Lil Nas X is celebrating Pride Month by living his life out loud and making all the homophobes uncomfortable on a nationally-televised stage.
It’s no secret that the artist, whose full name is Montero Lamar Hill, is meticulous about his visuals and his performances, always doing everything he can to make sure he leaves an impression on everyone in the audience and those watching at home. That’s exactly what he did for Sunday night’s BET Awards, performing his latest hit “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” surrounded by dancers in Egyptian-inspired fashion reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s music video for “Remember the Time.”
At the end of the show-stopping performance, Lil Nas X leaned over and shared a passionate kiss with one of his male dancers, sending the internet into a frenzy.
While a lot of fans took the time to praise Montero for his unapologetic performance, others were upset, with one fan tweeting the singer saying, “DONT USE AFRICAN CULTURE FOR S***S LIKE THIS!!!!!!! RESPECT OUR ANCESTORS.”
Usually a troll, Lil Nas X took a more straightforward approach when responding to this criticism, educating the fan on the fact that homosexuality was, indeed, present in African culture.
“Y’all really like to pretend homosexuality didn’t exist in african culture,” he wrote.
He went on to double down on his performance and the choice to make a statement at the BET Awards during Pride Month, writing, “LGBET.”
Lil Nas X came out as gay in 2019, and since then, his career has only gotten bigger–but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t faced his fair share of hate, especially when he unapologetically highlights his sexuality in a performance or a music video. Kind of like most artists play up their sexuality for entertainment…but, you know, people don’t care when they’re straight.
Luckily, Montero is used to the outrage by now and knows how to not let it get to him.
“The love outweighs the hate by like a hundred,” he told PEOPLE last month following the mixed reactions to his video for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).”
“I guess it’s because I kind of grew up on the internet and I’ve been through this before, and I know to take everything with a grain of salt,” he said. “So it’s rare that it’ll actually get to me, where I’m like, ‘Oh, that hurts.'”
Watch his performance at the BET Awards for yourself down below: