Singer and rapper Lil Nas X has revealed that he considered taking his sexuality “to the grave,” but ultimately chose to come out as gay because he wanted to help others to do the same.
The 20-year-old, who shot to worldwide fame with his crossover hip-hop/country hit “Old Town Road,” came out last week in a series of tweets.
Asking fans to “listen closely” to the lyrics in his song “c7osure,” Lil Nas X then pointed to the cover art for his E.P. 7, which contains a building lit up in rainbow colors, saying he “deadass thought I made it obvious.”
The announcement was met with support from his fans and peers on social media, but the rapper told Britain’s BBC Breakfast that he had considered not coming out at all.
“It was something I was considering just never doing ever, just taking to the grave or something,” he said, “but I don’t want to live my entire life — especially how I just got to where I’m at — just not doing what I want to do.”
He added: “I’m also opening doors for more people.”
Asked how he hopes his fans will react, Lil Nas X said he wants them to “feel more comfortable.”
“Especially within the country and the hip-hop communities, which both songs combine, it’s not really accepted in either,” he said.
Lil Nas X said that he was already receiving backlash for coming out, but that he was choosing to respond with humor instead of letting it get to him.
“Learning the internet over the past couple of years, I used to be that person being negative,” he said. “I’m not angry or anything, because I understand how they just want that reaction. But I’m just going to joke back with them.”
— BBC Entertainment (@BBCNewsEnts) July 5, 2019
The artist has received an outpouring of support online, including from Miley Cyrus, whose father Billy Rae contributed to the chart-topping remix of “Old Town Road.”
“SO proud of my baby brother @lilnasx,” Cyrus tweeted. “In your corner forever my friend!”
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) July 2, 2019
Cyrus also invited Lil Nas X and her father onstage to perform at Glastonbury Festival on Sunday, June 30, the same day Lil Nas X posted his tweets coming out.
It was the latest sign of how far the rapper’s career has come since releasing “Old Town Road” last year — the song has now been certified 3x Platinum, and has spent thirteen weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, the longest continuous run in the #1 spot of any hip-hop track ever.
The song, in both its original format and a remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, has topped the charts in countries around the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Germany.