GLAAD and the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® Coordinating Centers tonight applauded Lil Nas X’s performance of his hit singles “Industry Baby” into “MONTERO (Call Me Be Your Name)” during the 2021 MTV VMAs. The performance can be viewed here:
Lil Nas X delivered an incredible performance, bringing his iconic music video to the stage. Mardrequs Harris, Southern AIDS Coalition’s Director of Community Investments, participated onstage during the performance. He donned the number 433,816 in red on his wardrobe, representing the universal color of awareness and support for HIV, and the number of people living with HIV in the south as of 2015, which has increased substantially over the years.
Photo of Mardrequs Harris and his wardrobe can be found here:
.@LilNasX delivered a powerful performance at the #VMAs and shined a spotlight on the stigma that fuels HIV, especially across the South. Mardrequs Harris from @SouthernAIDSCo wore the number 433,816 in red, representing the the number of people living with HIV in the U.S. South pic.twitter.com/XNLvt9x9C7— GLAAD (@glaad) September 13, 2021
Mardrequs adds: “This experience was surreal! Having the opportunity to share the stage with Lil Nas X was something I never would have imagined. And to have him use his platform to raise awareness about HIV stigma is invaluable to our work.”
The VMAs performance follows Lil Nas X’s announcement of the Montero baby registry timed with the September 17 release of his new album ‘Montero.’ Each song on the new album has listed a charity or group that fans can donate to, including 13 HIV organizations that are part of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®, an unprecedented more than $100 million commitment over 10 years to support hundreds organizations working to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States. In its first four years, COMPASS has helped train thousands of people across the U.S. South to become better advocates, combating HIV stigma and educating communities across the region. COMPASS focuses on providing concentrated investments in the region to reduce HIV-related health disparities, build awareness, advance education, and reduce stigma.