The 2018 Met Gala’s Best Lesbian, Bi, and Queer Looks

In the fashion industry, the first Monday in May is its own kind of holiday. 

The Met Gala (formerly known as the The Costume Institute Gala, and informally known to me as “your favorite celebrity’s favorite red carpet”) is a fundraiser, co-sponsored by Anna Wintour and Vogue, supporting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Costume Institute in New York City. It’s also the soft launch of the Metropolitan Museum’s annual summer fashion exhibit. An unabashed love letter to the craft and art of fashion, the night’s red carpet is more iconic than the gala itself. 

Designers invite celebrities as their guests to wear masterfully constructed, and often avant-garde, “costumes” based on a central theme. This year’s theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” gave a me a bit of pause. Little did I know that 20GayTeen would once again work it’s magic when I least expected it!

Eleven out queer women and non-binary folks walked the carpet last night, more than any previous record.  We have all of those looks for you here! We also included a few special extras that we didn’t want you to miss.

Grab a quick mid-afternoon lemonade and enjoy! 

The Best Lesbian, Bi, and Queer Looks

Lena Waithe, in a custom Carolina Hererra.

Is there anyone else we would have started with? As a black masculine-of-center lesbian, Lena Waithe was already going to make an impact in her Met Gala debut just for walking the carpet in her signature well tailored suit and perfectly beat face. She took it further. She made sure that we were in the room, and that everyone would know it. Lena always puts her community on her back, this time literally, and we can’t help but love those who are out there loving us so openly.

To really take in the weight of this costume choice, we can’t forget that the theme of last night’s gala — “Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. It was criticized by many for being insensitive to the history of the church’s relationship with homophobia, sexual abuse, and racism. Lena turned her red carpet moment into a statement of defiant pride, solidarity, and visibility.

A real life black lesbian superhero.

Seriously, what did we do to deserve her? What a time to be alive. Waithe also took time on the carpet to talk with Vogue about the significance of her fashion choice, including the decision to include black and brown (representing people of color) with the Pride flag rainbow.

Janelle Monáe, in Marc Jacobs with Jennifer Fisher Jewelry.

Janelle Monáe returned to her iconic black & white aesthetic, using the gold brim of her hat to play on the event’s theme — it’s meant to cast a “halo” framing her face. It’s been a while since Monáe brought back the black & white uniform of her early career, but as she reminded Vanity Fair last night, “My black and white is meant to honor my working-class parents. My mother was a janitor, both my fathers, my biological father and my stepfather, were custodians, sanitation workers, post-office workers.” They wore uniforms everyday. It wasn’t about what they were wearing, but who they were.

Miley Cyrus, in Stella McCartney.

Miley, along with Autostraddle “Vapid Fluff” regular Paris Jackson and Stella McCartney, who dressed both women, talked about the future possibilities of sustainable fashion and the environment.

Amber Heard, in Carolina Herrera.

Stella Maxwell, in Moschino.

Sadly, she left KStew at home.

Ruby Rose, in Tommy Hilfiger with Judith Leiber Accessories.

Oh and Ruby left a ‘lil message for ya on their Instagram ?

Yeah they will.

Cara Delevingne, in Dior Haute Couture.

No pictures of Cara with her alleged girlfriend Paris Jackson on the carpet last night, but you know, a girl can dream.

Kiersey Clemons, in a custom H&M.

Did we mention that out actress Kiersey Clemons has a new gay movie coming out? It’s called Hearts Beat Loud and its going to have a limited release this summer. Be on the lookout for it!

Sasha Lane, in Tory Burch.

Speaking of young actresses to be on the lookout for, check out this bi actress and future star of the film adaption to the lesbian cult classic The Miseducation of Cameron Post. 20GayTeen is going to be her year!

Evan Rachel Wood, in a custom Altuzarra.

Evan Rachel WOULD, indeed.

Sarah Paulson, in Prada with Tiffany & Co. Jewelry.

An icon.

Even More Looks From Favs That We Didn’t Want You To Miss!

Tessa Thompson, in Thom Browne with Tiffany & Co. Jewelry.

In her MET GALA DEBUT!!!! Come thru Tessa!!! I am so ready for your astronomical rise ?? ?? ??

Lynda Carter, in Zac Posen.

