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There it was on Wednesday night, the latest in a long line of Lil Uzi fit pics on the feed. You’ve undoubtedly seen one of them on Instagram before: Uzi posed and poised with a moody Blue Steel look on his face, showing off a committed head-to-tie high fashion look, with subsequent slides zooming in to the details like shoes and belts and bags. A full look from Pharrell’s Chanel capsule collection for a trip to the ice cream shop; BAPE all the way down to his sneakers for a dental appointment. However, Wednesday’s post was a little different. Uzi was modeling like he always does, looking pensive for the camera, a designer logo (in this case Nike’s) across his chest. But something else stuck out: above the big white swoosh was a prominent and colorful rainbow flag, with shoes on his feet to match, ostensibly in celebration of June Pride month.

This might not seem like a huge deal, and in many ways it isn’t. There are Pride flags everywhere in June. In fact, I would not be the first member of the LGBTQ community to say that there are too many flags this year—corporations and banks and tech companies and cupcake stands and even awful Donald Trump have gone crazy washing their brands in ROYGBIV for what WWD has called a “marketing bonanza.” But something was special about finding the rapper in a rainbow. I was sure that years of pinkwashing had made me entirely cynical about mainstream allyship, and yet it actually felt a little surprising, exciting, and even heartening to see Uzi this way.

Uzi has long played with notions of gender in his own wardrobe, taking cues from his spiritual father Young Thug in wearing women’s clothing and, in a famously viral photo, a Goyard purse. He does not get too many points in my book for this—regular people across the gender spectrum head out into a homophobic and transphobic world everyday wearing all kinds of clothes that attract all kinds of intrusion and even danger. Still, Uzi’s flirtation with outfits that tweak traditional masculinity has led, for years, to rumors that he is gay, and like Harry Styles before him, there’s something pretty cool about him leaning into the speculation instead of running scared. That the comments on the post are about an even split between support and mockery (with the obligatory “where’s the album” question thrown in throughout) is perhaps proof that it means something for him to make this statement to begin with. I don’t know how Uzi identifies in the range of gender and orientation possibilities, but I can guess from this Instagram post that no matter who he knows himself to be, he does not see proximity to the LGBTQ community as a deficit, but rather as an honor. Not the highest bar, but one I’m nonetheless glad to see him clear when some of our fellow citizens are out here planning Straight Pride Parade nonsense.

Article written by Alex Frank #GQ