Each year, Entertainment Weekly celebrates Pride Month with a series of covers featuring a series of LGBTQ+ icons and storytellers. Last year, they worked to create an illustrated cover that encompassed that celebration while working with the restrictions of COVID. This year, however, they brought in four storytellers who are regarded as icons making “unforgettable Hollywood history.”
The four featured creatives, Lil Nas X, Lena Waithe, Mj Rodriguez and Bowen Yang all posed in various hues of vibrant and monochromatic outfits,exuding joy, love and confidence. Each has their own unique story of how they got to where they are today and how their past and present experiences have compelled them to take strong stances in the industry. Lena Waithe is very clear on her place in Hollywood and the power she holds:
“Like it or not, I’m not going anywhere,” she tells Tre’vell Anderson.
Similarly, Lil Nas X is saying “fuck you” to all of his haters and is standing his ground, letting us all know that he’s here to “prove [them] wrong.” From sleeping on his sister’s floor in Atlanta at 19 years old to being globally recognized for “Old Town Road,” Nas says the release of “Montero” came at a time when he wanted to give up, and the overwhelming support (coupled with some haters) has pushed him further into the stratosphere.
And let’s not forget that Mj Rodriguez is “claiming what’s hers.” The Pose star has become much-beloved for her portrayal of house mother Blanca on the groundbreaking series, which had a profound impact on viewers, and helped to usher in greater representation of trans actors on mainstream television.
Lil Nas X and Lena Waithe’s covers were shot by Texas Isiah, one of the first trans photographers to photograph a Vogue edition cover and one of this year’s The Glow Up 50 honorees. Nas, standing shirtless in high-waisted mint suit pants and dripping in a layered silver chain that I’m dying to get my hands on (news flash: that will never happen), exudes the power he is so openly working on creating in the industry, draped in a matching—in color—fur coat that ties it all together. Waithe poses in a magenta suit with a pale pink shirt underneath, accessorized in chunky gold and iced out rings that clearly say, “mess with me, I dare you.” And oooh, that slicked-back ‘do Rodriguez is sporting on her cover perfectly offsets a slinky, mirrored hardware dress, giving a combination of elegant and edgy with a smoky glittered eye that is absolute perfection. Her other look includes an orange dress with an open midsection that hints at what we’ll be seeing for Summer ‘21.
All of the Pride Month issues and accompanying interviews are available now on Entertainment Weekly.