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Content material Warning: homophobia, point out of sexual assault and suicidal ideation
Until you reside beneath a rock or are avoiding the web for very wholesome self-care causes, you’ve heard of music artist, and creator of youngsters’s e book C is for Nation, Lil Nas X. On March 26, 2021, Lil Nas X launched the track “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 remedy of queerness. In a world the place the pope simply double downed on previous foolishness by asserting that homosexuality is a sin and a alternative, Lil Nas X is clapping again for all of us.
I’m not going to spend any time speaking concerning the outraged mother and father and the backlash after the video. You’ve both heard about it or you may google it. I’ll simply reiterate what Lil Nas X mentioned concerning the indignant Christians: “I hope u are mad, keep mad, really feel the identical anger you train 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 keep in mind feeling ashamed of my attraction to ladies. Like so many queer children, I questioned if there was one thing incorrect with me. I believed possibly my same-sex attraction was as a result of I’d been sexually abused.
I keep in mind telling my mom after my greatest buddy kissed me in 4th grade. Naturally, I made certain to place the duty on the buddy. It was a take a look at. Reader, she didn’t go. Sadly, her failure solely harm me.
Through the years I heard so many dangerous narratives. So-and-so was “humorous.” One other individual supposedly didn’t know “in the event that they wish to be a person or a lady,” as a result of why would bigotry distinguish between sexuality and gender id? These, in fact, are a few of 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 do this sufficient as a Black lady. I grew to become anxious and insecure.
None of this improved as I grew older. At 16 I used to be a multitude of suicidal ideation, rebellious sexual exercise, and rage-induced panic assaults. Fed up, my mother despatched me to church with one in every of her coworkers. We didn’t apply faith a lot in our family; it was a factor I did when with my grandmother throughout 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, though 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 adequate.
Lil Nas X’s letter to his youthful self jogged my memory of all of the issues I’d wish 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 gained’t consider it, however at some point you will be so protected and beloved. You’re going to have loads of meals, a job you like, an attractive house, and a lot extra. You’ll nonetheless be writing and also you’ll receives a commission for it! So a lot of your goals are going to return true.
At some point, you’ll publish overtly about being queer. I do know, I do know. You haven’t owned that phrase but, however you’ll. You’ll have TWO huge ol’ bi satisfaction flags. (Sure, there’s a bi satisfaction flag.) Writing about queerness will probably be part of your job. That’s proper, you’ll be PAID to speak concerning the factor you may’t even whisper about proper now.
You’ll work to make certain that queer children and all children see LGBTQ individuals as legitimate and worthy. How? Oh, effectively there will probably be tons of youngsters’s books that includes queer characters. You’ll work to get academics to incorporate them of their curriculum so that individuals like 4th grade Mikkaka will understand it’s completely regular for women to love women.
I understand how a lot you like to learn. Oh how I want you can learn You Ought to See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson proper now. It’s a couple of poor, Black, queer lady being her full self in highschool! There will probably be queer characters in all kinds of books, even books that aren’t about how exhausting 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 lady, there will probably 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 every thing the world has carried out to make you are feeling small, that you’re not. Darling, you might be big. 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 consider in any other case.
With All My Love,