On the last day of LGBT+ Pride Month — right before the final rainbow dust settled — country trap sensation Lil Nas X made a big announcement.
In a tweet, he included a clip to his song “C7osure (You Like)” and wrote, “Some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. But before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure.” He then added a rainbow emoji to his words.
The song “C7osure (You Like)” features lyrics like:
“Ain’t no more actin’, man that forecast say I should just let me grow.
No more red light for me, baby, only green, I gotta go.
Pack my past up in the back, oh, let my future take a hold.
This is what I gotta do, can’t be regretting when I’m old.”
Not too long after Lil Nas’ initial tweet, he then posted the album art to his EP called 7, and lo and behold, a building in the city art is covered in rainbow colors.
It was official. Lil Nas X was coming out!
But coming out as what, exactly?
Almost instantly, major publications like USA Today and Los Angeles Times published headlines along the lines of “Lil Nas X Comes Out As Gay,” despite the 20-year-old never confirming his sexuality. Although publications like CNN claim sources close to Lil Nas confirm he’s gay, the young star still hasn’t had a moment to publicly define is sexuality for himself.
For some folks, this might be a petty observation, but for people who’ve spent much of their life trying to understand their sexuality, it can be an ongoing journey trying to figure out your identity. Lil Nas could easily be bisexual, pansexual, queer or he might not want to label his sexuality just yet.
The subject becomes even more complicated due to his trolling humor. On Twitter, the singer-rapper has already posted cryptic words like “just cuz i’m gay don’t mean i’m not straight.”
Then, on Instagram, he posted a clip of his song “Panini” with the words, “just cuz i’m gay don’t mean i’m gay.”
Does this mean he likes girls too? Is he here for all the genders? Is he trolling us?
WE NEED ANSWERS!
Lil Nas X’s “coming out” saga reminds me of another important coming out moment — Frank Ocean‘s.
In 2012, he released a letter describing romantic relationships he’s had with women and men. Automatically, publications like The Washington Post wrote headlines like “Frank Ocean Comes Out As Bisexual.” But again, Frank never mentioned in his letter that he identified as bisexual. He simply said “I was in love.”
Some people might have the need to know for sure someone’s sexuality or the specifics of their “coming out,” and this isn’t necessarily an odd feeling depending on the context. It’s hard out here in the dating world and some folks just want to know if they have a chance with their celebrity crush.
However, Lil Nas X is teaching us that there are levels to this.
He might never mention his sexuality again. He might even leave us guessing for years about what his tweets really mean. Meanwhile, he could be living his best gay life…or straight life…or straight life with a side of gay.
Lil Nas also has to figure out the ways he wants to be “out.” Will he be sharing pictures of his future partners on social media? Will he dish on navigating his sexuality in queer-antagonistic spaces? These are questions he must answer for himself, after the pride flags come down, after the last floats set sail in a parade. Although being out publicly is great and has social awareness benefits, anyone understanding their sexual identity must move on their own time.
Until the full story comes out (and if it comes out), we’ll just have to be satisfied with Lil Nas’ trolling tweets.