Lil Nas X thought he had made it obvious.
But if fans needed more clarity about the “Old Town Road” rapper’s sexuality, he gave it to them on Sunday during the final hours of Pride month. In a tweet, Lil Nas X, 20, pointed to the lyrics of “c7osure,” a song on his debut EP, as confirmation that he identifies as a member of the L.G.B.T.Q. community.
In the song’s lyrics, Lil Nas X sings, “Ain’t no more actin’, man that forecast say I should just let me grow.” Later he says, “This is what I gotta do, can’t be regrettin’ when I’m old.”
A few hours later, Lil Nas X posted the album art for his eight-song EP, called “7,” on Twitter. It features Lil Nas X in his cowboy gear, riding a horse and looking out on a skyline bright with rainbow lights.
Lil Nas X’s coming out on social media feels fitting, as he built his fame as an amateur meme maker, using his internet savvy to help make “Old Town Road” into a cultural phenomenon. The song, which he calls a “country-trap” hybrid, took off as the soundtrack to a dance challenge on the social network Tik Tok, quickly turning into a viral meme. It’s now entering its 13th week at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
In Lil Nas X’s first tweet addressing his sexuality, he suggested that the news could cost him some fans.
He is part of a pop landscape that has increasingly welcomed performers who have come out as queer, bisexual or gay. While mainstream gay megastars remain relatively rare in the worlds of country, rap and even pop, many genre-spanning artists, from Frank Ocean, Tyler the Creator, and Kevin Abstract to Janelle Monáe, Brandi Carlile and Troye Sivan, have spoken openly or written songs about same-sex attraction and relationships. And as acceptance of sexuality has become more widespread in culture generally, many younger artists have eschewed the need for major coming-out announcements in favor of more matter-of-fact acknowledgment.
But Lil Nas X’s tweets were met with an outpouring of support from fans online, many of them promising to spring to his defense if he became a target because of his sexuality.
Joe Coscarelli contributed reporting.