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Lil Nas X Gets Deeply Personal Discussing His Coming-Out Journey

Reflecting on discrimination and stigma, the rapper said that as a boy, he prayed being gay was a phase he'd grow out of.

Lil Nas X shared some details about his childhood and his coming-out journey during a “CBS This Morning” interview with co-host Gayle King that aired Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Atlanta rapper had notably opened up about his sexuality in a series of tweets on the last day of June, which is LGBTQ Pride month. He told King that as a celebrity, he has protections other people don’t have. 

“Me being in this position, it’s easy for me,” he said about coming out to his fans after the release of his now record-breaking “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus. “But some little boys ... 10 miles from here ... in the hood ... it’s not going to be good for him,” he said. 

Lil Nas X said he struggled as a boy with accepting his sexuality in the face of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and the history of discrimination. He would “pray” being gay was a “phase,” he recalled.

He was about 16 or 17 years old when he got to a place of self-acceptance, Lil Nas X told King, but afterward, he still had difficulty with speaking openly about his sexuality.

In July, Lil Nas X said that he once considered never publicly coming out, but that he hoped his doing so would open doors for greater LGBTQ acceptance in country and hip-hop music. 

Elsewhere in the “CBS This Morning” segment, Lil Nas X can be seen performing “Old Town Road” in a gymnasium at his former Atlanta area high school during a recent surprise visit

The country trap song, which Lil Nas X first released in December 2018, sparked wide conversations about racism in the country music world after it was removed from Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in March. The publication said at the time that the song didn’t have enough “elements of today’s country music.”

Discussing the removal, Lil Nas X told King that it was “the least of my worries” back then. “I could see how anybody else would be upset, but you’re talking to somebody who’s been sleeping on floors for the past couple of months,” he said, referring to his housing status at the time. 

Lil Nas X told Time in its August cover story that just last year, he was sleeping on his sister’s floor after leaving college to pursue music.

Watch the entire CBS segment here

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