Meet the Southern HIV and LGBTQ Organizations on Lil Nas X’s Baby Registry

September 17, 2021

Today, Lil Nas X’s released his debut album, ‘Montero’ released his new music video for ‘THATS WHAT I WANT.’ Last year, Lil Nas X received the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Artist. Watch his acceptance speech below.

“The statements, messages, and visuals that Lil Nas X continues to create through his album ‘Montero’ are real breakthroughs for queer representation and visibility in the music industry,” said Anthony Allen Ramos, GLAAD’s Head of Talent. “The young, queer love story that is depicted in his latest music video “THATS WHAT I WANT,” will absolutely make many LGBTQ youth feel seen and empowered. It’s abundantly clear that Lil Nas X realizes the power of representation and he is deeply committed to creating the kind of media he wished he could have seen when he was growing up and discovering his identity.”

Lil Nas X previously announced a ‘baby registry’ to benefit non-profit organizations tied to the release of ‘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®. Lil Nas X is asking that fans donate to the charities if they want to support him. More info on the organizations below and here: 

“Lil Nas X’s first studio album is not only entertaining but filled with purpose. His charity baby registry highlights 13 grassroots organizations across the U.S. South that are doing amazing work in HIV prevention and treatment with their local communities,” said DaShawn Usher, GLAAD’s Associate Director of Communities of Color. “These organizations are continuing to educate, empower, and fight HIV stigma to educate communities across the U.S. South that people living with HIV today, when on the right medications, cannot transmit HIV and to ensure people impacted by and living with HIV are connected to service providers to live long healthy lives. We salute Lil Nas X efforts in sharing this momentous moment.”

GLAAD is working on media interviews with the thirteen organizations on the Montero baby registry that are part of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®, an unprecedented more than $100 million commitment over 10 years to support hundreds of 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. 

Gilead COMPASS Initiative® organizations on the registry include: The Normal Anomaly (Houston, TX), Thrive SS (Atlanta, GA), Counter Narrative Project (Atlanta, GA), The Bros in Convo Initiative (Orlando, FL), Transinclusive Group (Wilton Manors, FL), Arianna’s Center (South Florida), Organización Latina de Trans en Texas (OLTT) (Houston, TX), CH Pier (Greenville, MS), What’s In The Mirror? (Austin, TX), Central Alabama Alliance  Resource & Advocacy Center (Wetumka, AL), Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (GA/IN), Relationship Unleashed (Memphis, TN), and Compassionate Atlanta (GA). 

More information about the organizations and their work: 

  • The Normal Anomaly (Houston, TX) centers Black, queer people to overcome barriers, end stigma, problematic narratives, to actualize a new normal.

  • Thrive SS (Atlanta, GA) works to improve health equity for Black gay men living with HIV through direct support, advocacy and building collective power.

  • Counter Narrative Project (Atlanta, GA) works to build power among Black gay men and work in coalition and solidarity with all movements committed to social and racial justice.

  • The Bros in Convo Initiative (Orlando, FL) provides comprehensive, multicultural sexual health and wellness education and peer support that empowers, promotes, and protects the healthy well-being of young men of color.

  • Transinclusive Group (Wilton Manors, FL) advocates and works with community partners to "Build Trust and Relationships" within the transgender community by ending discrimination, mistreatment, and racial disparities in healthcare, employment, education and housing. 

  • Arianna’s Center (South Florida) engages, empowers and lifts up the trans community of South Florida with a special emphasis on the most marginalized, including the Trans Latinx community, undocumented immigrants, people living with HIV and AIDS, and those who have experienced incarceration.

  • Organización Latina de Trans en Texas (OLTT) (Houston, TX) is a community-based organization, made up of Trans women for Trans people (Transsexuals, Transgender and Intersex) and allies, focused on the visibility and protection of human rights and the well-being of the Trans community through empowerment, community organization to promote advocacy in equity and equality.

  • CH Pier (Greenville, MS) creates a platform for rural communities to decrease the vicious cycle of health disparities through education, intervention, and research.

  • What’s In The Mirror? (Austin, TX) is a social movement that provides mental health awareness and suicide prevention to communities of color through art, advocacy, and affirming care with a healing justice framework and focus on women, youth, and LGBTQIA persons. 

  • Central Alabama Alliance  Resource & Advocacy Center (Wetumka, AL) leads positive health change in Alabama and empowers communities through education, advocacy, and service. 

  • Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (TX/IN) represents a cross section of progressive African American faith leaders and their congregations to build the capacity of faith leaders’ understanding of and engagement with the social determinants of health uniquely impacting African American trans and queer communities and African American cis-gendered women in the Southern region of the United States (in partnership with Historically Black Institutions of Higher Education).

  • Relationship Unleashed (Memphis, TN) fights inequality through comprehensive programming including  HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Faith-based Initiatives, and Holistic Therapy, to build productive relationships, partnerships, and make a positive impact with all pursuits. 

  • Compassionate Atlanta (GA) is a grassroots community-building non-profit which seeks to raise awareness about the benefits of compassionate action throughout the Greater Atlanta area by teaching and encouraging people of every persuasion and walk of life to channel their concern for the wellbeing of others into tangible action.

Earlier this week, GLAAD and the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® Coordinating Centers applauded Lil Nas X’s performance of his hit singles “Industry Baby” into “MONTERO (Call Me Be Your Name)” during the 2021 MTV VMAs. Mardrequs Harris, Southern AIDS Coalition’s Director of Community Investments, participated onstage during the performance. Harris 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. 

The 2021 State of HIV Stigma Study, published last month by GLAAD and Gilead Sciences, paints a troubling picture of the general US population’s overall awareness about HIV, including low levels of accurate knowledge around HIV transmission, and persistent stigma toward people living with HIV. The study found only 48% of American adults feel knowledgeable about HIV and only 42% know the fact that people living with HIV cannot transmit the virus while on proper treatment. Levels of discomfort around people living with HIV are higher in the Midwest and highest in the U.S. South.