At the Native Son Awards, Lil Nas X was honored, and he characterized coming out of the closet as one of the “scariest moments” of his life.
In June 2019, the phenom announced that he is gay, just as his mega-hit “Old Town Road” was reaching the pinnacle of its success.
“I was scared because I knew the world was watching, and all I ever saw for boys like me was judgement and ridicule, but I knew I had to stand in my truth because the world was watching,” he said.
Lena Waithe, an out TV and film producer, presented him with the award and congratulated him on his accomplishments, which included being the first openly gay artist to receive a CMA Award.
“By breaking down decades of stigma between two traditionally disadvantaged communities, he is helping to change hearts and minds… He’s made it possible for queer black kids all over the world to feel heard and to believe that everything is possible. Waithe said, “The world needs that, and the world needs him.”
In his acceptance speech, Lil Nas X vowed to continue to open doors for black queer men.
“Some say I’m pushing an agenda, and they’re right. “It’s known as liberation,” he said. “When you’re the first to crack a barrier, there’s no road map, and I hope that one day it won’t be revolutionary for queer artists to achieve mainstream success…. There is work to be done before that day arrives, and I will continue to do my part.”
“Some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not going [support me] no more,” he wrote in a tweet.
Ray McGuire, a mayoral candidate in New York, and his wife Crystal McCrary McGuire served as honorary co-chairs.
Steven Canals, Darren Walker of the Ford Foundation, Alphonso David, Bill Carson, and MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart were among those honored.
According to the organization, the Native Son Awards “celebrate black gay and queer men who are mavericks in their career, culture, and the world.”