Lil Nas X honored at Native Son Awards and recalls coming out

“Some people say I am pushing an agenda, and I am. It’s called liberation,” said Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X was honored at the Native Son Awards on Thursday, where he delivered a speech recalling how intimidating an experience coming out was for him, describing it as one of the “scariest moments” of his life, according to PageSix.

The 22-year-old singer-songwriter and provocateur revealed he’s gay in June 2019 with a tongue-in-cheek Twitter post, affirming his esteemed reputation as one of the internet’s most respected trolls.

Lil Nas X (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

“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,” he wrote, “but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure.”

“deadass thought i made it obvious,” he also wrote, posting images of the artwork for his EP 7, which featured a night skyline aglow with rainbow-theme lights.

Read More: Lil Nas X says he’s rarely affected by online bullying, homophobia

Elaborating on the frightful moment, which occurred as his smash hit “Old Town Road” continued its recording-breaking ascent to the top of the charts, he said from a private jet in transit above the clouds, “I was afraid because I knew the world was watching, and all I ever saw for boys like me was judgment and ridicule, but it was because the world was watching, that I knew I had to stand in my truth.”

Celebrated, queer TV and film producer Lena Waithe presented Lil Nas X with the award, and praised the young artist for his many industry accomplishments, including becoming the first openly gay artist to win a CMA Award, according to PageSix.

“He’s helping shift hearts and minds by breaking down decades of stigma between two traditional marginalized groups… he’s now allowing queer black kids everywhere to feel seen and know that anything is possible. The world needs that, and the world needs him,” Waithe said.

Read More: Lil Nas X to perform ‘Montero’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Lil Nas X spoke boldly of his intention to continue harnessing his craft and his far-reaching influence as guiding lights for the future success of more Black, queer men.

Lil Nas X (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for SHEIN)

“Some people say I am pushing an agenda, and I am. It’s called liberation,” he said. “There’s no road map when you’re the first to break a barrier, and I hope that one day it’s no longer groundbreaking for queer artists to find mainstream success […] Until that day comes, there’s work to do and I will continue to do my part.”

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The Native Son Awards streamed live online, and in the ceremony’s seminal tradition, celebrated Black gay and queen men who represent some of the most talented, innovative and visionary leaders in the community. A recording of the show is available on the Native Son Awards’ YouTube channel.

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