Yes, the fabulously, flamboyantly gay Lil Nas X is atop the pop charts with his single “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)” in Saudi Arabia, a country where homosexuality or “cross-dressing” is punishable by fines, prison time and even possibly death. In fact, Saudi Arabia even made the top five of Forbes’s Top 20 Most Dangerous Places for Gay Travelers list.
And Saudi Arabia isn’t alone in its good taste in gay music. The single, which is essentially a song about bottoming that Nas X said he wrote about a man he met last summer, has also reached number one in Canada, Greece, Lithuania, Norway, Slovakia and several other countries. In the U.K., the song is number one for a second week in a row. And here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., the song is sitting at number two on Billboard’s Hot 100.
“MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)” is from Lil Nas X’s forthcoming debut album “Montero.” For as good as it’s doing though, the song has a long way to go before outperforming Nas X’s predecessor: “Old Town Road.” That song is the current record-holder for most weeks atop the Billboard Top 100 – a whopping 19 – and earlier this year the song went platinum for the 14th time.
Nas X came out on the last day of Pride Month in 2019. From the jump, he was clear that he knew coming out might cost him fans in the country and rap music communities that he had revolutionized with this song and its success.
“I know the people who listen to this the most, and they’re not accepting of homosexuality,” he said in a Time magazine cover story.
However, seeing so much LGBTQ+ love over Pride month convinced him to take a risk to be true to himself.
“I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe,” Nas X said. “In June, I’m seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands — little stuff like that.”