Between Olivia Rodrigo breaking a camera lens (and the internet), that Megan Fox dress and Doja Cat’s gig as emcee extraordinaire, the 2021 VMAs had no shortage of noteworthy moments. Known for its history of controversial happenings and over-the-top performances, this year’s show also saw more LGBTQIA+ representation from artists like Lil Nas X and Kim Petras—and here are our favourite queer moments from the night.
1. Billy Porter introduces Lil Nas X
There’s something to be said about Billy Porter introducing Lil Nas X’s performance in true Pray Tell fashion—both openly gay, black artists. As Porter reminisces a time where “black boy joy” was not embraced by the masses, we can’t help but realise how far we’ve come, and how far more we still have to go.
2. Lil Nas X thanks The Gay Agenda™️
“First I wanna say thank you to the gay agenda, let’s go gay agenda!” Lil Nas X cheerily opened his acceptance speech for VMA Video of the Year with big let’s go lesbians energy. With album ‘MONTERO’ set to drop this Friday (September 17th), we think the gay agenda is in good hands.
3. Normani brings the heat with Teyana Taylor
This was the moment of the night. When Teyana Taylor was first wheeled onto the stage, the pieces started falling into place. The metallic silver outfits. The St. Andrews cross. Paying homage to Aaliyah and Janet Jackson respectively, Normani constantly ups the bar with the way she incorporates her references, and this one was one for the books for sure.
4. The Fashions
The Aaliyah tribute and BDSM associations didn’t end there. On the red carpet, Youtuber Bretman Rock wore a Roberto Cavalli piece worn 21 years ago by Aaliyah—at the 2000 VMAs. This year of course marks the 20th Anniversary of the singer’s death, and saw her music catalog finally being put on streaming services.
Kim Petras, on the other hand, wore a Richard Quinn piece with a face covering as she pulled up to the red carpet accompanied by none other than Paris Hilton. Equal parts fetish and Fabergé egg, Petras also took to the stage to perform her song ‘Future is Now’ later in the night.