The rainbow cape that queer black actress Lena Waithe wore Monday to the Met gala in New York included black and brown stripes, mirroring the pride flag in Philadelphia, which last year became the first city to add black and brown stripes atop its pride flag to represent LGBT people of color.
Philadelphia LGBT Affairs Director Amber Hikes, a queer black woman who made the decision to add the stripes, lauded Waithe’s outfit on Facebook. (The brown stripe on Philadelphia’s flag appears in a slightly different order than on Waithe’s cape, but the design is similar).
Our More Color more pride flag has made it to the red carpet at the Met Gala, friends. Never in my life did I think a…
“We got the black and brown, you know,” Waithe, co-writer of the Netflix show “Master of None,” said Monday. “I’m repping my community. And I want everybody to know that you can be whoever you are and be completely proud.”
Waithe shared a similar message last year when she became the first black woman to win an Emmy award for comedy writing. She told the LGBT community, “I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers.”
Waithe last month attended an LGBT event at Rutgers University, where she wore a pride pin with the black and brown stripes. Hikes’ office tweeted a photo and gave a shout-out to Waithe.
— Philly Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs (@PhillyLGBTgov) April 3, 2018
“She’s very well aware of the flag,” Hikes said, though her office hadn’t known about the cape until they saw it Monday. “It totally blew us away. It’s totally surreal.”
Philly’s decision to add black and brown stripes to its pride flag last June came as the city grappled with racism in the Gayborhood, where bars were ordered to undergo anti-bias training. Black patrons reported having to show multiple IDs to gain entry and bouncers turning them away for wearing sweatpants or Timberland boots. ICandy owner Darryl DePiano was also caught on video saying the N-word.
The new pride flag led some white people to question whether there should be a white stripe, but many others welcomed the change. Hikes said last year she had received calls from officials in Los Angeles, New York City and Atlanta who wanted to use the flag.
At Monday’s event, a benefit gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute where the theme was the influence of Catholicism on fashion, Waithe’s cape stood out as one of the few colorful outfits. It was designed by Wes Gordon.
Heard y’all were looking for me? pic.twitter.com/1o49tCltGg
— Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) May 8, 2018
This article includes information from the Associated Press.