Lil Nas X Made Us Have a Whole National Conversation About the Damage Religion Does To Gay Kids #CallMeByYourName ✊🏿🏳️‍🌈💯🏹

Lil Nas X said let’s talk about it and now everyone is. Since the release of “Montero: Call Me By Your Name” he has drawn ire from conservatives, Nike, and Christians alike for the Satanic imagery and his rejection of what the church has done to kids like him. Nas wrote on Twitter Saturday:”I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because I was gay. so I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”

Nas is a master at social media, particularly in trolling, like this Tweet from Friday: “Y’all saying a gay nigga twerking on a cgi satan is the end of times like slavery and the holocaust didn’t happen.”

According to a release, “Montero” is Nas X’s most revealing musical offering to date, produced by Take a DayTrip, Omer Fedi, and Roy Enzo. It tells the story of who Montero has become — Montero is Nas X’s legal name. “Dear 14 year old Montero,” he wrote in a note to himself on Instagram posted alongside the new project. “I wrote a song with our name in it. It’s about a guy I met last summer. I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.”

 

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The video itself was imagined by the young performer with heavy nods to Greek mythology as well as biblical references, opening in the Garden of Eden. Here, we find Nas as Adam and then also as the snake. He tempts himself, with the snake pushing Adam to the ground and licking his body.

 

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Gus Kenworthy is a fan responding to Nas’ Instagram post: Whatever you want, Gus!

 

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In another scene, Nas is about to be executed in the Coliseum, again surrounding with versions of himself both in stone version and with wigs piled high. When he is finally executed, after a slight rise, seemingly to heaven, he finds himself falling, then spinning down a stripper pole that leads to hell. There, he seduces the devil with a lap dance, if we are putting it simply. According to a release he “harnesses his sexuality,” to strip the devil “of his power as an evil force — and dismantling the throne of judgment and punishment that has kept many of us from embracing our true selves out of fear.”

“You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda,” he continued in his letter to his teenaged self on Instagram. “But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the fuck out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be. Sending you love from the future.”
Michelle Keenah, the global health hot girl scholar & writer (in theory), a lover of love, Black women and the Netflix romcom Industrial Complex wrote about the conversation happening around Nas and the video, saying: “I feel like the most frustrating part of this whole lil nas x convo has been the centering of Christians and their feelings instead of the very real pain and hurt that queer Black people have experienced in the church.”

She continues: “Like… this is not even about you? it’s not about how you feel or the perceived disrespect, it’s about queer people and how their identities have been incessantly dissected, dismissed and condemned in the name of Jesus.” And concluding: “Queer ppl are literally saying “this is how your beliefs and practices have traumatised me. this is how i’ve chosen to deal with it” and yet christians have made this ENTIRE conversation about disrespect and the end times. instead of listening in love and being moved to do better.”

“By joyously putting his queerness at the forefront with “Montero,” he seems to have found a new height of personal expression, love, and confidence. It’s an affirmation we can all celebrate.” Marke Bieschke, Publisher, 48 Hills.

Out Magazine said: “Many of [Nas’] critics have pointed to the popularity of “Old Town Road” with children as to why it was wrong that he now do something more adult. To be clear, as Nas X points out, the song included some extremely adult content. In addition, over the past few months, the performer’s content as been increasingly adult. He talked about bottoming in “Holiday” while kissing himself in a promotional image, he asked “where the dick at” in another clip of a song, and then in the lead in to “Montero” he recreated some Michelangelo nudes.  If you don’t want your children listening to Lil Nas X … maybe just tell them to not?”

Nas admitted to feeling the pressure saying “I’ll be honest all this backlash is putting an emotional toll on me. i try to cover it with humor but it’s getting hard. My anxiety is higher than ever…” but ever the pitch man added, “and stream call me by your name on all platforms now!”

Nas has even entered a direct conversation with God into the mix.

Dr. Allison Berkowitz wrote: I’m grateful for  @LilNasX’s video. Yes, there’s drama, but more importantly, there’s allusion to the real experiences of him and countless others (rejection, depression, even suicide). It’s going to make people feel less alone, which is wonderful.”

Nas expressed dismay at Christians who are seemingly fine with mass shootings but gathering in churches to protest/pray for him.

Comedian/Writer Yassir Lester said: “The Lil Nas X hate is rooted in homophobia and that’s it. Full stop. There’s literally a group called Three 6 Mafia. Bone Thugs N Harmony had demonic skits on their album. DMX played with satanic imagery and lyrics (also with prayers). People are mad that Nas X is gay. The end.”

And writer Timothy DuWhite wrote on Facebook: Kei Swift with the rap facts!

Kei Swift with the rap facts!

Posted by Timothy DuWhite on Monday, March 29, 2021

48 Hills said: As if in perfectly timed response to the Vatican hating on gays again—the Pope approved a statement earlier this month that same-sex marriage is still a “sin,” surprisepop’s queer czar Lil Nas X released the three-minute “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video over the weekend, a sensation-causing, special-effects overload full of subverted religious imagery that culminates in a sensuous gay lap-dance for Satan. Oh, and there is also a “Satan Shoe” tie-in made from appropriated Nikes, containing human blood.

@lilnasx????♬ MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) – Lil Nas X

But not all of us have shaken off the shackles of religious oppression, or found a way to live with them. The Pope’s anti-gay words can cause real damage. A friend who works for a suicide hotline said that the phones light up after statements like the Vatican’s, with young people feeling worthless and trapped in their homes. The repurposing of religious imagery may be considered a healing act.

And in context, it’s astonishing: Here is one of the biggest young pop stars in the world, with an unfathomable global platform, doing a fabulous pole dance in hell while sporting thigh high patent leather boots and fuchsia braids. As LGBTQ commentator Leo Herrera pointed out, “The Satan lap dance is going to mean the same for little gay boys today as the hallway walk in ‘Justify My Love‘ did for us”—or for my generation, when Frankie said “Relax” on the radio and Boy George thanked the Grammys for honoring a drag queen.

@lilnasx♬ CALL ME BY YOUR NAME BY LIL NAS X – not lil nas x

The “Montero” video and song are the most uninhibited public celebration of sexuality since “WAP”—it’s “QAP,” if you will—although Lil Nas X infuses it with more pathos than the uproar suggests (more on that in a minute). And, yes, it immediately attracted the intended controversy, which Lil Nas X delightfully stoked. As everyone from crotchety wannabe-pundit Candace Owens to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem clutched their pearls about the Lord and the children, Lil Nas X expertly and joyously batted back about hypocrisy and bad parenting, exposing just how far the country has slipped back into conservative religious clutches over the past few years.

@lilnasx♬ CALL ME BY YOUR NAME BY LIL NAS X – not lil nas x

His entire Twitter feed as he battles back the knee-jerk sex-phobic and homophobic reactions is a delight. It’s the kind of rush some of us needed as we gingerly dip our toes into public queer life again. (With its lyrics referencing too much cocaine and weed, it may also be a little reminder of overdoing it once we’re out there.) For Lil Nas X, though, it’s a literal coming out: Montero is his given name, and in a poignant short letter he wrote to his younger self and published a few days ago, he talks about the importance of embracing yourself and the many twists and turns “coming out” (a performance of its own) can take.

Word.