Why Lil Nas X’s New MV is Amazing Queer Rep

Lil Nas X’s new music video for his hit single, “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” has been stirring up controversy in every corner of the internet. From concerned parents, to celebrities, to politicians, to political hacks, and to religious pundits, everyone has something to say about Lil Nas X’s portrayal of his sexuality. For me, this video gives me hope for the futures of queer kids around the world. Let’s examine why.

 

Throughout the video, there are very noticeable references to Christianity, the most talked about being X’s lap-dancing scene with Satan. While many people view this as an insult, I view this as a testimony to what religion has done to so many LGBTQ+ people. In my opinion, this video is not meant to be understood by people who are not LGBTQ+ and/or do not have experience with religion. X made this video as a gay man for other gay men, women, enbys and other gender non-conforming queer people. This is media made BY a gay person, FOR gay people. It is not an attack on Christianity, but an acknowledgement of how Christianity views queer people. To claim it as insulting to Christians, one must then recognize why the video was produced the way it is. If Christians truly cared about understanding the religious undertones of X’s video, they would ask, “Why are so many LGBTQ+ people uniting around the ‘Satanic’ messaging of this video?”

 

Since I realized I was bisexual in 2014, I have had countless people ranging from friends to strangers tell me that I am going to hell for being who I am. I did not grow up in a fiercely religious household, like many others I know, and I am grateful for that. Most queer people can easily tell you a negative interaction they have had with a religion because of their queerness. Why are Christians not outraged at this? Why is there no outrage at the fact that religion is consistently failing queer kids and adults alike?

Lil Nas X has found a way to embrace the homophobia within religion. He has created a video that embraces what most queer people have heard so many times after coming out, a video that embraces the phrase, “You’re going to hell for committing those sins.” We have been told for so long that hell is where we’ll go for being queer; why shouldn’t we embrace that?