Artists have always pushed the limits of acceptability in their work. From “Paradise Lost” by John Milton to KISS to “WAP”. Artists often use religious or sexual imagery to make a point and “Montero: Call Me By Your Name” by Lil Nas X combines the two in a unique way.
The music video shows Biblical characters mixed with homosexual erotic acts between Lil Nas X and them. There are themes of repression, self-inflicted shame and empowerment where he gives an unimpressed Satan an intimate show before killing him and taking his horns.
The video received backlash from some Christians that felt betrayed by the singer of the country hit, “Old Town Road” because he combined a song that mixes Satanic imagery with his homosexuality.
What they miss is that the music video is trying to make the point that many religious people already cannot separate the two and the harm that it does to LGBTQ youth.
Many Christians have stated that Satanism and sin were never far from homosexuality.
“You literally are staring into virtually the unvarnished energy of Satan himself when you come up against the forces that are pushing the homosexual agenda forward,” said Pastor Bryan Fisher in 2015, according to HuffPost.
Even in a 2020 election when Pete Buttigieg ran for president as ‘The Most Boring Gay Man on Earth,’ this led Pastor Franklin Graham to tweet, “the Bible which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized,” according to NBC.
The idea that LGBTQ people must be repentant of natural orientations leads to lasting damage on LGBTQ youth. The enormous amount of shame and self-loathing LGBTQ people are made to feel growing up in these households is immense.
In my own experience as a bisexual man and former Jehovah’s Witness, there is continuous teaching that homosexuality is a sin and that it is something you must repress to earn God’s love and everlasting life according to the verses that they interpreted from the Bible. If found out to be LBGTQ, there was the threat of having your family treat you as if you were dead until you were deemed repentant.
I had the anxiety that God would read my mind, reveal my sin and I would lose my entire family. There are long and deep emotional scars that weight left me. It was only when my mother and I left family behind with the religion that I could even admit the possibility that I liked men and see that not all Christians believe that I was destined for destruction.
Many religious people, LGBTQ and not, have decided to embrace that message of Lil Nas X instead of ignoring the rafters in their eyes. “There are plenty of Christians who are celebrating what’s happening right now,” says Minister Alicia Crosby, according to USAToday.
According to PRRI, barring white evangelical groups, most Christians support LGBTQ rights.
Even with the changing public attitudes, the point of Lil Nas X video is that there will always be some Christians who think that LGBTQ people are demonic. His video is to all of those that had to grow up in such an unnecessary atmosphere of hate, inflicted by others or themselves, to wear the label proudly and not give in to self-loathing.