Being a Black, gay man in 2021 is no easy feat, but being a Black, gay, rapper/pop star/legendary Twitter troll is a whole different level of pressure, and it’s one that Lil Nas X faces every single day. In a recent interview with XXL Magazine, the 22-year-old opened up about what his rise to fame has really been like, and the hate that he’s had to deal with.

“Honestly, I don’t feel as respected in hip-hop or many music places in general,” the “Old Town Road” singer revealed. “But these are communities that I am a part of, whether people would like it or not.”

“This is something that I wanted to do because, not that my entire album is rap, but there are rap tracks on my album. I am a rapper. I am a pop star. I am a gay artist. But it’s like, I belong in these places, you know?”

Although Lil Nas X appears to play things off well by constantly joking around on social media, there’s no denying that being the constant target of problematic rappers like Boosie and T.I. for expressing yourself and embracing your sexuality can’t feel good.

During his XXL interview, the Georgia native also opened up about his decision to publicly come out back in the summer of 2019.

“I honestly felt like it was kind of my duty,” he explained.

“Especially if I wanted to move forward. And what I was doing, because authenticity is very real, and I feel like people can see right through that. And that’s a part of me.”

Although he undoubtedly faces his struggles, as of late, Nas has had a lot to smile about. The release of his album, MONTERO saw great success, and allowed him to work with other LGBTQ icons like Elton John and Miley Cyrus.