The first transgender person to receive an Academy Award nomination says she feels unable to attend.
Trans Oscar nominee Anohni has explained her decision to boycott the upcoming Oscars, saying that she feels “degraded” by not being given the opportunity to perform.
This year’s Academy Awards have been plagued by criticism over their lack of diversity – from #OscarsSoWhite to a host of celebrities refusing to attend.
So, when it was announced that the song Manta Ray by Anohni had been nominated – the first trans artist to ever receive a nomination – many were in the LGBT community were pleasantly surprised.
However, the singer says she was left embarrassed and angered after she was not invited to perform at the ceremony.
“Everyone told me that I still ought to attend, that a walk down the red carpet would still be ‘good for my career’,” she wrote in a statement.
“Last night I tried to force myself to get on the plane to fly to LA for all the nominee events, but the feelings of embarrassment and anger knocked me back, and I couldn’t get on the plane.”
“I imagined how it would feel for me to sit amongst all those Hollywood stars, some of the brave ones approaching me with sad faces and condolences.
“There I was, feeling a sting of shame that reminded me of America’s earliest affirmations of my inadequacy as a transperson.
“I turned around at the airport and went back home.”
Anohni explained that although she does not believe the decision was transphobic, a lifetime full of bigotry has made rejection impossible to ignore.
“If you trace the trail of breadcrumbs, the deeper truth of it is impossible to ignore,” she wrote on her website.
“It is not one isolated event, but a series of events that occur over years to create a system that has sought to undermine me, at first as a feminine child, and later as an androgynous transwoman.
“It is a system of social oppression and diminished opportunities for transpeople that has been employed by capitalism in the US to crush our dreams and our collective spirit,” she added.
Other nominees set to perform include Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, The Weeknd and Dave Grohl – who is not nominated for an Oscar.