to all people, regardless of anatomical sex or gender identity” while the word ‘actress’ only defined anatomically female performers.
Because of this, she sent a letter to the Television Academy on the acting categories’ gender-specific classifications.
“I wanted to get more information from the Academy as to whether or not they use the word actor or actress to refer to assigned sex or identity, so that I could make the best decision for myself as to how I wanted to be submitted,” Dillon said.
The Academy’s response? Under the Academy rules, “anyone can submit under either category for any reason,” Dillon said, adding that: “I found them to be 100% supportive. I really couldn’t have been happier.”