Lil Nas X slams music industry for “sanitizing” LGBTQ artists’ sexualities

Lil Nas X at the 2019 CMA Awards
Lil Nas X at the 2019 CMA Awards Photo: Shutterstock

Out singer and rapper Lil Nas X criticized the music industry for its treatment of LGBTQ performers in a recent appearance on CBS Sunday Morning.

At 22 years old, Nas is known for being completely open and celebratory about his sexuality, no matter what haters and trolls hurl his way.

Related: “Pure Queer Joy”: 7 moments when Lil Nas X outshined his haters in 2021

His music and performances put gay sexuality front-and-center, depicting it as openly as straight musicians have depicted sexuality for decades.

While he is not the first out rapper, he said he thinks he may be one of the most open about it. Typically, he added, out artists are forced to “sanitize” their sexuality and relegate it to the background of who they are.

“I feel like I’m definitely much more ‘out there’ with it,” he said. “It’s always been, ‘Okay, if you’re gay, this needs to be sanitized. Let’s not include anything sexual.’ It’s like, ‘Be gay without being gay. We don’t wanna know what happens behind closed doors, or we don’t want you to express that.'”

Nas, however, has refused to let that happen to him. His music includes frank discussions of sexuality and, in his performances, he surrounds himself with male backup dancers and dances as openly with them as heterosexual performers often do with dancers of the opposite gender.

He said he hopes all artists have the opportunity to be their full selves in their work if they want to.

In the same interview, he also spoke about deciding to come out after his first hit, “Old Town Road,” turned him into a viral sensation.

He said he came out during that time because it felt “the most authentic.”

“It’s like, I’m not doing it for attention. I’m already like the number one artist in the world right now,” he explained.

Nas has since released an entire album, Montero, for which he said he “just went for it,” and wrote openly about his sexuality.

Nas is not only famous for his music. He has also become Twitter royalty, regularly shutting down homophobic haters with hilarious responses that have showed trolls can’t bring him down.

He told CBS Sunday Morning that Twitter feels like “my actual home” and “my actual family.”

“I’ve become closer with people who I met online than people who I’ve met in real life,” he said. “I learned the ways of the internet.”

He also said he is excited for whatever comes next for him, even if he isn’t sure what it is yet.

“I have no idea,” he said, “but it’s going to be incredible.”

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