Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Columbia/Instagram
Lil Nas X has addressed a recent viral video of a child in Atlanta being targeted with anti-gay abuse by his own family.
The video of the 12-year-old boy, known only as Tyler, first emerged in June.
In it, Tyler - seen with the word 'gay' shaved onto his head - is slapped and verbally abused by a man berating him for "gay ass s**t"
In an interview with Out magazine, 'Industry baby' rapper Lil Nas - who himself grew up near Atlanta - said the clip took him "back in time."
He need to help this kid— A-A-Ron (@RoedlAaron) June 17, 2021
He’s 10 years old from Atlanta GA. Someone on Instagram recorded his family on live throwing him around and making fun of him for being gay
I put his dads Instagram in the comments. This kid needs help Fr. This ain’t right pic.twitter.com/PQigeDcdpV
"I have to do my absolute f**king best with this performance because of shit like this"
Discussing the abuse, Lil Nas told the publication: "It takes you back in time, watching somebody else’s experience."
He then explained how the video compelled him to give 100% during his BET Awards performance of 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)', in which he kissed his male dancers.
“I was in rehearsals like, ‘Oh, my God. I have to do my absolute fucking best with this performance because of s*** like this,’” Lil Nas said.
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Of his own childhood, the 22-year-old said: “Growing up in the Atlanta area, I [saw] a lot of microaggressions towards homosexuality.
"Little things like going into an IHOP [restaurant] and hearing one of your family members say, ‘Look at those f*****s’ to two people eating or even just a small [statement like] ‘Boys don’t cry.’ Little shit like living in the hood, not being super into sports, and then having to go outside and pretend that I was.”
Three people connected to Tyler - Lorkeyla Spencer, 19, Brittney Mills, 35, and Jordan Richards-Nwankwo, 18 - were reportedly arrested last month on charges of first-degree cruelty to children, after a month-long investigation by the Atlanta Police Department's Special Victims Unit. Richards-Nwanko is facing an additional charge of battery.
Atlanta Police Department Sgt. John Chafee said of the investigation (as per Fox 5): "We’re very pleased with these arrests but we are pleased with feedback that we got from members of the community assisting in this and how quickly they were able to jump on it."
As of last month, Tyler was reportedly in the care of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).