Gender-Fluid Actor Judged Eligible in Both Male and Female Categories at Canadian Awards Show

Courtesy of Leo Awards 
Ameko Eks Mass Carroll

Ameko Eks Mass Carroll, an 11-year-old Vancouver performer, is in the running at the Leo Awards for multiple roles as either a male or female.

Ameko Eks Mass Carroll, an actor who identifies as gender-fluid, is making Canadian awards show history.

The 11-year-old Vancouver-based performer is the first potential nominee in both the male and female categories at the Leo Awards for a starring role in the short film Limina.

The Leo Awards decision follows Kelly Mantle, best known as a former contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race, as a gender-fluid identifying performer submitting paperwork for both the male and female performance categories at the 2016 Academy Awards for her role in Confessions of a Womanizer.

"We are proud to join our colleagues at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognizing the importance of inclusivity when honoring artistic excellence," Walter Daroshin, Chair of the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of British Columbia and President of the Leo Awards said in a statement on Friday.

Gender-fluid is part of the trans umbrella where someone's gender is not fixed at any time into either masculine and feminine, or even androgyny. Carroll, who was born a boy, on some days identifies as a girl and at times as neither boy or girl.

"I would love to give the Leo Awards a ginormous thanks for making people under the trans umbrella feel more welcomed in the world," Carroll said in a statement. In Limina, Carroll plays Alessandra, an intuitive gender-fluid child on a journey of kindness to change the lives of fellow townspeople in a picturesque village.

Joshua M. Ferguson, a director and producer on Limina, and who identifies as a non-binary trans person, said the Leos were at the forefront of an entertainment industry striving for diversity. "Hopefully this decision will open up the important conversation at union levels, other awards, organizations and granting agencies across the country to strive for inclusivity in the industry when it comes to trans people and diversity," he said.

Limina, directed by Ferguson and Florian Halbedl, also stars Laura Mennell, Lorne Cardinal and Chelsey Reist.

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