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Ford is first transgender director to earn Oscar nomination

Yance Ford just made history.

The director of the documentary feature “Strong Island” is the first transgender director to have a film nominated for an Oscar in the Academy Awards’ 90 years.

Ford, a Long Island native, created “Strong Island” in the wake of his brother’s murder by a white mechanic in Central Islip in 1992.

“My brother’s death picked up my life and put it down somewhere else,” Ford told Filmmaker Magazine in 2011. “I had an image of myself in my mind as a working artist, and when he died, all of that changed.”

Ford joins fellow transgender Oscar nominees Anohni for “Manta Ray” from the documentary “Racing Extinction,” songwriter Angela Morley for “The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella” and “The Little Prince,” and visual effects artist Paige Warner.

Sarah Kate Ellis, the GLAAD President and CEO, congratulated the LGBTQ-inclusive films nominated for this year’s awards.

“It’s a big day for LGBTQ-inclusive films at the Academy Awards. Films like The Shape of Water, A Fantastic Woman, Lady Bird, and Call Me by Your Name not only have complex, detailed, and moving portrayals, but prove that audiences and critics alike are hungry for stories which embrace diversity,” Ellis said in a statement. “These important stories move the needle forward on LGBTQ acceptance at a time when media images are often the front lines for marginalized communities.”

Ford has yet to comment on the nomination.

“Strong Island” is available on Netflix.

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