Queen Latifah, receiving the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, was honored for her one-of-a-kind 35-year career as a rapper, performer, actress, and more. MC Lyte, Rapsody, Lil’ Kim and Monie Love performed together and thanked her for being their peer or paving the way for them.
But her closing remarks are drawing the most attention, after the star mentioned her longtime partner, Eboni Nichols, and their son, Rebel. She ended her speech by wishing viewers a “Happy Pride!”
Queen Latifah’s sexual orientation has been a nonstop source of gossip for years as the hit singer and actress has steadfastly refused to confirm or deny that she is a lesbian.
She has been quiet about her personal life and her reluctance to talk about her sexual orientation has frequently been compared to actors Jodie Foster and Kevin Spacey’s years-long non-denial denials. She would neither confirm nor deny that she is a lesbian.
In 2010, she was photographed embracing her then-rumored girlfriend on a yacht.
Next to her father, Queen Latifah remembered her mother while accepting the honor, who passed away in 2018.
“There is no way that I could have had the parents that I was born to – my father, my mother [who died in 2018], who is still so much in me – my family, I love you – my siblings. My best friends who ride or die with me whether my face is on the dirt or I’m flying in the skies – they know me. And they’re there for me.”
The star, who is notoriously private but has mentioned having a crush on another woman, expressed her love for her partner and their son. It’s the first public acknowledgment of an addition to her family since it was rumored to happen in 2018.
“I’m gonna get off this stage, but I thank you so much for all of you, the fans for supporting every crazy-ass thing I’ve done through the years. And thank you for making Equalizer No. 1. Eboni, my love. Rebel, my love. Peace. Happy Pride!”
“Queen Latifah expressing her love for her partner and wishing us all a happy Pride as she accepted her Lifetime Achievement Award tonight had me emotional,” McKensie Mack tweeted after the speech. “So many Black queer kids watching the show tonight are being so affirmed by our people”