Posted on: September 25, 2023 Posted by: Kayla Curtis Comments: 0

Photo from Billboard

By Kayla Curtis, Staff Writer

When we hear the word “devil”, some usually think of this demon who is the representation of everything evil; but we might even think of a person we know. You have at least called someone the devil or a demon at some point in your life. My question is why do we think someone is the devil? We call someone the devil or a demon because they are different from us in some way.

Differences have been the cause of conflict since the beginning of time. The differences can be as trivial as not liking a person for their favorite color, while some can be as major as race or beliefs; but one that some people dislike is a difference in sexuality. Members of the LGBTQ+ community seem to always be bombarded with comments involving hell, satan, and sin simply for loving and being whoever.

Due to this, there has been a rise in members of the LGBTQ+ community embracing these taunts. Instead of allowing people to turn them into the devil, they have decided to use it as a way to rebel against those beliefs, especially in art.

In recent years, queer musicians have taken the traditionally negative mascot into a symbol of power and authenticity by showing the public they are who they are and will become the “devil” if it means living how they please. One of the most prominent artists in recent years is the artist Lil Nas X.

Lil Nas X rose to prominence with his song “Old Town Road” which would become the longest #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 in history. In June 2019, he tweeted about his song entitled “c7osure”. The tweet would be his coming out post and would receive support, but also homophobic comments. Instead of letting the hate get to him, Lil Nas X would work on his new album and release the lead single “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”. The music video would be based on the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Bible and would end with Lil Nas X dancing provocatively with the Devil. Lil Nas X was able to take the backlash he received from coming out and make it into something empowering for himself by showing the world that he is unapologetic about his sexuality. He would receive backlash for the video, but he decided to poke fun at the hate with a tweet saying, “y’all love saying we going to hell but get upset when i actually go there lmao”.

Another prominent artist who used demonic imagery is Demi Lovato. They rose to fame with their role on Camp Rock and Sonny with a Chance on Disney Channel. In 2021, they announced on Twitter that they are non-binary and will be adopting they/them pronouns. Just like Lil Nas X, they would receive hate on the announcement. They would use the hate they received on their song “Freak” on their 2022 album “Holy F–k”, an album that would serve as the end of their pop music. The cover of the album depicts Lovato tied on a cross-shaped bed; it symbolizes their sexual empowerment while encompassing the songs with religious undertones. Although they would receive backlash for the “demonic” cover, they would go on to say, “It’s my absolute best yet and so representative of me, where I started and who I am today”.

From the taunts of others, these artists were able to find an unlikely ally. They created work that is representative of themselves and are proud of what they have made. These artists and many others have shown us that if being “demonic” is what they are, they’re fine with it as long as they get to be their authentic selves.