Yes, this treacherous bid for LGBTQ+ equality has been memed to death in the nearly decade since its publication (looking at you, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping) But at the time, “Same Love” was a bona fide equality anthem as the United States moved closer to legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. At the 2013 VMAs, hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis delivered a poignant rendition of their best video with a social message-winning single. They were joined on stage by Mary Lambert, who performed the song’s chorus, and Jennifer Hudson, who helped close out the track.
Lil Nas X Shouts Gay Agenda (2021)
Of course, we couldn’t close this list without giving a shout out to the one and only Lil Nas X. Pop’s meme king dominated last year’s VMAs, and even took home the night’s biggest prize: Video of the Year, for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”
“First I want to say thank you to the gay agenda, let’s get to the gay agenda!” He began his acceptance speech, and rightly so.
Lil Nas X gave us the weird VMS vision we deserved with a mash-up performance of “Call Me By Your Name” and “Industry Baby,” in which he wore pink bedazzled underwear with his backup dancers. The rapper used his performance to draw attention to the HIV epidemic in the southern United States, inviting Mardrakes Harris of the Southern AIDS Coalition on stage. Harris wore the number 433,816, acknowledging the number of people living with HIV in the region, many of whom are Black queer men).
Lil Nas X is nominated for a whopping seven VMAs at this year’s ceremony, and I for one can’t wait to see what iconic gay awards he’ll show up to next.
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