Last September, Lena Waithe gave one of the all-time best Emmy speeches. I remember pausing the show right after Lena’s speech and transcribing every word she said to accept her Emmy as the first black woman to win for comedy writing on a note in my phone. That note is still in my phone and as soon as I saw Lena’s Met Gala cape, I went straight back to these words from Emmy night:
“… last but certainly not least, my LGBTQIA family. I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”
At this year’s Met, when the theme was "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," Lena’s cape was not imaginary. It was real. It was loud. It was PROUD. It said, “I see each and every one of you” to the LGBTQ kids sitting in Catholic school wondering if their lives are a sin. We know that the Catholic church historically does not have a good track record with acceptance when it comes to the LGBTQ community, especially before Pope Francis. They’re still holding on to their bigoted bullsh-t. I went to Catholic school. I KNOW. On a night where most people wore variations of halos, crosses and other Christian-centric religious accessories, Lena Waithe reminded the world that it would be a lot less beautiful if she weren’t in it. She said, hey, while you’re all celebrating this religion that has oppressed my people for centuries, remember that we do exist. That was Lena Waithe’s statement.
Lena Waith’s Met Gala appearance proves that you can engage in social commentary without sacrificing fashion. Lena looks INCREDIBLE. The suit fits impeccably and that cape falls in exactly the right spots. Her hair and makeup are ridiculous, in the best way. Lena Waithe took us to church looking like a lesbian superhero draped in a pride flag. She DID THAT. In the above speech, Lena referred to herself as a “little queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago.” What an amazing origin story for our hero to now be that beacon of hope for little queer girls everywhere.
Lena’s suit and cape are custom Carolina Herrera.