Emmy-winning out actress, writer and producer Lena Waithe has attended the Met Gala while wearing a rainbow flag cape, representing the LGBTQ community.
On Monday night, dozens of A-list celebrities appeared on the red carpet at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for one of the world’s most high profile events. They wore an impressive pageant of costumes, marking this year’s theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”.
The outfits were elaborate and often theatrical, embracing the rich and historic iconography of the Catholic Church.
Waithe, however, took a somewhat simpler – but no less striking – approach. She donned a black suit and white top covered with a stunning rainbow coloured cape. It made a powerful statement against the Catholic Church’s still discriminatory and stigmatising stance towards LGBTQ people.
Homosexuality is officially condemned by the church as “acts of grave depravity”, as “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law”. The Vatican has actively campaigned against same-sex marriage and transgender acceptance around the world.
Waithe posted images on Instagram of herself in her colourful outfit at the event, calling it an “epic moment of defiance”. She also revealed that it had been created by fashion designer Carolina Herrera.
“The fact that Lena chose to walk this year’s Met Gala red carpet draped in a rainbow flag sends an important message of visibility and representation,” commented Teen Vogue. “She brought the LGBTQ community to the forefront within a theme that would otherwise exclude them.”
Last year, Waithe, who identifies as queer, won the Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Emmy award for an episode of the Netflix series Master of None. The episode was partially biographical and dealt with the main character’s sexuality and coming out to her family.
In her acceptance speech, Waithe not only thanked her “LGBQTIA family” but also her partner Alana Mayo, saying “I love you more than life itself.”
Waithe recently appeared in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film Ready Player One.