Lil Nas X says horrific video of child being abused for doing ‘gay s**t’ took him ‘back in time’

Lil Nas X’s nerves about his now-iconic BET Awards performance vanished when he came across a horrific viral video illustrating the realities of homophobia.

From dry-humping Satan in his “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” music video to making out with a male dancer on stage at the BET Awards, musical megastar Lil Nas X has quickly become one of the world’s most recognisable queer icons.

Opening up about the latter, the 22-year-old rapper revealed more about what motivates him in a recent interview with Out.

“Growing up in the Atlanta area, I [saw] a lot of micro-aggressions towards homosexuality,” he explained, citing examples such as casual, everyday use of gay slurs, as well as statements like “boys don’t cry”.

It’s not surprising, then, that a hideous, viral video of a 12-year-old teenage boy known only as Tyler being abused by his family caught Lil Nas X’s attention.

In the clip, shared to Instagram Live on 17th June, 2021, Tyler is slapped, shoved and verbally berated by adults for doing “gay s**t”, before having the word “GAY” shaved into his hair.

After garnering viral traction, the video resulted in the three family members – Jordan Jarrode Richards-Nwankno, 18, Lorkeyla Jamia Spencer, 19, and Brittney Monique Mills, 35 – being arrested and charged with cruelty to children by the Atlanta Police Department.

“It takes you back in time, watching somebody else’s experience,” said Lil Nas X of the heartbreaking clip.

He came across the clip during rehearsals for his BET Awards performance. He’d been nervous about “going to this place with all these overly masculine rappers… throwing a little ass… touching on dudes and hugging them and kissing them”, but the video spurred him on.

“I was in rehearsals like: ‘Oh, my God. I have to do my absolute f**king best with this performance because of s**t like this,’” he told Out.

This representation may be a heavy burden to shoulder, but the megastar continues to do so, seemingly effortlessly. “All of this is in pursuit of becoming my full self, more and more,” he concluded.