This weekend I took my kids to a community fete in our north London borough of Haringey, complete with bouncy castle, Turkish dancing, tug-of-war and free curry. After a while the younger children present began to drag their heels, so the emcee put Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road on and surrendered the microphone – at which point they all, I believe the phrase is, popped off. Old Town Road was then played, sometimes in alternation with Baby Shark, a total number of 4,012 times, with children doing the shoot dance and hollering “can’t tell me nothing” into the mic all afternoon. The Guardian reports.
The absolutely hilarious irony of a figure such as Lil Nas X, whose song has now infiltrated the DNA of a generation, appearing to come out at a time when some parents have been fretting about their children learning about the existence of LGBTQ people, is delicious. I would go one step further and add that children innocently singing some of the song’s fairly eye-watering lyrics marks a step change for queer representation and equality (Lil Nas X has stated that the song is merely about riding horses, but this is open to interpretation).
In a roundabout way, this is why Lil Nas X – himself a very young queer person at 20 – is so crucial. This playful and lovable man, becoming massively popular with the very young while hiding in plain sight as a proud queer man, is important not just because of his visibility, but also because he shows there is no harm in children becoming acquainted with queerness and queer culture. Some children may be stopped from learning about LGBTQ people in some schools, but those are just about the only places left that won’t tell them.
Read the full article as the author explains how the lyrics to Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin’ didn’t manage to corrupt him Lil Nas X’s coming out shows why hiding LGBT life from children won’t work
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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