Lil Nas X Says He Was 'Pushed By The Universe' To Come Out As Gay

By James Dinh

August 16, 2019

Lil Nas X is Time magazine's newest cover star and the 20-year-old rapper spoke about his big decision to come out as gay over the summer.

In the feature, the Georgia native admitted that he was initially hesitant to share the revelation because he was taught from a young age that homosexuality "is never going to be OK." However, it was the Pride Month movement that really pushed him to embrace his sexuality, so he started by coming out to his father and sister earlier in June. "I know the people who listen to this the most, and they're not accepting of homosexuality," the singer explained to the magazine. "I never would have done that if I wasn't in a way pushed by the universe. In June, I'm seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands — little stuff like that."

While his No. 1 streak atop the Billboard Hot 100 with "Old Town Road" is still going strong, the star admitted that the pressures of fame have become a bit much to handle. "It gets overwhelming," he said. "I just shut down on everybody — I'm still a loner in a lot of ways."

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When @lilnasx's debut single “Old Town Road” exploded online early this year and began climbing the charts, industry prognosticators anticipated a quick rise and fall. It’s now the longest-running No. 1 song in history, having occupied the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 weeks. It’s been streamed more than a billion times on @spotify alone. All of this has made “Old Town Road” the defining sound of the year, a slurry, genre-busting interpolation of two quintessential American musical genres: #country and hip-hop. Yet even from his perch, writes Andrew R. Chow, Lil Nas is still an outlier. There aren’t many black stars in country #music; there aren’t many queer stars in #hiphop. There aren’t many queer black stars in American culture, point-blank. The fact that Lil Nas has risen so far and so fast testifies not only to his skill, but also to the erosion of the systems that for generations kept #artists like him on the sidelines. At a time when debates about categorization and identity are ubiquitous, Lil Nas X represents a more unified vision of the future, one in which a young #queer black man can dominate popular #culture by being unapologetically himself. “Everything lined up for this moment to take me to this place,” he says now. “Not to sound self-centered, but it feels like I’m chosen, in a way, to do this stuff.” Read more at the link in bio. Photograph by @kelianne for TIME; animation by @brobeldesign; “Old Town Road” (p) 2019 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

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