Music

Queen Latifah salutes LGBT+ Pride and proclaims ‘Black is beautiful’ in emotional BET Awards speech

Matilda Davies June 28, 2021
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Queen Latifah BET Awards

Queen Latifah has long been a fierce supporter of the LGBT+ community, although she has never confirmed whether she herself identifies as LGBT+. (YouTube/BETNetworks)

Queen Latifah gave a special shout-out to the LGBT+ community as she accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards.

The rapper and actor ended her emotional speech holding up the peace sign, and wishing viewers a “happy Pride”.

She used the majority of the speech to thank God, her mother, BET and her rap “sisters”, and to highlight the beauty of the Black community.

The Grammy-winner credited BET for “creating an outlet for beautiful Blackness to thrive, to shine when we couldn’t get played on the radio… [and] allowed us to be in our fullness”.

In an impassioned message to the audience, she said: “Be Black, Black is beautiful. I’ve always celebrated the woman because I was raised by a strong Black woman.”

Among the list of people she thanked in her speech was dancer and choreographer Eboni Nichols.

Despite her superstardom, Queen Latifah has always been extremely private about her personal life, and has never spoken about her sexuality despite rumours she is queer.

She previously told the New York Times: “I don’t have a problem discussing the topic of somebody being gay, but I do have a problem discussing my personal life.

“You don’t get that part of me. Sorry. We’re not discussing it in our meetings. I don’t feel like I need to share my personal life, and I don’t care if people think I’m gay or not. Assume whatever you want. You do it anyway.”

The BET Awards had a number of joyous queer moments this year, including Lil Nas X giving us a jaw-dropping performance of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” which saw him share a passionate kiss with one of his dancers.

Related topics: Queen Latifah

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