His Ancient Egypt-inspired rendition of viral hit "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," was inspired by Michael Jackson’s 1991 short film for his song “Remember the Time" (which also starred Eddie Murphy, Iman, and Magic Johnson). It featured the rapper body-rolling in a gold loincloth alongside a large group of dancers. The climax of the performance, however, came at the very end, when Lil Nas X made out with one of his male dancers.
However, some took offence to the on stage kiss — one Twitter user took it as a display of "disrespect for African culture." "DONT USE AFRICAN CULTURE FOR SHITS LIKE THIS!!!!!!!" they wrote. "RESPECT OUR ANCESTORS." Lil Nas X responded to this particular criticism by kindly reminding them that homosexuality, um, has always existed? Everywhere?
"y’all really like to pretend homosexuality didn’t exist in african culture," the rapper wrote.
Fans flooded the quote tweet with a handful of helpful history lessons. One user pointed out that some scholars believe that evidence of one of the earliest same-sex couples, Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, came from Egypt (they even had a ship name: ). Another wrote that African culture in fact a has "a rich history of sexually fluid practices," but the stigma against them came from Christian missionaries.
Some from the LGBTQ+ community also chimed in to criticize Lil Nas X's proud display of his queerness, complaining that he shouldn't make his sexuality a fixture of his career or should be "promoting safe sex" instead.
"y’all hate yourselves so much," Lil Nas X replied to one particular critic. "y’all live your lives trying your best to appease straight ppl. y’all are uncomfortable with what i do because y’all are afraid they will be uncomfortable with you. work on yourselves, i love who i am and whatever i decide to do. get there."
"i don’t have to promote shit babe, i do as i please," he replied to another user who told him to "promote safe sex" if he's "selling sex." "i’m not passing out condoms at the motherfuckin bet awards."