The Met Gala is fashion's biggest night — and along with the sparkling gowns and political statements, several openly LGBTQ+ celebrities made sure to include nods to the history of the gay community and honor its trailblazers.
We've rounded up our favorite looks that the stars said were inspired by LGBTQ+ figures or culture.
Nikkie de Jager
Makeup maven Nikkie de Jager (aka NikkiTutorials) paid homage to LGBTQ+ rights icon Marsha P. Johnson, who was one of the most prominent features in the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, seen as a turning point for gay rights in the United States.
Jager wore a headpiece that resembled a flower crown Johnson was famously photographed wearing and a belt that said "Pay it no mind," which was how Johnson reportedly responded to questions about her gender. Jager came out as transgender in 2020.
"When I got asked to join the Met Gala(!!!!!) I knew I wanted to pay homage to a trans icon who was at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots… Marsha P. Johnson paved the way for so many of us, and I hope I made my community proud," wrote Jager on Twitter, alongside photos of her Met Gala look and a photo of Johnson.
"Dear Evan Hansen" star Ben Platt, 27, said on the red carpet that his "very American" denim-on-denim outfit, created by queer designer Christian Cowan, was meant to represent a "gay cowboy dream" with notes of Studio 54, the famous '70s club.
Nonbinary actor Amandla Stenberg, who uses both she/her and they/them pronouns, appeared at the Met Gala in a dramatic black-and-white look by Thom Browne.
The actor, who will appear alongside Platt in "Dear Evan Hansen," told Dazed that they took inspiration from LGBTQ+ history and her childhood growing up in South Los Angeles, California.
"The whole look is quite jaunty," Stenberg told Dazed. "We wanted to do something that was quite cheeky, quite burlesque even. The references that we talked about going into it mostly came from the ballroom scene. When I heard the theme was American fashion, it felt important to me to encapsulate the people I think are responsible for that — basically, queer people and Black people."
Elliot Page, who came out as transgender in late 2020, appeared on the red carpet in a black-and-white Balenciaga suit. Many were thrilled with how happy Page looked in the outfit, noting that this was Page's first major event since announcing his transition.
Page, who uses both he/him and they/them pronouns, also wore a lime-green carnation on the suit. Many theorized that the boutonniere was a tie to Irish poet Oscar Wilde, who was imprisoned for homosexuality in 1895. In 1892, Wilde instructed a handful of friends to wear green carnations on their lapels for the opening night of his newest play, and according to the academic site JStor, the flower soon became a "secret, subtle hint that you were a man who loved other men."
Soccer star and Olympic medalist Megan Rapinoe, who is engaged to fellow Olympian Sue Bird, made a simple statement with her clutch purse at the Met Gala: It read "America" on one side and "In gay we trust" on the other. Her red, white and blue ensemble was designed by Sergio Hudson.
"Schitt's Creek" star Dan Levy wore a colorful, puff-sleeved outfit covered in patterns containing maps. Across his chest was an image of two men kissing. On Instagram, Levy, 38, said that the outfit had been designed with the support of the estate of American artist and activist David Wojnarovicz.
"With support from the estate of American multimedia artist and LGBTQIA+ activist, David Wojnarovicz (1954-1992), (designer J.W. Anderson) and the design team built upon an image of two men kissing from Wojnarovicz’s work, F--- You F----- F-----, named after a homophobic cartoon the artist had come across," Levy wrote.
"But rather than feed on the message of hate, we wanted to celebrate queer love and visibility — acknowledging how hard artists like Wojnarovicz had to fight, while also presenting the imagery in a way that offered a hopeful message,” he wrote. “Tonight, we’re celebrating the resilience, the love and the joy of the community while honoring a crucial American voice that was taken from us too soon.”
On social media, designer Anderson said that the outfit was meant to look like "what a 'gay superhero' might wear."