In September 2021, musician Lil Nas X welcomed his debut album, Montero, with a “baby registry” that provided links to donation pages for various nonprofits. In late March 2022, the Gilead Compass Initiative, which works with 13 of the 16 nonprofits listed, announced that Lil Nas X’s registry had raised nearly half a million dollars to date for the 13 nonprofits.
“Donations from the Montero baby registry will have a direct impact on communities affected by HIV and we’re deeply thankful for Lil Nas X and his sustained advocacy for HIV awareness and education,” Shanell L. McGoy, director of public affairs, corporate giving for Gilead Sciences said in a statement.
“The Gilead Compass Initiative is committed to supporting the work of community-based organizations working around the clock to address HIV-related stigma, increase access to resources that support wellness and encourage leadership and advocacy across the Southern United States,” McGoy continued. “The baby registry donations are a welcomed and added boost for our grantees.”
Lil Nas X shot to prominence with “Old Town Road,” a country/rap single he first released in late 2018, with a remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus coming out in April 2019. The song spent 19 weeks in the number-one spot in Billboard Hot 100 chart. The charities he selected for his registry primarily focus on those that serve LGBTQIA and BIPOC communities.
Lil Nas X released his first full-length studio album, Montero, on Sept. 17, 2021. The accompanying baby registry featured an illustration of a pregnant Lil Nas X and listed 16 nonprofits, each paired with the title of a track from the album. Site visitors were provided with links to each nonprofit and encouraged to give a “baby gift” by making donations to any of the listed charities. As is the case with other baby registries, there was no reward for gift purchasers/donors.
The 16 nonprofits include:
- Arianna Center, which 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.
- The Bail Project, which seeks to end cash bail, a structure its leaders believe is a key driver of mass incarceration and structural racism in the U.S. criminal legal system.
- Bros in Convo, which 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.
- The Cade Foundation, which supports families with infertility with grants for fertility treatment and adoption and information resources.
- Central Alabama Alliance Resource & Advocacy Center, which offers positive health change in Alabama and empowering communities through education, advocacy and service.
- Ch-Pier (Community Health Prevention Intervention Education & Research) which helps rural communities decrease the vicious cycle of health disparities through education, intervention and research.
- Compassionate Atlanta, which raises 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.
- The Counter Narrative, which works to build power among black gay men and work in coalition and solidarity with all movements committed to social and racial justice.
- The Happy Hippie Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Miley Cyrus which rallies young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations.
- The Normal Anomaly, which works to build power among black gay men and work in coalition and solidarity with all movements committed to social and racial justice.
- OLTT, a community-based organization made up of Trans women for Trans people (Transsexuals, Transgender and Intersex) and their allies which focuses on empowerment and community organization to promote advocacy in equity and equality.
- Relationship Unleashed, which fights inequality through comprehensive programming including HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, mental health and holistic therapy.
- Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference, which aids progressive African American faith leaders in 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.
- Thrive SS, which works to improve health equity for Black gay men living with HIV through direct support, advocacy and building collective power.
- Transinclusive Group, which works within the transgender community to end discrimination, mistreatment, and racial disparities in healthcare, employment, education and housing.
- What’s in the Mirror, a nonprofit organization and social movement that uses art and advocacy to end the stigma of mental health.
Neither Lil Nas X nor McGoy provided details on how much each organization received individually as a result of Lil Nas X’s effort.