Dance With the Devil & Seize Your Power: Call Me By Your Name

Reneaux Ruffin
4 min readMar 30, 2021

The gays are up to their shenanigans again, and I am living. Lil Nas X is in what Christians, self-proclaimed spiritualists (but really just Christians with extra steps), and weird people on Twitter would probably call hot water after the release of his new music video “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” If you’re not a Lil Nas fan or don’t listen to much hip-hop then you should check out the video hyperlinked in the last sentence. The section of the video that’s getting the most attention is towards the end when Nas gives a lap dance to the devil. If you ask a conservative or particularly Christian friend, they would probably have you believe that that’s all there is to the video. His partnership with MSCHF for modified Nikes called “Satan Shoes” is also adding to their accusations of Satan worship, soul sacrificing, and condemnation. Nike is suing over the shoes, however, so I’m not sure how long the site will remain live. When you look at the video from an objective angle, however, its true colors as art come into focus.

There’s the seduction of Eve in the garden, a trial in what appears to be a Roman colosseum, the fall of Lucifer, and, of course, the literal dance with the devil. The imagery combined with Nas’s foreword and tweets clues us as interpreters into his mind in the lyrics and video content. This is a declaration of war against all of those things that told him he was broken, that his love was impure and evil, and that his heart would lead to the destruction of his soul and others’. As a genderqueer person of color raised as a Southern Baptist in Louisiana, I relate to the themes used in the video and love the power of choice he illustrates with them.

When you’re a Black person navigating White spaces and a gay, genderqueer person navigating heteronormative spaces, the persecution I’ve felt in private and faced in public is enough to make any average kid hate themself. The inability to escape the lore and promises of damnation; the desire to change yourself into something that they believe in versus something you believe in; and the constant feeling of flirting with disaster overwhelms the spirit. It’s difficult…

Reneaux Ruffin

Writer. Witch. If Garnet was obsessed with Evanescence's The Open Door tbh.