Lil Nas X made a fantastic song while also saying a message that a lot of queer people can relate to.
Lil Nas X recently came out with a music video for his song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” which has sparked conversations around the gay experience in the church. With productive conversations of queer people feeling validated, some Christians are freaking out due to reference to the Bible Lil Nas X makes throughout the video.
The video opens up with him being in the Garden of Eden, being approached by the snake which is a version of himself. He runs through a field of flowers, that are faces of himself, before he succumbs to the snake which represents the devil. He then gets sent to judgment, where he is judged before approaching heaven by angels who are also versions of himself. When they condemn him, he rides a dancing pole down to hell where he meets the devil, who, no surprise, is also himself. He then seduces the devil, kills him and takes his horns.
People have been getting upset because they think he glorifies relationships with the devil and it has even brought out deep homophobia in certain followers of Christianity. These people have absolutely missed the point of the song.
He is not glorifying a relationship with the devil in the context people are thinking of. The song discusses the experience Lil Nas X had within the church, having to hide his sexuality because it was associated with sin. His message is not “I’m worshipping Satan” but instead “If you all think I am going to hell, then I am going to seduce the devil and take his horns.”
The fact that the music video had so many depictions of himself is an artistic way of showing how he felt being gay and raised in a Christian world. People within the church equating homosexuality to sin made him feel like he was the devil. In coming out, he reclaimed his position by challenging that message.
I get very angry and upset when I come across videos and tweets on social media of straight white people coming at Lil Nas X for expressing himself in the most vulnerable of ways. Why do we vilify men who are expressing their emotions and describing their experience? Internalized patriarchy is the answer.
The music video is art within itself, beautiful in every way. My initial thought was to laugh because I loved seeing everything being himself. Lil Nas X has always been a troll, in the best ways an internet troll can be. I imagined him in the studio like “everything is me” and I loved it.
I am also queer, so it is very easier for me to identify with the message coming across in the song. I am so tired of straight Christians telling me I am going to hell or telling me I just can’t decide because I’m bisexual. I applaud Lil Nas X for making such an outward statement against an institution that forced him to stay in the closet.
Art has metaphors, and the entire music video is a metaphor as well as a coherent message. Lil Nas X made a fantastic song while also saying a message that a lot of queer people can relate to. For that reason, I will be blasting “Montero” to drown out the noise of people giving an opinion on an experience they know nothing about.