Wonder Woman!!!!! Fresh out of Themyscira and into our hearts.

Rihanna, in Maison Margiela.

I went to Catholic high school, and I can 100% promise you I would have paid more attention if these pictures had been in our religion textbooks.

Damn Rih. You want to see that outfit in motion, don’t you? Well, if you watch one video from last night, let it be this one from Rihanna and Vogue.

Paris Jackson, in Stella McCartney.

Solange Knowles, in Iris van Herpen.

The night before the Met Gala, Solange uploaded three potential outfits from her Twitter followers to choose from. She picked this, a clever take on an hip hop angel (notice how the bottom of the outfit invokes a famous Missy Elliott aesthetic), because as one of her followers put it, “God Loves Durags.”

Cardi B, in Moschino.

Cardi B as a pregnant Madonna is what I need in my life.

Zendaya, in a custom Versace with Tiffany & Co. Jewelry.

Zendaya pulled her inspiration from Joan of Arc, the unofficial Catholic saint of tomboy lesbians everywhere.

Frances McDormand, in Valentino.

Stay weird. Do you.

Ashley Graham, in Prabal Gurung.

For all of its moves towards inclusivity in recent years, the Met Gala is severely lacking when it comes to body diversity. At least Ashley Graham was there to represent — and damn does she look great! Still, it’s far from being enough. As we take in all the drama and beauty, let’s also keep pushing for more of us to be seen each year.

Did you have any favorite Met looks from 2018? Are you already custom ordering your Pride Cape for all your summer gay needs? Let us know in the comments!

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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 711 articles for us.


  1. I DO HAVE A FAVORITE LOOK it is Chadwick Boseman can’t believe he wasn’t included it was amazing. I’m indignant he wasn’t included because I don’t know how to put images in the comments :) Anyway he looked amazing.

  2. Sorry Hayley Kiyoko fans, but after this, Lena Waithe is my own personal Lesbian Jesus. ?

    Also does this mean Janelle Monáe can be Bi Jesus? ‘Cause she sure dazzles the bijesus out of me…

    • Oh man, I SPECIFICALLY went looking for ERWB yesterday and couldn’t find her red carpet photos anywhere. I assumed she skipped the event! Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I’ve updated the post.

  3. As an LGBTQ Jew the theme of the night bothered me a little after all the shit the Catholic Church has done. But, then saw Lynda Carter’s outfit and felt a little better. You missed the back part of the crown. And the front in Hebrew says Never Forget. As far as I can tell she’s not even Jewish, just a great ally to Jewish and LGBTQ community.

    • I was just coming down here to say this! Thank you Lynda Carter. This stuff matters.

    • So more about Lynda Carter’s outfit. Her husband and kids are Jewish, her earrings are in
      the shape of a Kabbalah tree, her bag was designed by a Holocaust survivor, and her dress was designed by Gay Jewish designer Zach Posen. Please can you at least add the part about her bag and dress since it’s making a statement at a Catholic themed event.

  4. It makes me angry that Ashley Graham (who honestly just looks like an regular sized person) is what we get as far as body diversity goes.

    Lena Waithe is the hero we deserve.

  5. Where can I get Lena Waithe’s cape? I think this question ties in perfectly with Laneia’s link to that article about clothes for hosting house parties. As in, if I was in my house wearing that cape, you’d better believe every damn day would be a party.

    Make it so, World!

  6. I think Grimes is genderqueer and also apparently dating Elon Musk now, weird.

  7. i am beside myself about sexy pope rihanna. where can i sign up for that religion please and thank you.

  8. Love love love Lena Waithe!

    Is Kiersey Clemons definitely out? I got that vibe from her and some of her posts seemed to imply it but I wasn’t sure. Also, isn’t Sasha Lane gay as opposed to bi?

    • Hi C!

      Yes, Kiersey Clemons is officially out! I don’t think she had a major “coming out” moment, but her PR team confirmed she’s a lesbian. Always happy to have another member of the club!

      According to her Wikipedia page, Sasha Lane officially identifies as bisexual. She did use gay to refer to herself once during her Cameron Post press tour, but I think sometimes LGBT folks just use “gay” as a shorthand for “I’m not straight”, you know? Or at least I know I do that sometimes.


    and, yes, grimes is dating elon musk now and it’s so gross

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