Ever since Lil Nas X came out at the end of Pride month, he’s become more and more open about his journey from a broke closeted kid to a gay country hip-hop artist who took over the Billboard charts.
In a clip from a new interview with Gayle King, the “Old Town Road” rapper got even more candid about his struggle. At one point, King asked him if he knew he was gay from a young age and just hid it away from the world.
“Yeah, definitely. I knew,” he confirmed. “Especially around my teenage years, I was just like praying, praying, praying [that it was a phase].”
Coming out hasn’t been without its bumps for Lil Nas X, but he’s been very blunt about acknowledging the privilege that his money and recent success has granted him.
“[Coming out is] something I never probably would have did if I was still living with my parents,” he told Billboard recently. “I have that independence to do it, you know?”
Still, some fans and fellow rappers have criticized him for coming out at all, suggesting being gay is something you should keep to yourself. And then there are those like Kevin Hart, who claimed to not understand why coming out was a big deal, or why Lil Nas would have experienced homophobia or struggled with his sexuality.
But Lil Nas knows it is a big deal that he decided to be honest with fans, even though he might face some pushback from homophobes.
“We still have a long way to go, because it’s not like everyone is messing with me now. ‘Cause of course somebody who’s listening to me in school right now, it’s like, ‘You’re gay, ‘cause you’re listening to him,’” he said. “There’s still a lot to be done, of course. But I do believe it’s helping.”
The full interview is set to air tomorrow on CBS This Morning.