It was a queer night at the 2021 BET Awards ceremony, held in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 27. Queen Latifah seemed to finally put to rest rumours about her sexuality and Lil Nas X, caused a sensation with his fashion and performance at the awards ceremony. 

Lifetime Achievement Award & Coming Out

Actress and hip-hop superstar, Queen Latifah (real name, Dana Owens) 51, who has  long-dodged rumours regarding her sexuality, apparently came-out during the  ceremony with a low-key acknowledgement of her long-time partner, Eboni Nichols,  43 and their son Rebel. 

Taking the stage to accept her Lifetime Achievement Award, Latifah emotionally  acknowledged “Eboni, my love, Rebel, my love” and concluded by saying, “Peace –  Happy Pride.”  

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Nichols, a choreographer and Latifah have been romantically linked since 2013.  Neither had previously made any public announcements about the relationship,  despite reportedly getting engaged in 2017. 

In a 2008 interview with The New York Times, Latifah said she didn’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…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.” 

Montero & A Kiss

The show courted controversy when Lil Nas X, 22, who arrived at the ceremony in a  gown by designer Andrea Grossi, took to the stage in a sexually-charged performance  of his number-one hit Montero (Call Me By Your Name).

Nas X ended his  performance with a lingering kiss with a male backup dancer, which elicited cheers  from the crowd.

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He later expressed his surprise with the fevered discussion which  ensued, tweeting the song is “literally about gay sex. What y’all want me to do? Play  the piano while baking a cake?”  

The kiss made waves on social media with many praising Lil Nas X, although many  Conservatives were left aghast. In response, Nas X tweeted “Y’all really like to  pretend homosexuality didn’t exist in African culture.” Later he tweeted “I love who I  am.” and countered his critics by stating, “You’re right. I am insecure about my  sexuality. I still have a long way to go. I’ve never denied that. When you’re  conditioned by society to hate yourself your entire life, it takes a lot of unlearning.  Which is exactly why I do what I do.”  

Legendary rapper Diddy tweeted his support stating “Lil Nas X did that! Be  fearless!!!”

Here’s the video of his performance at the BET Awards.

 

Nas X, who came out publicly as gay in 2019, also made headlines for his recent  provocative performance on Saturday Night Live where a male dancer licked his neck  and a pole-dance routine ended with the seam of his pants splitting.

 

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