On the final night of Pride month, Lil Nas X confirmed that he identifies as gay. The ‘Old Town Road’ rapper took to Twitter to share his sexual orientation with his followers:
“Some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm [f—k with me] no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure,” he wrote, referencing the title track of his new 7 EP. He included a rainbow emoji, one of the most popular symbols of gay pride, at the end.
some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure. ??✨ pic.twitter.com/O9krBLllqQ
— nope (@LilNasX) June 30, 2019
“C7osure” includes lyrics that now read as Lil Was X’s struggle to reveal his sexual identity: “Ain’t no more actin’, man that forecast say I should just let me grow.”
Lil Nas X is no stranger to challenging and breaking boundaries. His song “Old Town Road” topped both the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart as well as the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs charts in March 2019. When Billboard removed ‘Old Town Road’ for “not being country enough,” Lil Nas X defended his song: “The song is country rap. It’s not one, it’s not the other. It’s both.”
He also tweeted the cover of his EP 7, which features a cowboy following a weathervane topped with a rooster — literally, a “weathercock” — that points to a glowing, rainbow-colored cityscape in the distance.
“deadass thought i made it look obvious” he wrote.
deadass thought i made it obvious pic.twitter.com/HFCbVqBkLM
— nope (@LilNasX) June 30, 2019
The image of the cowboy has long been a symbol in the LGBTQ+ community, representing freedom and displaying iconic masculinity. “Many closeted men could relate to the cowboys,” writes Addison Herron-Wheeler. As an artist who blends country and hip hop, the image of an urban cowboy is fitting as Lil Nas X moves forward as an open member of the LGBTQ community.
After Lil Nas X posted his coming out tweet, Twitter reacted with messages of love and support:
Proud of you! Sorry you had to deal with the people trying to force you to say it before you were ready, but I'm so glad you were still able to do it on your own terms! ???
— ostrich ? (@iknowplacesmp6) June 30, 2019
— eggdog ?️?? (@silverseagoat) June 30, 2019
?The rainbow at the end of Old Town Road?
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) July 1, 2019
Nas’ manager Adam Leber also voiced his support with an Instagram post calling Nas “incredibly brave and an inspiration to all the young kids who follow and look up to you.”
View this post on Instagram
So proud of you @lilnasx. You are incredibly brave and an inspiration to all the young kids who follow and look up to you. Not only are you a tremendous talent that the world has only begun to learn about, but you’re also an amazing person with a warm heart. You deserve everything that comes to you….?❤️?❤️?
According to TMZ, Lil Nas X was inspired to come out after a live performance with Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus in Glastonbury, England. “Lil Nas X feels he can be a role model for other young people who are scared to come out,” TMZ’s sources say.