Photography by Charlotte Rutherford

Lil Nas X’s Montero “baby registry” has raised nearly $500,000 for HIV/AIDS organisations working to address the epidemic in the US.

To celebrate the release of his debut album last September, the rapper connected each of the album’s songs to a different non-profit group included in the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®, which works to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States.

More than 175,000 people have been assisted in gaining access to quality healthcare by the organisations in question, with 13,000 having become HIV/AIDS leaders and advocates in the Southern US through them.

In an announcement on 29 March, the Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc., a Houston-based non-profit dedicated to assisting Black, queer people, said the project raised nearly half a million dollars for grantees of Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s COMPASS Initiative® COMPASS grantees.

Despite accounting for just 13% of the population, Black Americans account for 40% of new HIV diagnoses as a result of racism, social marginalisation and obstacles in accessing healthcare, among other things.

“Communities all across the South, like my home state of Georgia, are being transformed by the work of COMPASS grantees,” Lil Nas X explained. “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.”

The Normal Anomaly Initiative provides “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,” according to a press release about the money raised.

April 30 will see it host the Black Queer+ Advancement Festival (BQ+AF) that provides a safe space to celebrate being Black and LGBTQ+.

Speaking to GAY TIMES, Ian L. Haddock, Executive Director, The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc., praised the Old Town Road star for using “his platform to globally inspire and amplify Black, queer voices through his music and philanthropy.”

Haddock continued: “The Normal Anomaly Initiative is now able to pay this act of self-love and kindness forward through a musical event of our own.

“The Black Queer+ AF Music Festival is Houston’s first Black LBTQ+ music festival that features an all-Black, queer and allied lineup that will bring our community together through entertainment and HIV education.”

The full list of Lil Nas X’s registry is available here, as well as links to donate to each one.


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