The union of hip-hop and the LGBTQ+ community
by Mahkesha Hogg
LBGTQ+ Black Issues Columnist
What a perfect month to write an article over what I feel the vibes are between the hip hop community and the LGBTQ+ community. Lil Nas X has come out of the closet to the world officially! Take that horse to the old town road and put a rainbow flag on him and ride til you can’t no more.
Yes, Lil Nas is the black musician who just broke all the charts with his Country hip hop song with Billy Ray Cyrus. Old Town Road is the song we did not know we needed but glad we have.
Well, on the last day of Pride month, Lil Nas took to his twitter account and announced he thought it was obvious but to make it officially clear I am gay. Not his exact words, but something to that effect. He’s black, unapologetically gay and at the top of the charts.
Ya’ll do we need more? Oh, but some people were big mad.
The song brought all kinds of people together, yet it brought some people even closer to together in bigotry. It was a mess. Some people said they were duped and tricked into liking him. Lil Nas claims he wasn’t really keeping it a secret but decided to leave no doubt after the weekend we celebrated 50 years since the Stonewall Riot.
The relationship or interaction, I should say, of hip hop and the LGBTQ+ community had not been so peachy over the decades. Eminem is one rapper who has used homophobic slurs and derogatory statements about gay people, specifically men, in his lyrics. He is a very popular figure in the hip hop community.
For some reason, it is easy to pick on gay people, and being gay is synonymous with being a weak man to most hip hop fans. Now that Lil Nas has come out, I believe things will change.
Although lesser known is Frank Ocean, an R&B/hip hop star who came out years ago, he is very openly queer and not in the closet.
I have found many African Americans have never been “in the closet,” they just rarely talk about it on a large level.
Think about it…me as a straight woman never has to announce, “I am straight.” People would think it was absurd. We should afford the same standards to the LGBTQ+ community.
Also, Nicki Minaj is a bisexual female rapper who often talks about her love for women in her lyrics, but she is not made fun of because our society still thinks lesbians or bisexual women are sexy. This patriarchy of a society we live in deems woman on woman love to be sensual.
It is time to destigmatize male on male black love and trans love. If we do, I believe the alarming rates of the murders of trans women of color will decrease.
It starts with us. We buy this music and share it. Let’s put our “out” LGBTQ+ hip hop stars on a pedestal. Let us make them the Parade Marshals and headliners at Pride.
We must drown out the hate with our vibrant rainbow love. The state of relations with the LGBTQ+ and hip hop community is getting better. Slowly progress is happening, and it is changing the minds of the consumers.
We also need to make sure we put our money where our mouth is by supporting these artists. Let’s show up and show out at their concerts and let people know what those brown and black stripes on the flag stand for.
Copyright The Gayly. 8/3/2019 @ 3:22 p.m. CST.