I Have Questions About…People Hating On Lil Nas X’s Hell-Raising “Montero”

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic.
Growing up, the church told Lil Nas X that being gay would send him straight to Hell — so the singer figured, why not zip up his thigh-high stilettos and slide down there on his own terms?
In Lil Nas X's viral "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" music video, released on March 26, the unapologetic queer artist uses biblical and Ancient Greek references to write his own epic (and horny) origin story.
Watching the 21-year-old unabashedly subvert Christian tropes has inspired and moved many in the LGBTQ+ community. In a letter to his 14-year-old self, Lil Nas X, née Montero Lamar Hill, revealed that he hopes the song "will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist."
"I wrote a song with our name in it. it's about a guy i met last summer," he tweeted. "i know we promised to never come out publicly, i know we promised to never be 'that' type of gay person, i know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist."
He continued: "You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say i'm pushing an agenda. but the truth is, i am. the agenda to make people stay the fuck out of other people's lives and stop dictating who they should be. sending you love from the future. -lnx."
In the visual, Lil Nas X is seduced by a snake (played by himself) in a Garden of Eden-type setting, gets stoned to death by butt plugs, and then pole dances straight down to Hell, where he gives Satan (also played by himself) a lap dance before snapping his neck. To quote Lady Gaga, it's brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before — and a blatant, albeit buzzy, work of fiction and pure fantasy. So why are people so mad?
As the musician suspected, swift backlash followed. Many members of the Christian church berated the singer for his use of Satanic and Biblical imagery side-by-side. Right-wing pastor Greg Locke called Lil Nas X's visual the work of "devilism" and "wickedness." Soon after, Lil Nas X announced that he would be releasing 666 pairs of modified Nike Air Max 97s decorated with a pentagram pendant, a reference to Luke 10:1, and a drop of blood (Nike has since disavowed said "Satan shoes"). Lil Nas X also retweeted the video of Locke, commenting that he will be "sampling" the pastor's speech in a future song. (I'm sure he really, really will.)
Others criticized the rapper for making a visual that was inappropriate for children, to which Lil Nas X responded that, um, he's a grown man.
"i made the decision to create the music video," he wrote in response to a Twitter user saying that he was part of the "system" trying to corrupt children. "I am an adult. i am not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children. that is your job." 
The Very Online Lil Nas X then continued to make the salient point that those enraged by his art should probably channel their anger towards something more deserving, like, say the country's gun crisis?
"there is a mass shooting every week that our government does nothing to stop," he tweeted. "me sliding down a cgi pole isn’t what’s destroying society."
In fact, could Lil Nas X sliding down a CGI pole be what heals society? Just asking.
This article has been updated with new information.

More from Music