LATINO VOICES

What Juan Gabriel Said When Asked If He Was Gay Will Blow You Away

The artist responded with a perfect analysis of what truly matters.

Juan Gabriel’s songwriting was only matched by his showmanship. During his 45 years as a recording artist, “El Divo de Juárez,” who died Sunday from a heart attack in Santa Monica, California, was best known for gliding across the stage when he performed with elegance and unapologetic flamboyance. 

For decades rumors of the singer’s sexuality swirled, even as he filled arenas and his records sold millions of copies worldwide. That is until Univision reporter Fernando del Rincón asked Juan Gabriel point blank if he was gay during a televised interview in the early 2000s.

The journalist first quoted a Mexican historian who had commented on how the artist “explored the feminine side” when on stage. Juan Gabriel responded saying, “Art is feminine... Look, if you’re handsome and young and beautiful, well, people are always going to say that you’re gay.” 

When del Rincón asked if the singer was gay, Juan Gabriel laughed and questioned why he was so interested. Then he gave a simple answer: “They say that what you can see you don’t ask, son.” 

When the journalist said that what he saw was a successful singer. The artist responded with a perfect analysis of what truly matters:

That’s what’s most important because your worth isn’t based on the things that other people can hold against you. Because everything that one does is what stays, what matters. Actions are what’s more important. To transcend and be yourself. People are smart, they’re not dumb... I have no reason to tell you, and others, something that is not of interest to you. I think I am an artist. I think I am Juan Gabriel, who has given so much with my songs. And I’m going to tell you something, Fernando, I’m not a saint but I’m also not the little devil that many think I am or that people want to make others think I am. They say we’re living difficult times, that people are curious and they want to know more, but people also aren’t dumb.

Juan Gabriel then went on to criticize television for trying to delve into something that shouldn’t be of interest to anyone. 

“I think, today, television is asking too many loaded questions, pushing further for the ratings,” he told the journalist. “I’ve learned during my life that if I am in hell, I make my own glory. I’ve also been in glory and perhaps I’ve made my own hell, but I certainly don’t take anyone down with me. And [I’ve learned] that I am not a liar. What I say is what I feel, whether anyone likes it or not. But there’s something else I have to say as a human being, and that’s that you only get one life and you have to live it, and if we have to eventually pass to a better life then it has be an honest one. Let others worry about their own lives, and let the rest of us live.”

Watch the full Spanish-language interview in the video above. 

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