Lil Nas X ‘thought God was tempting him’ with feelings for men: ‘I never wanted to be gay’

Lil Nas X side by side cover GQ Style

Lil Nas X has revealed that he thought God was “tempting” him with his feelings for men, admitting he “never wanted to be gay”.

The “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” rapper graced the cover of upcoming issue of the British edition of GQ Style. Lil Nas X spoke to the magazine about learning about his sexuality, growing up in a religious household and his rise to becoming an LGBT+ and music icon.

The rapper described how his father, Robert Stafford, is a “literal gospel singer” so he grew up surrounded by religion. He said going up surrounded by Christianity was “never super bad”, but it was “just kind of boring for me”. Nas said that living “deep into the internet” first challenged his belief in Christianity, and he was determined to live his truth as a gay man.

Lil Nas X GQ Style cover image

Lil Nas X features in a photoshoot for GQ Style SS21, available on newsstands 13 May 2021. (Photo by Luke Gilford)

But he explained that his belief in Christianity was juxtaposed against his determination to live his truth. He even said he believed at one point that his attraction to men was a “temporary test” from God. Lil Nas X told GQ Style: “That was one of the main reasons why I never wanted to be gay.

“I even thought ‘If I have these feelings, it’s just a test. A temporary test. It’s going to go away. God is just tempting me.”

He added that he could recall instances of homophobia that he was exposed to in middle and high school. But he said homosexuality was “never really talked about” despite the fact “it was always around me, constantly”.

Lil Nas X  GQ Style SS21 (Photo by Luke Gilford)

Lil Nas X features in a photoshoot for GQ Style SS21, available on newsstands 13 May 2021. (Photo by Luke Gilford)

Nas explained that he feels like he has grown as an artist after coming out to family, friends and fans. He said his new music and spicy music video is “rebellious on many, many levels” because it allowed him to express himself in ways that he had been afraid to do before. Nas said he felt he had to keep his music “very safe and PG-13”, and even as a gay artist, he had to be “respectable”. He added that he feared he wouldn’t be “allowed to be really sensual or anything”.

Nas explained: “Like I’m gay, but I’m not ‘gay’… Like I’m gay, but I have to make sure you feel like I can be straight-passing too.”

Lil Nas X  GQ Style SS21 floor image (Photo by Luke Gilford)

Lil Nas X  GQ Style SS21 (Photo by Luke Gilford)

The “Old Town Road” singer said his confidence had grown not only in his music career but also in his personal life. He said he feels “super comfortable now” in his identity as a gay man, adding he had been on a date and felt bolder in flirting with men.

“Even asking guys ‘Yo, are you into me’ or some s**t like that,” Lil Nas X said. “That was never going to happen before because I was like ‘what if they say no?’ But now it’s like: ‘If they say no, then s**t, okay’.”

See the full feature in the GQ Style SS21 issue available on newsstands Thursday 13th May.