American rapper Lil Nas X has sparked major controversy in the trans community for his fake pregnancy photoshoot.
Lil Nas X - aka Montero Lamar Hill - is known for being controversial. Just a few months ago, the rapper received major backlash after launching his 'Satan' shoe range with drops of real human blood in them. He soon hit out at Tony Hawk, who later released a limited edition skateboard with human blood in it and yet didn't receive the same criticism. Lil Nas made his response "Nah he tweakin" trend.
His latest stunt has caused a stir in the trans community, who have criticised the 'Old Town Road' singer for having a photoshoot of him with a pregnancy bump to announce the launch of his debut album.
Lil Nas captioned the photos of his pregnant belly on Instagram with: "SURPRISE! I can't believe i'm finally announcing this. My little bundle of joy "MONTERO" is due September 17, 2021."
Over on Twitter, he thanked former US president Barack Obama for the "early baby shower gift" and shared a photo of a baby gift hamper with 'Montero' written on the front. It's not been confirmed if Obama actually sent that to Lil Nas.
omg i'm trying not to cry! :disappointed_relieved: thank u for the early baby shower gift @BarackObama pic.twitter.com/0vb5SH2De0
- MONTERO (@LilNasX) September 4, 2021
But while the concept is obvious and entertaining to some - his debut album is his baby and it's due very soon (hence the heavily pregnant belly) - others see it as being insensitive to trans men who are able to get pregnant.
Schuyler Bailar - a trans advocate and athlete - posted online and said the fake pregnancy stunt was "insensitive and irresponsible" as it relied on a "shock factor" grounded in the idea that men cannot get pregnant, adding that "trans men can and do all the time."
"Lil Nas X's portrayal of pregnancy as a cis man welcomes ignorance and hatred towards the trans masculine community specifically," he added, including screenshots of transphobic comments left under the rapper's post.
But while some have called Lil Nas out, others are saying it isn't that simple and that there is some racial bias attached to the criticism of the rapper.
Some of Bailer's Black trans commented saying they were concerned that he had called out Lil Nas X, but not James Charles (a white, gay American beauty vlogger) - who posted a fake pregnancy shoot earlier this year.
Among those to have a different viewpoint was Kayden Coleman, who in an Instagram Live conversation with Bailar explained that while he agrees that the act could be perceived as transphobic by other trans men, he believes that those criticising Lil Nas X without also calling out cis white men who have done the same thing are exhibiting anti-Black bias.
Lil Nas X has since responded to the criticism and Tweeted with one last jibe, saying: "Let me get offline, all of this negative energy is not good for the baby."
In a previous tweet, he wrote: "Nothing makes me happier than making people that hate me, hate me more."
Lil Nas X announced in 2019 that he is gay. As far as we know, he identifies as a cis male.
Previously reluctant to come out as gay, he announced the news to fans on Twitter by urging them to "listen closely" to his song 'C7osure,' which says: "Ain't no more actin', man, that forecast say I should just let me grow," which is now understood to be a nod to him concealing his identity as a gay man.
"Deadass thought I made it obvious," he said in a Tweet, with several rainbow emojis at the end.
The same year, Lil Nas became the first openly gay man to receive a Country Music Award for 'Old Town Road.'
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