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Content material Warning: homophobia, point out of sexual assault and suicidal ideation
Until you reside underneath a rock or are avoiding the web for very wholesome self-care causes, you may have heard of music artist, and writer of kids’s e book C is for Country, Lil Nas X. On March 26, 2021, Lil Nas X launched the tune “Montero (Name Me By Your Identify)” (and accompanying video). Moreover, the singer-rapper shared a touching letter to his 14-year-old self on social media.
Lil Nas X is the queer hero we’d like and deserve. His new video gave us Black queer expression in all its glory. On high of that, he gave us an unapologetic critique of Christianity’s therapy of queerness. In a world the place the pope simply double downed on past foolishness by asserting that homosexuality is a sin and a choice, Lil Nas X is clapping back for all of us.
I’m not going to spend any time speaking in regards to the outraged dad and mom and the backlash after the video. You’ve both heard about it or you possibly can google it. I’ll simply reiterate what Lil Nas X said in regards to the offended Christians: “I hope u are mad, keep mad, really feel the identical anger you educate us to have in direction of ourselves.”
I grew up Black, Christian, and a closeted bisexual. Lil Nas X’s story is one I can relate to. I bear in mind feeling ashamed of my attraction to women. Like so many queer children, I puzzled if there was one thing mistaken with me. I believed possibly my same-sex attraction was as a result of I’d been sexually abused.
I bear in mind telling my mom after my finest good friend kissed me in 4th grade. Naturally, I made certain to place the duty on the good friend. It was a take a look at. Reader, she didn’t cross. Sadly, her failure solely harm me.
Through the years I heard so many dangerous narratives. So-and-so was “humorous.” One other particular person supposedly didn’t know “in the event that they wish to be a person or a girl,” as a result of why would bigotry distinguish between sexuality and gender identity? These, in fact, are among the much less offensive statements that had been part of on a regular basis dialog.
These items made me really feel small. They made me shrink myself to be extra palatable — as if I didn’t have to try this sufficient as a Black woman. I turned anxious and insecure.
None of this improved as I grew older. At 16 I used to be a large number of suicidal ideation, rebellious sexual exercise, and rage-induced panic assaults. Fed up, my mother despatched me to church with certainly one of her coworkers. We didn’t observe faith a lot in our family; it was a factor I did when with my grandmother through the summer time. Thus, this sudden mandated churchgoing was fairly dramatic.
I joined a Seventh-day Adventist church with a vibrant youth group. Surprisingly, I discovered love and pleasure there, despite the fact that I needed to be a good smaller model of myself. Ultimately, nonetheless, the rhetoric round sin began to put on on me. With so little vanity already, I didn’t want fixed reminders that I’d by no means be ok.
Lil Nas X’s letter to his youthful self jogged my memory of all of the issues I’d prefer to say to that 16-year-old Mikkaka. There’s a lot she didn’t know, a lot she couldn’t think about. If I might, I’d inform her this:
You received’t imagine it, however in the future you will be so protected and liked. You’re going to have loads of meals, a job you like, a wonderful house, and a lot extra. You’ll nonetheless be writing and also you’ll receives a commission for it! So lots of your goals are going to return true.
At some point, you’ll submit brazenly about being queer. I do know, I do know. You haven’t owned that phrase but, however you’ll. You’ll have TWO large ol’ bi delight flags. (Sure, there’s a bi delight flag.) Writing about queerness can be part of your job. That’s proper, you can be PAID to speak in regards to the factor you possibly can’t even whisper about proper now.
You’ll work to make sure that queer kids and all kids see LGBTQ people as legitimate and worthy. How? Oh, effectively there can be tons of children’s books that includes queer characters. You’ll work to get lecturers to incorporate them of their curriculum so that individuals like 4th grade Mikkaka will realize it’s completely regular for women to love women.
I understand how a lot you like to learn. Oh how I want you might learn You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson proper now. It’s a couple of poor, Black, queer woman being her full self in highschool! There can be queer characters in all types of books, even books that aren’t about how laborious it’s to be queer. You’ll learn Dread Nation by Justina Eire and fall in love with a zombie-killing bisexual badass and an anxious asexual zombie killer who’re each Black women! YES. You’ll open the e book for the zombie killing, however you’ll keep for the shock queerness.
Candy woman, there can be so many books for women such as you sooner or later. You’ll lastly get to see your self. You’ll understand that after all the pieces the world has executed to make you are feeling small, that you’re not. Darling, you might be enormous. You include multitudes. Your soul is stuffed with magic and the world is so very fortunate to have you ever. And God loves you. Don’t you dare imagine in any other case.
With All My Love,