From the Andrea Grossi ballgown he wore on the red carpet to his Ancient Egypt performance that concluded with the pharaoh-attired singer locking lips with a male background dancer, the 22-year-old Grammy winner did nothing but turn heads Sunday.
The crowd roared loudly in approval with audience members jumping out of their seats in praise, but not everyone was receptive of Lil Nas X’s public display of affection. Some users on Twitter argued it was inappropriate.
Lil Nas X (real name: Montero Lamar Hill) took to Twitter Monday to address the homophobic comments.
“y’all hate yourselves so much. y’all live your lives trying your best to appease straight ppl. y’all are uncomfortable with what i do because y’all are afraid they will be uncomfortable with you,” he tweeted. “work on yourselves, i love who i am and whatever i decide to do. get there.”
Lil Nas X revealed in another tweet that his polarizing BET Awards performance was nerve-wracking for him and took “a lot of time to mentally prepare” because he knew he was “performing something like that in front of my straight peers.”
But he said, “if you don’t push yourself outside of your comfort zone you will never grow.”
How Lil Nas X, Jojo Siwa and Zaya Wadeare teaching kids to be more inclusive
When a critic accused “The Old Town” road singer of being “insecure about your sexuality” and “over compensating for it every chance you get,” Lil Nas X admitted that he is insecure.
“you’re right i am insecure about my sexuality. i still have a long way to go. i’ve never denied that,” he explained. “when you’re conditioned by society to hate yourself your entire life it takes a lot of unlearning. which is exactly why i do what i do.”
‘Thought i made it obvious’: ‘Old Town Road’ rapper Lil Nas X comes out as gay
This is not the first time Lil Nas X has faced backlash over “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” a single seemingly dedicated to his 14-year-old self that talks about a lustful relationship between two same-gender lovers. The song’s subtitle is a reference to the LGBTQ film of the same name.
The “Sun Goes Down” singer was criticized particularly from parents and people with religious backgrounds for the song’s accompanying video, which ends with the rapper giving Satan a lap dance.
Lil Nas X acknowledged the video would make some angry in a statement accompanying the song’s visuals in March, but he said his “agenda” is to empower people to live authentically.
On Monday, Lil Nas X said he’s shocked that “we are 4 months in and people are still acting surprised that i am being gay and sexual in performances of a song about gay and sexual (expletive).”
Lil Nas X’s Satan imagery angers parents.But advocates say critics are missing the point.
People on social media also called the criticism of Lil Nas X’s lip lock with a male hypocritical.
“What’s the difference?! #CanWeTalkAboutIt It’s the double standard for me!” tweeted @_OliverMatthews, who compared a photo of Lil Nas X locking lips with his backup dancer to Britney Spears and Madonna infamously kissing at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. (Blender named it one of the “25 Sexiest Music Moments In TV.”)
User @_slimarella_ added, “Two women kissing each other is pleasurable to see but two men disgust you. it’s hypocritical.”
Fans praise Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero’ music video for being unapologetically queer
Others applauded Lil Nas X’s brave advocacy for queerness.
“We need more sexually empowered queer people in mainstream pop culture and I’m so (expletive) happy that we’re moving towards that,” tweeted @wreckno. “Lil Nas X is pushing this as well as so many other smaller queer artists and it makes my heart smile.”
Lil Nas X closed out Pride Month in 2019 by coming out as gay.
Contributing: Pamela Avila, Bryan Alexander, David Oliver