Sarah Paulson thought about not thanking her girlfriend at the Emmys. She's glad she did.

Sarah Paulson was a standout at the 2016 Emmys.

Her roles in "American Horror Story" and "The People v. O.J. Simpson" had fans and critics alike rooting for the actress long before she even hit the red carpet.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.


She ended up snagging Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for her role in the Simpson crime anthology.

As she stood on stage, Paulson publicly apologized to the real life person she portrayed on screen, Marcia Clark — the head prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

"The more I learned about the real Marcia Clark, not the two-dimensional cardboard cutout I saw on the news, but the complicated, whip-smart, giant-hearted mother of two, who woke up every day, put both feet on the floor and dedicated herself to righting an unconscionable wrong," Paulson said in her speech. "The more I had to recognize that I, along with the rest of the world, had been superficial and careless in my judgment."

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

The apology made waves across the internet for days.

But it was a different, less reported line in Paulson's speech that the actress said she was unsure about: Should she thank her girlfriend?

"Holland Taylor," she said, concluding her speech by addressing her partner. "I love you."

It was just one sentence, but it made a difference.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Paulson opened up about the double standard in straight relationships and queer ones when it comes to public affection and visibility in Hollywood, and why she wouldn't let it deter her from living honestly (emphasis added):

"In terms of my speech, I wanted to say I love you to the person I love. Everyone else does it, so should I not do it because the person I love is a woman? And so I thought, you know what? I’m just gonna do it. I wasn’t worried over it. It was a flashing thought — ‘should I do it?’ And I thought to myself, ‘The fact that I am having this thought is wrong in the first place.’ The idea that I would have to take a moment before I say this to consider what impact it might have that could be negative is an asinine thing to engage with mentally, and I refuse to do it. So I just said what I wanted to say."

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

Paulson's win was celebrated as one of several big moments for LGBTQ women at the Emmys this year.

Openly queer Jill Soloway, the creator of "Transparent," won Best Directing for a Comedy Series — "Topple the patriarchy!" she yelled gleefully from the stage during her speech — while "Saturday Night Live" star Kate McKinnon, the series' first openly lesbian cast member, snagged Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Laverne Cox, who became the first transgender artist to be nominated in an acting category last year, also presented the award for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special.

"Thank you, Ellen DeGeneres, thank you, Hillary Clinton," McKinnon said as a nod to two big names she's impersonated (flawlessly) on her rise to stardom, as the audience laughed.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Don't let the 2016 Emmys fool you, though. TV still has a ways to go before LGBTQ actors and characters are depicted fairly on screen.

Although progress has been made, there's still not enough quality representation in primetime programming — especially for transgender characters, women, and people of color, as the 2015 GLAAD "Where We Are On TV" report found.

What's more, when LGBTQ characters are included, they too often fall into dangerous tropes that perpetuate negative stereotypes. Hollywood also has a tendency to kill off LGBTQ characters or avoid giving them happy endings: "bury your gays," as it's been coined throughout the years.

Too often, queer characters are written more like props — not as complex, real people.  

The only recurring LGBTQ character on TV who's HIV-positive is portrayed by Conrad Ricamora (left) in "How to Get Away with Murder," the 2015 GLAAD report found. Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Point Foundation.

Media representation matters because if and how we see ourselves in the world around us (including on our TV screens) helps shape our own self perceptions in big ways.

Paulson understands no one Emmy win or captivating speech can shift an industry overnight.

"It’s a complicated thing to talk about," Paulson said when asked about how her speech plays into the bigger theme of trailblazing LGBTQ women. "The issues this raises are big and important. I don’t want to give superficial answers."

But — thanks in part to actresses like Paulson, McKinnon, and Cox — more girls and young women can see themselves in their favorite TV series and the Emmy speeches that make history. And that's big.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

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WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

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First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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