GQ is one of the most trusted commercial fashion magazines for men. At the end of each year, they release a list of their "Men of the Year" list, in which they highlight the distinct, admirable styles of different celebrity men with cover stories.
The first on their year-end list was Lil Nas X, fresh off releasing his debut album Montero, which was accompanied by a collection of extravagant music videos and promotional appearances where he wore a wide variety of flamboyant and colorful outfits.
Being exuberant with his appearance has always been Nas X's brand, and helped to forward his advocacy for self-expression. He first became vocal about this issue when he revealed he was gay in the summer of 2019.
Since then, there have been many who have criticized his lifestyle and approach, but he feeds off the energy of his haters. He considers himself a pioneer for the LGBTQ+ in the music industry and in hip-hop, although iLoveMakonnen insisted he started the wave of gay rappers.
Regardless, in his interview with GQ, Lil Nas X explained that gay rappers like him are only the beginning of a cultural shift in hip-hop that will see more LGBTQ+ artists in the near future: "The whole landscape is very hyper-masculine. I do feel like this newer generation of rappers who are coming in, and the ones who are here, are going to have to reshape their thoughts. Because change is happening. There’s going to be so many gay rappers. There’s going to be more trans people in the industry and what not. Ten years from now, everything that I’m doing won’t even seem like it was shocking."