Actor and model Indya Moore made history last weekend as the first openly transgender and nonbinary person to keynote at Essence Festival, the largest annual event celebrating Black culture and music in the United States. In the iconic words of Beyoncé upon becoming the first Black female headliner of Coachella, “Ain’t that ‘bout a bitch?!”
“I’m really honored to be here and share a little bit of my experience with y’all because I think so many of us don’t have an opportunity to meet and understand trans and queer people if they don’t show up as our family, if they don’t show up as our friends,” Moore said during their conversation on the Power Stage. Despite Essence‘s insistence that Moore is the festival’s first trans speaker, actress Amiyah Scott broke ground last year during a press room event with the cast of Fox’s Star. However, Moore is the first solo trans speaker to grace an Essence Fest stage.