Lil Nas X has already established a reputation as one of the Twitter-savviest celebrities around, but now he's adding in-person clap backs to his list of talents.
In an appearance on the HBO celebrity talk show The Shop, Lil Nas X fielded questions from his fellow celebrity guests about why he decided to come out of the closet last June. A preview clip of the conversation published Wednesday quickly drew attention on social media due to the tenor of the questioning from panelist Kevin Hart, who seemed to imply that coming out is no longer necessary. But Lil Nas X's composed response made it clear that homophobia still makes it difficult for rising LGBTQ stars to express their sexuality.
In the minute-long clip, Lil Nas X tries to explain that his decision to come out had to do in part with how he was raised: "knowing, growing up, I'm growing up to hate [homosexuality]." Hart follows by asking, "Why?"
Hart, of course, is likely well aware of why Lil Nas X might have felt homophobia was pervasive, considering he recently stepped down as host of this year's Oscars over his own resurfaced homophobic tweets from 2009–2011. And in the ensuing drama where he refused to apologize for the tweets, he repeatedly emphasized that he's taken steps to confront his earlier biases, including during a much-publicized speech on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The fact that Hart, of all people, would be the one asking Lil Nas X why he was taught to hate homosexuality growing up is almost as baffling as the question itself. But Lil Nas X handled the question perfectly—grabbing his chair, tilting his head as if to call Hart out for a willfully ignorant question, and delivering a "come on now," for the ages.
"If you really from the hood, you know," he said.
He went on to explain that he was worried people would think he was "doing it for attention" if he came out earlier, but adds, "if you're doing this at the top, you know it's for real, showing it doesn't really matter."
Judging from Lil Nas X's composure during The Shop, maybe he's right.
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