As a casting director, Damian uses his position of power to help thousands of Black and brown bodies, especially queer ones, be seen and recognized and, most importantly, respected in all forms of art spaces in today’s society, creating the blueprint for the future of media. He has given many of us the first opportunity to be seen, heard and auditioned in these often closed spaces. A lot of queer folks of color working in entertainment are now in important positions because of his courage and vision for the future. I am nominating Damian Bao to highlight his leadership and kindness. Through it all, he has fought tirelessly both publicly and behind the scenes for not only me, but so many others, to create real equality and change. He is a great example of what other gatekeepers in the industry should aim to be.
– Leyna Bloom