By Latoya L. Mason
Grace. Merriam-Webster defines it as: disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. Grace is one of the most humane things you can offer to someone when they, by whatever standard, have made a mistake or have gone astray. It’s a simple act of kindness that I’ve found to have great privilege.
This week, Lil Nas X caused quite an uproar with the release of his most recent music video to the song “Montero” and the Satan shoe. If you have seen the video or read anything about the shoe, then you can understand why. It has a major shock value to it. Back in 2019 he released the wildly popular song “Old Town Road,” then shortly after he came out as a gay man. That year he went from being America’s sweetheart to, according to his critics, single handedly leading all the youth to hell. He is no stranger to creating shock value.
I have read opinion after opinion about the content of the video, mostly from self-proclaimed Christians and the more I read the more I began to feel empathy for him. I said to myself, look at the Christians being Christians. Passing judgment, condemning him, writing him off as a lost soul. The majority did the exact opposite of what Jesus would have done if he walked the earth today. Lil Nas X is a man who spent most of his life hiding from who he is because of religious constraints. He believed that he was going to hell because that is what he was told by people who had influence over him.
Lil Nas X spent his whole life thinking he’s going to hell
I honestly think what bothers people the most about him is that he comes across as unbothered by the criticism. I think they thought they were going to finish what they started back in 2019 and destroy this man’s reach, confidence, and career. They thought that they would come in armed with antiquated ideals and rehearsed religious jargon and slay the beast that is opening the gates of hell and sucking our children in.
What they fail to realize is that he is a 21-year-old black gay man and the son of a gospel singer, who has spent his life thinking he is going to hell for just being. He has seen the imagery of his life in hell so vividly in his beautiful, creative brain that at the first opportunity to bring that imagery to life, he does it in such detail that it has made even the most studied of Christians pause and panic. He visually created the very place that he has been condemned to and the Christians lost their minds.
Can you imagine living with these images in your head? Can you fathom that there is a healthy, vibrant future for you with these images in your head?
Christians, showing judgement, missed opportunity to show grace, love
There was an opportunity to do the right thing here. There was an opportunity to “practice what you preach.” There was an opportunity to extend grace to this young man and for the church to stand up and publicly show him the love that I believe he is looking for. But, it was an epic failure.
I must be honest; I was a little taken aback by the video, then the release of the shoes at first, but my momma instinct kicked in and said to google the lyrics and hear what he is saying. That was rough too, but it was important to me to find out everything about where this guy is coming from. When I did, all I wanted to do was hug him. I wanted to let him know that people love and accept him and that I understand his need to be heard and understood.
Wanting him to know that there is purpose for his life and his success is not by accident, I hope that he’s set free from whatever is holding him in this space of proving things to people that do not matter. I am a mother, trying to make sure that I see my kids, and hear them, and protect their peace and mental health. Any mother would move heaven, hell, and Earth to do so. I believe every child deserves this and I wanted to do this for Lil Nas X as well, because we all deserve a little grace.
About the author
LaToya is the Owner and Creative Director of LMason Wedding and Event
Planning. LaToya had an extensive career with some of the top luxury retailers in
the country before taking the leap of faith and turning a long-time hobby into a
full-time business in February of 2015. When she is not planning away or
volunteering, you can catch LaToya blogging “Un-apologetically” about her many
opinions and the insanity that is her life with 4 kids ranging from 32 to 7 years old,
3 grandchildren, a business, and a cranky husband.
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