Colman Domingo shares husband’s sweet reaction to his historic Oscar nomination

Rustin star Colman Domingo and his husband, film producer Raúl Domingo.

Rustin star Colman Domingo has revealed the emotional way he and his husband, film producer Raúl, responded to the star’s historic Oscar nomination.

When the nominations were announced yesterday (23 January), Domingo was named among the five men now vying for best actor gong.

The nomination, for his role as gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in the Netflix biopic, is Domingo’s first Oscar nod, and makes him only the second out gay actor to be nominated in the category for playing a gay character.

The first was Ian McKellen in 1999, for his depiction of English film director James Wale in God and Monsters. He lost out to Life is Beautiful‘s Roberto Benigni.

Colman also becomes the first Afro-Latino star to be nominated in the category and is up against Bradley Cooper in Maestro, The Holdovers’ Paul Giamatti, American Fiction’s Jeffrey Wright and many people’s favourite to pick up the Oscar, Cillian Murphy, for his role in Oppenheimer.

Speaking to Variety, Domingo said he couldn’t sleep because his body knew it was nomination day, so he decided to get up and organise his closet.

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Then, when the names were finally revealed, his husband, to whom he has been married since 2014, had an adorable response.

“My husband was watching the feed. When they said my name, he literally laid on the floor. We had a little cry together,” the actor said.

Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in Netflix film Rustin
Rustin star Colman Domingo has been nominated for the best actor Oscar. (Netflix)

“It’s unbelievable as someone who has been doing this work for three decades.”

It was “outstanding” to learn that he was only the second out gay actor to be nominated in the category for playing a gay role, he added.

“Hopefully, I won’t be the last. There are incremental changes, but we need more people to champion these stories. It doesn’t have to look like you to be about you.”

Domingo, who also stars as Albert “Mister” Johnson, in the Oscar-nominated musical The Color Purple, told Deadline that he hopes he has proved gay men can play a range of roles.


PinkNews sat down with actor ColmanDomingo, and director #GeorgeCWolfe to talk about the new Netflix biopic ‘Rustin’. ‘Rustin’ tells the story of activist, BayardRustin, and the racism and homophobia he faced as he helped change the course of #CivilRights history by orchestrating the 1963 March on Washington. That day in August – during which #MartinLutherKing delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech – was built from the ground up through the tireless efforts of ostracised political activist Rustin and his team of social justice warriors. After he was criminalised for having consensual gay s3x in 1953, Rustin battled against prejudice from most sides of society as he fought for a liberated future for all Black people, regardless of sexual orientation. In 2013, President Barak Obama posthumously awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom (Rustin had died in 1987). Ten years on, Barack and Michele Obama’s production company, Higher Ground (founded in 2018), is behind new political biopic, Rustin, which stars Fear the Walking Dead‘s Colman Domingo in the title role. The two-hour Netflix film gives Rustin his long-overdue flowers and offers an unfiltered look into his life as a gay Black man navigating 1960s America. #rustinmovie #ushistory #lgbthistory

♬ original sound – PinkNews 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

“The way I’ve been able to see myself in this industry is that I can play anything, and it’s not limited by my sexuality,” he said.

“People see me as I see myself, and being able to flex all these muscles and play all these different types of men, with very different experiences, hopefully, moves the needle a bit more… I’m a strong representation for that now, and there [are] many more folks coming up right behind me.”

Last year, Domingo spoke exclusively to PinkNews about his desire that Rustin be seen as a “hopeful” movie by the LGBTQ+ community.

“I think [Rustin is] hopeful, especially right now in these dark times, [so] that people have somewhere to look and say: ‘Hey, we can galvanise, we can do something to make this world a little better’.

“These were all just ordinary human beings trying to do something extraordinary. I was drawn to that.”

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