Daniela Vega Makes History as First Trans Presenter at the Oscars

She also starred in "A Fantastic Woman," which won the Oscar for best foreign language film tonight.

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Mar 5 2018, 2:57am

Photo via ABC

Tonight, Daniela Vega made history as the very first transgender Oscar presenter in the Academy Awards’ 90 year history.

Last fall, Vega starred in Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, which centers the experience of a trans Chilean woman. The movie won an Oscar for best foreign language film tonight. Last year, Vega’s name was floated as a potential Oscar nominee for her role as opera singer and waitress Marina in the film. Had she been nominated, Vega would have been the first openly transgender person to ever be nominated for an Academy Award.

On top of making history at the Oscars, Vega, now 28, is also a trained opera singer, a hobby she took up at only eight years old. Originally from Chile, Vega told W Magazine that as a little girl she dreamed of becoming an artist, but wasn’t exactly sure what form her art would take. “I always wanted to be an artist. I always knew that I wanted to paint, or dance, or sing, or act, or write,” she said. “I found out that I can’t dance or paint [Laughs.], but I am singing, acting, and writing.”

Vega made history by presenting Sufjan Stevens’ performance of “Mystery of Love,” and she’s among a few others creating Oscar firsts. Jordan Peele could be the first Black man to win an Oscar for best director; Rachel Morrison is the first woman ever nominated for the best cinematography award; and Greta Gerwig could be the second woman to ever win an Oscar for best director.