Tuesday's episode of The store is in the headlines over a conversation involving Lil Nas X and Kevin Hart. See the clip:
A little context here. Lil Nas X took to Twitter at the end of June (Pride Month). While many fans celebrated the moment, others criticized Lil Nas X, claiming he used the experience and Pride for a month to increase his popularity. That's why moderator Paul Rivera asked him specifically about the timing.
You will probably recall that Kevin Hart gave up hosting the Oscars this year because of homophobic comments made several years ago. However, he made it clear that he felt the backlash from trolls and hatred was unjustified and even complained that he had to continue to apologize for his past actions. Don't worry though, Ellen Degeneres forgave him on behalf of the entire LGBTQ community.
Now, a few months later, after the smoke has cleared, we find ourselves again talking about Kevin Hart's prejudices. Much has been written about what was wrong with the way he acted in this conversation. Vox has a great article about it, but I think Goldie Taylor of the Daily Beast sums it up best:
"He said he was gay. So what!" Kevin Hart knows exactly what "so what" is here and why a young black boy will shut down his sexuality until he believes it is safe. Why not just listen, give @LilNasX the space and the honor to tell your own story … https://t.co/8nY9cHPftP records19459005] – G O L D I E. (@goldietaylor) September 4, 2019
I don't want to talk about Kevin Hart. His behavior speaks for itself in this video. I will say that it is interesting that he seems confused as to why a gay man will grow up with internalized hatred when he uses these same insecurities to justify why he will not play a gay character during an interview with The Club Club.  Let's talk instead of Lil Nas X. What impressed me in all this debate was the way Lil Nas X took place in a room that left him mostly to take care of himself. The points of Lil Nas X are well articulated, insightful and expressed in his own experience. He expertly explained why he had chosen his time to go out and even described his own internalized homophobia, which is unfortunately common in the LGBTQ community.
Even when Kevin Hart interrupts him, he is cool and calm. He still knows how to applaud and completely exclude Kevin's bursts with a simple "If you were really out of the hood, you would know." In ten words, he completely undermines Hart's entire credibility, * Kiss with the finger chef *
Lil Nas X is only 20. He can't even legally drink in the States. However, he shows so much maturity. Being gay in hip-hop is hard. (Although Lil Nas X doesn't really fit into the traditional box of music genres, right?) It can also be scary to find yourself in a room full of straight men and explain why it should come out. Hell, it can be scary just to be in a room full of straight men.
Probably sounds like a broken record because it's like my fifth article from LOOK AT KOW AWESOME LIL NAS X IS. But the reason I feel so strongly about him is that he constantly reminds me that we have to take him seriously. He is young He is unconventional. He is gay. He is black. These are all cards stacked against his success, and these are all the reasons why many find it easy to underestimate his efforts and talent. But if this video proves anything, he is much more prepared than they are. Let's talk less about what Kevin Hart does wrong and talk more about what Lil Nas X does right.