“This is amazing. I would have not have imagined I would be here four years ago when I was in my sister’s room on the floor. What else can I say?” Lil Nas told the crowd. “This is incredible, man. Life just keeps getting better.”
The proclamation was presented by mayoral candidate Antonio Brown, who expounded on the rapper’s influence on the city, the LGBTQ community and his own run for office, according to TMZ. “He has made a considerable impact on the LGBTQ community by reshaping how society accepts LGBTQ artists within the music industry, and empowering others to break barriers and be more open, expressive, and personal through music and art,” said Brown.
“And Lil Nas X, I just wanna say you inspire me. I’m running to be the mayor of Atlanta. I would be the first LGBTQ mayor in the history of the city. And you inspire me, allow me to believe I can do it. So thank you.”
According to a statement, the festivities also included a private event hosted by fellow hometown hero record producer Dallas Austin and the HIV/AIDS organization Gilead COMPASS Initiative, which included a choir performance of songs from Montero. Among the special guests on hand were: Chloe Bailey, Kandi Burruss, Catherine Brewton (VP of Creative at BMI), Emil Wilbekin (Founder of Native Son), Shanti Das and Miss Lawrence. The choir was made up of members of the LGBTQ community, allies and faith leaders, with each member wearing purple in honor of GLAAD’s #SpiritDay on Thursday (Oct. 21), an anti-bullying social media campaign that asks people to wear the color to show their support for queer youth.
The statement noted that Nas X also visited his baby registry donation recipient and COMPASS grantee, Thrive SS, a nonprofit looking for health equity for Black gay men living with HIV as well as the Ponce De Leon Center to meet with youth and families affected by HIV. To date, the fake baby registry Lil Nas set up to celebrate the release of Montero has raised more than $100,000 for the Gilead COMPASS Initiative grantees, with Gilead pledging to match up to an additional $25,000 per grantee once the baby registry has closed.
And in another nod to how far he’s come in three years, the “Industry Baby” star will return to State Farm Arena on Thursday night (Oct. 21) for the Atlanta Hawks home opener; in March 2019, the arena was one of the first places to embrace “Old Town Road” as it was starting to blow up around the country.
Check out the proclamation below.