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Lil Nas X Fake Pregnancy Sparks Debate In Trans Community

by : Hannah Smith on : 06 Sep 2021 08:08
Lil Nas X Fake Pregnancy Sparks Debate In Trans CommunityLil Nas X/Instagram

Lil Nas X’s recent ‘fake pregnancy’ photoshoot has sparked plenty of debate, including a lively and educational conversation between two trans advocates.

Following the photoshoot, the rapper quickly began to face criticism from some who felt that his actions were transphobic. In an post, Schuyler Bailar – a trans advocate and athlete – explained that he believed that the fake pregnancy was ‘insensitive and irresponsible’ as it relied on a ‘shock factor’ grounded in the idea that men cannot get pregnant, pointing out that ‘trans men can and do all the time’.

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Lil Nas X' album announcement (Lil Nas X/Instagram)Lil Nas X/Instagram

‘Lil Nas X’ portrayal of pregnancy as a cis man welcomes ignorance and hatred towards the trans masculine community specifically,’ he wrote, including screenshots of transphobic comments left under the rapper’s post.

Following his post, Bailar received several comments from his Black trans followers who were concerned that he had called out Lil Nas X, but not James Charles – who also 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.

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Coleman – also a trans educator – also said that he saw positives in the rapper’s decision, telling Bailar he hoped that the conversation prompted by Lil Nas X’s shoot could help spur a conversation about trans masculine pregnancies, especially as relates to Black trans people. ‘It’s the doors that we can open… we can use this to leverage a conversation that needs to be had,’ he said.

In a follow-up post, Bailar explored how his own initial posts had exhibited anti-Blackness, saying ‘the pain that some trans masculine folks feel in response is real and valid, but should not be directed at Lil Nas X when countless white men have engaged in the behaviour prior and not received the same critical energy for it’.

Following their open conversation, both Bailar and Coleman have received praise from others in the trans community for using their platforms to help educate others and promote good-faith debate.

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If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: Music, LGBTQ+, Lil Nas X, Now

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@pinkmantaray/Instagram
  1. @pinkmantaray/Instagram

    Schuyler & Kayden Chat