Queen Latifah Walked the Met Carpet With Her Partner Eboni Nichols, It Matters

Feature image of Queen Latifah and Eboni Nichols at the 2024 Met Gala by Aliah Anderson/Getty Images

It was small, minor even. In all of the pageantry, hoopla, stunts and shows that come with the annual Met Gala — celebrities decked in haute couture, multiple costume changes, group chats and social media timelines rushing to outdo one another for jokes. But in the middle of all that, Queen Latifah walked the 2024 Met Gala Carpet with her longtime partner Eboni Nichols.

When I first saw it, well… I screamed a little. Ok, maybe I screamed more than a little. It’s not that we haven’t seen Queen and Eboni walk a red carpet together before, they walked the Oscars carpet together in 2022 and more recently they walked a different red carpet together for an AmFAR benefit in 2023. Queen first publicly acknowledged Eboni, and their son Rebel, from a BET stage by thanking them both as her “love” while accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award. But if you’re a queer person, and especially a Black queer person, who has been a part of this community at any point in the last 30 years, I also know that you get it.

This is the queen. And after rooting for her journey for so long, after she was a queer awakening for so many of us across so many years, every step forward feels lucky for us to even witness. Each one feels like a breath of fresh air.

I immediately posted my all caps emotions to Twitter because for better or for worse, I am chronically online. I thought it would do maybe a few hundred likes, a sign of love from some few other mutual fans. Again, on some level I intellectually know… we have been here before. But somehow still, the Met felt different. Walking the world’s most famous carpet, with every camera trained on you and your partner in matching black & white gowns, felt different. It ended up with over 45 thousand likes in a day. And that’s when I knew — I wasn’t alone.

I do not believe that Queen Latifah owes us Dana Owens. In 2008, after being arguably the most famous woman rapper for nearly two decades and an Oscar-nominated actress, Queen told The New York Times that when it came to her romantic life, “You don’t get that part of me. Sorry. We’re not discussing it… Nobody gets that.” And she’s absolutely correct. We are not owed hers (or anyone’s) coming out. We are not owed anything beyond what she’s left for us on stage and screen.

But it’s also hard not to feel this as a homecoming. And I hope that if Queen sees this joy spreading across the internet as pictures of her and Eboni go viral, that she knows it’s meant with pride in her, and gratitude for all that she already gave us. Everything else is a mere bonus.

I have loved Queen Latifah since I was eight years old. I’ve loved her longer than I’ve known I was gay. In so many ways, she taught me a lot about strength, and independence, and loving other Black women, not taking any shit, and womanhood. So it’s impossible, now, for me not to gush when Emma Chamberlin interviewed Queen and Eboni together on the carpet and asked, “Is this a date night?”

Queen takes a breath and smiles before teasingly calling Eboni “Eb.” Eboni fills in their banter and says that she playfully threatened Queen that this was the year they were doing the Met, and she better make it happen. Like an old married couple who’s been here a thousand times before, Queen Latifah picks up the story from there, saying that she wanted to be “the hero of my household.” And so now, here they are.

This is Queen Latifah… being flirtatious and chivalrous to her partner, live and in front of cameras? I am on my knees. We used to dream for days like this!!

(No, literally. Do you know many times I have wished I could be silly and thirsty and overdramatic on the internet for this particular love story??? To even be able make a joke like “I’m on my knees” in same that’s usually reserved for an umpteenth number of white skinny lesbians in their 20s and 30s. To borrow from even more internet speak: I cry 😭)

I think a lot about what it means to be Black and a lesbian or bisexual or queer and a woman over a certain age. In part, I think about it because of this job (writing about gay people on the internet), but also it’s because of this job that I know so many of the queer icons I grew up loving — for whatever their reason, they’ve never felt like they could come out. Not fully. Not in such a way that we can openly write about them and proclaim them out loud.

There are a lot of days where, to be honest, that it doesn’t matter. Everyone, celebrities included, is entitled to their own life story. It’s truly, really, probably none of our business. But Queen Latifah did an interview with her longtime partner and now I get to all caps yell SHUT UP YALL, THEY ARE SO CUTE and they are and it’s perfect. Sometimes, that matters too.

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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 714 articles for us.


  1. Carmen, i love the way you write about our Queen. i can only hope that one day she and her team see the way that you publicly love her and you get to love her face to face (and maybe write about it!)

  2. Carmen, I am so touched. This is the very heart of Pride. What seemed to me an awkward and a bit stilted interview transformed into a soft moment of Black Pride and immense thankfulness for the courage that have brought us here. I’m making this article my family’s Pride Theme for this June. I am seriously so touched. Thank you again.

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