The 2021 Met Gala was packed with celebrities making impassioned fashion statements and YouTuber NikkieTutorials, aka Nikkie de Jager, took the opportunity to pay tribute to one of the most iconic figures in LGBTQ+ history: transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson. Nikkie’s turquoise tulle gown, courtesy of Edwin Oudshoorn Couture, was embellished with pink, red, and yellow flowers that beautifully matched her golden headpieces brimming with handmade silk flowers, a nod to Marsha’s signature flower crown. Further down, the dress, styled by Marja Bennenbroek and Brandon M. Garr, was pinned with a large teal and gold bow embroidered with the words “Pay It No Mind,” the meaning behind Marsha’s middle initial and her typical response to questions about her gender.
“Marsha P. Johnson paved the way for so many of us, and I hope I made my community proud tonight.”
“PAY IT NO MIND,” Nikkie captioned an Instagram post on Sept. 13. “When I got asked to join the Met Gala(!!!!!) I knew I wanted to pay homage to a trans icon who was at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots . . . Marsha P. Johnson paved the way for so many of us, and I hope I made my community proud tonight 🥺 this night has been so incredibly surreal . . . I can’t wait to tell you EVERYTHING!!!!!! 💕 WE DID IT GUYS!!!!!!!!”
A vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, Marsha was a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969 and a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front. On Jan. 13, 2020, Nikkie posted a 17-minute-long video to her YouTube channel titled “I’m Coming Out,” in which she came out as transgender and opened up about her personal journey with her gender and sexuality. “I can’t believe I’m saying this today to all of you for the entire world to see, but damn, it feels good to finally do it,” she said in the video, which now has over 37 million views. “It is time to let go and be truly free.”
Decades later, Marsha’s legacy lives on, and influencers like Nikkie continue to inspire a new generation of queer youth. Take a closer look at her stunning tulle gown and “Pay It No Mind” bow from all angles ahead.