Lil Nas X apologises to trans community after backlash over joke about transitioning
A since-deleted tweet
Rapper Lil Nas X has apologised to the trans community after facing a huge backlash, following a joke about transitioning. In a since-deleted tweet, the Grammy-award-winning artist posted a photo of a woman who looks similar to him, with the caption: “The surgery was a success.”
Criticism from the LGBTQ+ community
The post faced huge criticism from the LGBTQ+ community, who saw it as mocking the trans community at a time when they are already facing hatred from mainstream media and politicians. Earlier this month, Tennessee politicians outlawed drag performances in the presence of children and bans them from occurring within 1,000ft of schools, public parks, or places of worship. This is just one of many legislative attacks in the US this year. Meanwhile, a recent study from The Trevor Project found that 25 per cent of young Black trans and non-binary people in the US have attempted to take their own lives.
Response from Lil Nas X
As one Twitter user pointed out to the Lil Nas X: “You’re a gay cis male, why are you making transitioning a punchline of a joke?” To which the rapper initially responded: “I’m literally just saying she looks like me, y’all cannot be f**king serious.” And when asked why he included surgery in the joke, he added: “Because she has titties? Are you dense?” However, as the anger grew, he issued another statement, saying: “Apologies to the trans community I definitely handled that situation with anger instead of considering why it was not cool. Much love to you guys. Sorry.”
Backlash to his apology
Although people were pleased Lil Nas X had admitted his error, he almost immediately backtracked by mocking a Black trans woman who called him out. “Baby, this apology ain’t it! You need to apologise to the trans community in material ways that include money, sharing your platform to raise awareness… this is fake as hell!” she wrote. To which Lil Nas X simply replied: “Girl eat my a**.” For many, this has overshadowed his apology, with one person writing: “So once again you’re responding with spite and vitriol instead of engaging with the very valid criticism coming from an actual trans person. And you’re cool with your fans harassing and sending threats to a Black trans woman who named the ways your apology fell short.”
Critiques of Lil Nas X’s behaviour
Some have pointed out his track record for making uncomfortable jokes, such as pretending to be pregnant. “Some of his antics are causing really frustrating conversations for trans people, specifically Black trans folks. His fake pregnancy photos opened up an ugly can of worms and today’s transition joke feels similar,” another fan wrote. Others have said his trolling has gone too far, although some are saying the anger should be reserved for those responsible for the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
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