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Lil Nas X Claps Back at Homophobic Responses to “Industry Baby”

"I love who i am and whatever i decide to do ... Get there."

Lil Nas X broke the internet again last week with the release of his music video for “Industry Baby”. The provocative video sees Lil Nas X in prison, where he is surrounded by nude male dancers and appears nude himself (the nudity is blurred out). Like all Lil Nas X projects, the video is political, risqué, and and a celebration of Black gay sexuality. In addition, Lil Nas X is using the video to promote The Bail Project, a national nonprofit working to end cash bail.

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And while “Industry Baby” has now sold over 100,000 units in the US (the fastest selling new release this week) and garnered 32 million views in four days, Lil Nas X is still facing criticism for the unapologetically queer video, namely from homophobic folks on the internet. The 22-year-old Grammy winner was quick to clap back at author and political analyst Boyce Watkins, who accused the video of “sexual irresponsibility”. Watkins is the same man who criticized Kamala Harris for marrying a white man AND tried to fat-shame Lizzo, so he should take several seats and delete his account.

Lil Nas X responded by tweeting, “y’all be silent as hell when niggas dedicate their entire music catalogue to rapping about sleeping with multiple women. but when i do anything remotely sexual i’m “being sexually irresponsible” & “causing more men to die from aids” y’all hate gay ppl and don’t hide it.”

He also called out the media coverage of the online skirmish, specifically People Magazine’s headline which called the homophobic attacks “criticism”. People Magazine subsequently changed their headline to “Lil Nas X Responds to Post Calling His ‘Industry Baby’ Music Video ‘Sexually Irresponsible'”.

Lil Nas X is no stranger to calling out homophobia on social media. He previously tweeted “many, if not all, of these artists had to hide their sexuality for majority of their career. you seem to only respect gay artists when the gay part is tucked away. you don’t like me because i embrace my sexuality instead of hiding it and never speaking on it for your comfort.”

In another response, he tweets “the truth is there is no attack. you view femininity as weakness. you don’t like gay black men because you are afraid of black men, as a whole, being viewed as weak. you cling on to your masculinity because without it you have nothing else going for yourself.”

Lil Nas X is remaking the pop star mold to unabashedly celebrate Black queerness, and his work is resonating with audiences everywhere. I’m jealous of the younger generations that get to grow up with him as a model for being yourself and thriving in the face of adversity. Keep on doing you, Lil Nas X. Your fans are here for it.

(image: screencap/YouTube)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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