Montero Lamar Hill, 21, known as Lil Nas X, American rapper, singer, and songwriter who rose to prominence with the release of his country rap single "Old Town Road", which first achieved viral popularity on the micro-platform app TikTok in early 2019 before climbing music charts internationally and becoming diamond certified by November of that same year, spoke out about the need to protect Black trans lives in an interview with Vogue.
He came out as gay in July 2019, and to support the Black trans community he has just launched a new spring collection with designer Christian Cowan, the mastermind behind Lil Nas X’s 2019 VMAs outfit. The couple revealed that 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Black trans community in Atlanta, Georgia, where Lil Nas X is from.
During Pride Month in 2019, Lil Was revealed to The Guardian that he had planned to die with the secret of being gay before he became a household name.
Since coming out, he has been determined to be a vocal advocate for queer rights – and he wants to help fans express themselves too.
“I 100% want to represent the LGBT+ community,” he said, adding that he also worries about the safety and wellbeing of fans who may grapple with the decision to come out.
“I don’t want to encourage them to do something they don’t 100 per cent want to do. Especially in, like, middle school or high school. Because it’s just super hard.”
He admitted that it’s “easier” for him, because “I’m not depending on anybody. No one’s going to kick me out of the house – nobody to start treating me s***ty.”
Christian Cowan and the rapper also explained that they felt a need to do something constructive following Pride Month and Black Lives Matter protests across the United States that inspired worldwide movements to achieve the same purpose: racial equality.
“The trans community, especially the Black trans community, is one of the most looked down upon groups in the entire world, and the least cared for,” Lil Nas X declared.
Cowan added: “There have been so many attacks on the trans community, even within the past few months, and it’s not publicised enough in the US. People forget that the entire Pride movement was started by Black trans women.”
Their new gender-neutral collection, inspired by the punk and queer movements of the 1970s, will benefit Black queer youth through a fund set up with the Loveland Foundation, a non-profit that provides support and therapy to Black girls and women.