Mexico's Out Proud Christian
BY David Michael Conner
March 25 2010 1:40 PM ET
Christian Chavez is the heir apparent to Ricky Martin’s Latin-American pop star throne. Like Martin, Chavez helped a teen pop group — RDB — sell millions of albums throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and he is now poised to take the United States by storm. Unlike Ricky Martin, though, when photos of what appeared to be a marriage ceremony between him and another young man surfaced in 2007, the Mexican-born artist answered, “Yes, I am gay.”
Since that time, Chavez has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights in Latin America. His new album, out now, is called Almas Transparentes — Transparent Souls — and with song titles like “Sexyboy,” this young gay artist isn’t holding back.
The Advocate caught up with Chavez to talk about his new album at 7:30 a.m. — and the singer was already several hours into his day.
The Advocate: You’re getting an early start to the day, huh?
Christian Chavez: [Laughs] I’ve been awake since 4:00 a.m. But I’m OK!
In 2007 a magazine published photos of what appeared to be a gay marriage ceremony in Canada. Did you ever consider denying your sexuality when this information went public?
No, no, it was my decision. For me, it was really important to break out with those kinds of things. When I was 15 or 16, and I was struggling about my sexuality, I wished that there was somebody, a teenager, who I could look up to and be like, "Well, he’s a gay guy and he’s doing his life normal." And I think it was the best decision, because now, in Mexico, we live in a good, good place, a historic moment, because gay marriage is now allowed, and they’re looking at adoption, so it’s a great thing.
Newspapers all over the world covered the story of your coming-out, often indicating surprise that someone from Mexico would publicly admit to being gay. But gay marriage is now legal in Mexico City and another Mexican state. Do you think people throughout the world have the wrong idea about your home country?
Well, I think that some people tend to take the Mexican people for granted. There were a lot of ideas that Mexico was one step behind about a lot of things. In Mexico this is a really huge step. There’s not a lot of countries that allow these kinds of things. For me, it’s really wonderful, because it’s a step for human rights. And little by little, for sure, it’s a big, big step and a good example for Latin America as well.
How has your life changed since you came out?
Obviously, I was [happier]. When you can be free and you don’t have to pretend who you are not, I think it’s wonderful. I mean, to have the opportunity to live your life free, to have the people know who you are and what your preferences are, and they don’t care. That’s wonderful. And for me, that’s a double challenge. Now I am starting to go solo, and I want to open those doors for a new generation and I have the responsibility to do good for them.
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