Kanye West Quietly Showed He Doesn’t Support or Care for the LGBTQ Community

If you’ve been in a coma for the last ten years, then you might not recognize rapper Kanye West anymore. Over the last decade, he’s gone from an attention-loving hip-hop superstar to a born-again Christian, gospel artist.

Not everyone loves the new West. In fact, as he becomes more conservative in his religious beliefs, fans have started to worry that he isn’t as accepting as they once thought. Recently, he drew even more criticism because of his association with known anti-LGBTQ personalities. Does this mean West doesn’t support the queer community?

Anti-LGBTQ organize prayer rally featuring Kanye West

Kanye West wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket, looking off camera
Kanye West | Rich Fury/Getty Images

West and his gospel-choir group headlined a 10-hour prayer rally in Phoenix, Arizona, called Awaken 2020. What has fans concerned is the other participants in the event. Several evangelists who are for speaking out against LGBTQ rights also attended the rally. The rally included Guillermo Maldonado, who said same-sex relations are “clearly prohibited by God” and “invites unclean spirits into our lives.” Also in attendance was Che Ahn, who said LGBTQ equality is “not a civil rights issue.”

According to the event’s website, Awaken 2020 invites participants to “be part of the Jesus awakening that is shifting HISTORY.” It continues, “Open the door and enter into a new era, a new decade, of revival that is bringing a movement of signs and wonders, healing of the sick, and preaching of the gospel.”

Kanye West’s past support of LGBTQ

In the past, West has been praised for his support of LGBTQ causes. In 2005, he spoke with MTV News about rampant homophobia in hip-hop. Visibly upset as he spoke about the need for change, he said, “Everybody in hip-hop discriminates against gay people. Matter of fact, the exact opposite word of ‘hip-hop,’ I think, is ‘gay.’ You play a record and if it’s wack, ‘That’s gay, dog!’ And I wanna just come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, ‘Yo, stop it fam.'”

West also earned praise in 2015 when he supported Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. According to Jenner, he even helped Kim Kardashian come to terms with her former step-father’s decision. “I love his open-mindedness,” Jenner said, as reported by Pride, “and I love how he’s helped Kim come to grips with what’s going on.”

Does Kanye West support the LGBTQ community?

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Unfortunately, as many have pointed out, West’s current association with anti-LGBTQ evangelists seems at odds with his previous behavior. But many believe this proves he was never that supportive to begin with. 

Cassie Da Costa, an entertainment writer for the Daily Beast explained her position on the matter. “Many conservative-minded people who think they are accepting of the LGBTQ community do not stand in solidarity with us beyond the individual acceptance of friends or family members.”

Da Costa, and many other LGBTQ supporters, believe that West falls into this category of conservatives who will never support pro-gay legislation, even if they privately support certain LGBTQ individuals. “Now that Kanye is preaching a different gospel,” Da Costa writes, “one of conformity and conservatism as ordained by evangelical Christianity – he can firmly place his previous entreaties against anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the personal sphere, legislation be damned.”

Others may argue that a person doesn’t have to agree with every position of someone else in order to interact with them or even appear at the same event. However, many LGBTQ supporters argue that every opportunity should be used to stand against hate whenever available. Many think West should be conscious of the message his participation in Awaken 2020 sends fans. 

West plans to continue his support of the gospel movement. He even stated recently that he’s done making mainstream music and will focus only on gospel. Hopefully, though, the backlash he received from the Awaken 2020 event will make him more conscious of his decisions in the future.