When celebrities give back to society, it must be noted. Lil Nas X just gave back to our LGBTQ Community and then some through his record promotion and his baby bump.
When Grammy award-winner Lil Nas X created his Montero Baby Registry last September to celebrate the launch of his album Montero, he brilliantly connected each of his album’s 13 songs to a different COMPASS organization.
What an amazing proactive design to plan fundraising around the attention and success of his music and the faith in his fans as the website highlighted a different charity with each song and then left it up to those fans to follow his lead and donate.
Why did Lil Nas X choose COMPASS?
COMPASS organizations have helped more than 175,000 people access quality healthcare and trained 13,000 people to become HIV leaders and advocates in the Southern U.S., which continues to lead the nation for HIV diagnoses. Black Americans are only 13% of the overall population, yet account for 40% of new HIV diagnoses due to racism, social and economic marginalization, and other barriers to healthcare, housing and transportation.
Lil Nas X elaborated on the work of COMPASS:
“Communities all across the South, like my home state of Georgia, are being transformed by the work of COMPASS grantees. The Montero baby registry was created to send resources to grassroots groups serving the most vulnerable. Funds raised will go to people living with HIV and inspire a new generation of leaders who will keep pushing for HIV education and one day, a cure.”
One of the COMPASS organizations is the Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc., a Houston-based nonprofit dedicated to assisting Black, queer+ people with overcoming barriers and ending stigmas and problematic narratives. It was with great pleasure that they announced today that, through Lil Nas X’s Montero baby registry, they are to receive nearly $500,000 for grantees of Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s COMPASS Initiative® . The song Lil Nas X tied to the Normal Anomaly was ‘Life After Salem’.
The Normal Anomaly Initiative supports its community by providing HIV tests, at-home tests, transportation for appointments and job interviews, employment assistance opportunities, sexual education classes, sex positive, liberation and LGBTQ+ affirming trainings, and events to uplift Black, queer+ persons and their culture. Their latest initiative includes the Black Queer+ Advancement Festival (BQ+AF) taking place on April 30th that provides a safe space to celebrate being Black and LGBTQIA+.
Of course, receiving these great funds, a celebration was due.
Today, in celebration of @LilNasX ‘Montero’ album, we had our baby shower at our BQ+ Center, here in Houston!
Our theme was #LifeAfterSalem , and guess what…
It’s giving TRIPLETS!!!
To donate, visit the #Montero baby registry
(Link to registry in bio)#LilNasX#BabyRegistry pic.twitter.com/bgQbecKGLu
— The Normal Anomaly Initiative (@_NormalAnomaly) September 8, 2021
Ian L. Haddock, Executive Director, The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc. praised the work of the rapper and now philanthropist:
“Lil Nas X has allowed our organization to dream big! Through these funds we are not only able to create a brave space for community, celebrate entrepreneurship and have queer musical artists headline a festival, but we are able to continue to raise money through ticket sales to impact necessary programming including our community burial fund, transgender services and programs that directly impact people living with and impacted by HIV.”
Dr. Shanell L. McGoy, Director of Public Affairs, Corporate Giving at Gilead Sciences.
“Donations from the Montero baby registry will have a direct impact on communities affected by HIV and we’re deeply thankful for Lil Nas X and his sustained advocacy for HIV awareness and education. The Gilead COMPASS Initiative® is committed to supporting the work of community-based organizations working around the clock to address HIV-related stigma, increase access to resources that support wellness and encourage leadership and advocacy across the Southern United States. The baby registry donations are a welcomed and added boost for our grantees.”
Last year, in its fourth round of funding, COMPASS awarded 29 organizations $2,875,000 as 2021 Transformative Grant Partners working to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States. The initiative grew significantly, with the selection of new grantees, inclusion of organizations with a specific focus on addressing HIV in rural regions and faith communities and expansion of the program to three new states – Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kentucky.
As for Mr Montero, he has left the baby registry up and it is still accepting donations. I think most of us may not have visited the site before. We love his music and now love him even more. So if you’re interested in showing him love back, head over to the Montero Baby Registry and see where you want to help our community. Or will the song sway you to where you put your money money money? Here’s ‘Life After Salem’ that was tied to the Normal Anomaly Initiative.
About Normal Anomaly – Founded by Ian L. Haddock in June 2016 in Houston, Texas as a storytelling blog, The Normal Anomaly Initiative has grown to become a Houston staple in the community-based social advocacy world dedicated to the forward mobility of all black, queer people. In March 2021, The Normal Anomaly opened the BQ Plus Center for Liberation, a Black, Queer led center located in Houston.