In the new Out magazine, Lil Nas X (whose real name is Montero) opened up about his tough upbringing in the South as a young gay Black man and much more.
He told Tre’vell Anderson,
“I named the album after myself because there are a lot of things I’ve been going through and dealing with and wanting to say. I wanted to let sides of myself show that I’ve been afraid of people seeing for so long.
“Growing up in the Atlanta area, I [saw] a lot of microaggressions towards homosexuality.
Little things like going into an IHOP and hearing one of your family members say ‘look at those faggots’ to two people eating or even just a small [statement like] ‘boys don’t cry.’
Little shit like living in the hood, not being super into sports, and then having to go outside and pretend that I was.”
“[I remember] pushing that part of myself in more and more, almost convincing myself that it’s not even actually there.
Growing up, I didn’t realize it, but I’ve always been kind of my own hand on my own shoulder.
I had to lift myself up when I was down, from fucking 9 years old, because I don’t feel like me and my dad ever had a super emotional connection after he got custody of me and my brother, and I didn’t really get that with my mom and my siblings.”
He talked more about being out and black in the rap biz, which isn’t known for its acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
“Mentally, it’s really draining and straining sometimes…
The pressure of living your entire life knowing the identity of what a rapper is supposed to be, what rappers [are supposed to] do, and going out there in front of all these people, it’s terrifying.
And [people always say] go where you’re accepted and stuff like that, but you can’t always just go where you’re accepted. You’ve got to go and break down those walls and say,
‘This is my space now too.’”
He also spoke in more detail about his performance at the BET Awards and brings up a recent viral video of a Black boy being abused by family members, including having the word “gay” shaved into the side of his head.
“It takes you back in time, watching somebody else’s experience
I was in rehearsals like, ‘Oh, my God. I have to do my absolute fucking best with this performance because of shit like this.’”
These revelations come on the heels of a series of anti-gay comments following the release of his music video for Industry Baby, his latest single that features Jack Harlow.
The video which shows Nas X dancing naked in prison caused a HUGE backlash of negative and anti-gay comments on Twitter, with some accusing him of “pushing the gay agenda.” Of course, he clapped back in THE most direct way.
He called out one commenter saying,
“you view femininity as weakness.
you don’t like gay black men because you are afraid of black men, as a whole, being viewed as weak. you cling on to your masculinity because without it you have nothing else going for yourself.“
the truth is there is no attack. you view femininity as weakness. you don’t like gay black men because you are afraid of black men, as a whole, being viewed as weak. you cling on to your masculinity because without it you have nothing else going for yourself. https://t.co/JQcwf0RrSR— nope 👶🏾 (@LilNasX) July 24, 2021
But he’s not pretending to be super-human either, saying,
“I won’t pretend like I’m never sad or anything,
I’ve had a bunch of hard times this past week, after that performance and before the performance. But for me, that’s life, and one thing I 100 percent never do when I’m in these down moments is go to social media with them.
Because I know that they’re going to pass, and what a lot of people like to do is use that against you.”
And at 22 (he was born in ’99!) he’s smart enough to know this the beginning of the long journey ahead.
“I’m still not my full self, but that fear of the people around you that you’re the closest to and loving the most not understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing, that’s something we just have to let go of.
All of this is in pursuit of becoming my full self, more and more.”