Remember the time a young gay singer made history?

By Rachel Yang
June 27, 2021 at 11:05 PM EDT
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Lil Nas X delivered a historic performance at the BET Awards on Sunday, making out with one of his male dancers after a fiery set.

Lil Nas X BET
Lil Nas X BET Awards performance
| Credit: Johnny Nunez/Getty

The genre-bending rapper sang his hit "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" at the awards show, bringing members of the audience to their feet as he wrapped a special rendition of it by locking lips with a dancer. The performance had an ancient Egyptian theme, with Nas dressed in shining gold like a pharaoh surrounded by a group of male followers in an homage to Michael Jackson's 1991 "Remember the Time" music video. Nas even injected the chorus of Jackson's song into the end of his set.

Fans took to Twitter after the sweltering moment to celebrate, noting that it arrived on the last day of Pride.

Nas came out as gay publicly on June 30, 2019, on the final day of Pride month. He announced the news on Twitter by referring to the lyrics of his song "C7osure."

"Some of y'all already know, some of y'all don't care, some of y'all not gone fwm no more," he wrote. "But before this month ends i want y'all to listen closely to c7osure." The tweet included a rainbow emoji.

After the BET Awards, Nas hung out with Tyler, the Creator, who also performed during the show, rapping his new song "Lumberjack" from his recently released album Call Me If You Get Lost. Nas shared a few photos of him and Tyler featuring them both still dressed in the outfits they wore during their respective performances.

The BET showcase was electrifying and definitely much more successful than Lil Nas X's Saturday Night Live performance in May, during which he ripped his pants. About two years ago, the rapper also delivered a buzzy, entertaining performance at the BET Awards, singing his record-breaking, chart-topping smash "Old Town Road" with Billy Ray Cyrus.

After riding a stripper pole to hell in the "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" music video, Lil Nas X to the single to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April. He previously opened up about the release of the track with a personal message to his fans. He dedicated the song to his childhood self (Nas' birth name is Montero Lamar Hill). In the notes for "Montero," the rapper wrote that his music "will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist" and hit back at haters who said he was promoting "an agenda."

"Dear 14-year-old Montero, I wrote a song with our name in it. It's about a guy I met last summer. I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be 'that' type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist," the note read. "You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I'm pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the f--- out of other people's lives and stop dictating who they should be. Sending you love from the future."

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