First woman to thank her same-sex partner in Oscars speech passed away

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Debra Chasnoff was a documentary filmmaker and activist born in Philadelphia. She was the first ever Oscar awardee to thank her female partner during the accepting speech. She died of breast cancer aged just 60. Chasnoff won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for her film Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and our Environment, released in 1991. The film looked at how nuclear materials produced by General Electric impact on the environment. “I am very grateful to my friends and family, particularly to Kim Klausner, my life partner, who always had faith in me, and to our son Noah who reminds me on a daily basis of why it’s so important not to give up and to keep working for peace and justice,” she said receiving an award, realizing that she was making history and nobody has done it before her, gay people preferred to stay quiet. But she could not ever imagine herself receiving an award without thanking her partner. As well as environmental and other social issues, Chasnoff made a number of documentaries on LGBT+ issues. Chasnoff is survived by wife Nancy and two children Noah and Oscar.

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