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Coming Out In The Spotlight: What It Means To Be An LGBTQ Celebrity

Coming out is such a scary moment for all LGBTQ people, the fear of being rejected by the ones you love and being attacked by everyone else around you is so strong that sometimes it‘s even hard to breathe. Now imagine being a celebrity and coming out publicly, that must be one scary thing knowing how many crazies with an opinion are out there. Fortunately, more often than not there‘s a bright side which in this case would be the power of being honest with yourself and unapologetic about who you truly are. To prove a point here is 15 Latinx LGBTQ celebrities who glow up after coming out.

1. Ricky Martin

Credit: @rebecadealba

Before being the DILF he is today, Ricky was known to be sort of a Ladies Man. He dated celebs like Rebeca de Alba, Alessandra Ambrosio, and pro-tennis player Gabriela Sabatini. After some time in the spotlight, rumors were started about his sexuality but due to fear of being rejected by his fans and being adviced by his family and friends not to come out as it could destroy his career, he decided to keep his private life to himself.

1. Ricky Martin

Credit: Ricky‘s Family. Digital Image. Just Jared. December 11, 2016.

It wasn‘t until 2010, 2 years after his twins were born to a surrogate that he decided to publicly come out. He did it by writing a lengthy note to his fans that he published on his website. Now, after 8 years he has 2 adorable children, a gorgeous husband and a successful career that hasn‘t cool down after so many years.

2. Bella Thorne

Credit: Bella & Gregg. Digital Image. TKM. May 29, 2017.

This Disney Channel star had a busy love life in the past few years, and why the hell not? She‘s young and beautiful! And there‘s absolutely nothing wrong with a girl who embraces her sexual nature, in fact, that‘s empowering so good for her… she even got to date Tyler Posey and Gregg Sulkin ? (I‘m not jealous, you are).

2. Bella Thorne

Credit: Bella2. Digital Image. The Fix. December 19, 2015.

So it came as no surprise when in 2016 she admitted she was bisexual after a fan questioned her as a result of the pictures she shared on her social media, kissing her BFF and brother‘s ex-girlfriend Bella Pendergast *gasp*. After the fact, Bella received nothing but good wishes from her loyal fans.

3. Lauren Jauregui

Credit: Lauren & Brad. Digital Image. J-14. January 30, 2015.

After participating in The X Factor and joining Fifth Harmony, Lauren not only became known for her amazing voice but also for being politically active. She uses her social media platforms to keep her fans in the loop of current events and also to fight for social justice, whether is LGBTQ rights to racism.

3. Lauren Jauregui

Credit: Twitter @LaurenC93060227

So it was only natural that out of everyone on this list, she‘s the one with the most controversial coming out story. Back in 2016, she wrote a confrontational letter addressed to all Trump supporters in which amongst many things, she admits being bisexual. In the letter, she says “I am a bisexual Cuban-American woman and I am so proud of it. I am proud to be part of a community that only projects love and education and the support of one another“

4. Mark Indelicato

Credit: Ugly Betty. Digital Image. IMDB. 2006.

You might remember Mark from the hit show “Ugly Betty“ where he played Betty‘s (America Ferrara) adorable and incredibly comfortable in his own skin nephew, Justin Suárez. During the show‘s 5 seasons, Mark not only lets a new generation of kids know that it‘s ok to be different but during the finale, his character came out as gay in prime-time… which was a big deal back in 2010.

4. Mark Indelicato

Credit: DragCon. Digital Image. Papermag. May 8, 2017.

8 years after he portrayed the gay teen we all needed in our lives growing up, he has become part of a new generation of LGBTQ icons that are changing Gender Norms as we know them.

5. Sara Ramírez

Credit: Sara. Digital Image. Wetpaint. November 2, 2015.

Sara is another actor who played a major LGBTQ role on TV. For 10 years she was Dr. Callie Torres, a strong bisexual woman that showed us the struggles of coming to terms with one‘s sexual identity, being bi in a sometimes black and white community, and starting a family as a same-sex couple. Being allowed to have this kind of representation on primetime TV was a major step forward not only for the LGBTQ community but also for Latina women.

5. Sara Ramírez

 
Credit: New Haircut. Digital Image. People. October 8, 2016.

It wasn‘t until after her character came out as bisexual, that Sara decided to follow her steps and publicly come out while giving a speech at the 40 to None Summit in 2016. In an interview, she mentions that the reason why she waited was that she was afraid of coming out because it could hurt her career and also because she was afraid of being discriminated against. But because the political climate changed and violence against queer people increased she decided to come out and become active in helping the community.

6. Michelle Rodríguez

Credit: Sardinia. Digital Image. Just Jared. June 3, 2014.

Michelle has been the badass woman in most of her movie roles, from Avatar to Resident Evil to (awesome) Machete… she has been a star in an ever dominated Action Film world. Fortunately for her, being the tough woman hasn‘t stopped her from dating some major hotties like Zac Efron and DILF Lenny Kravitz *drooling*

6. Michelle Rodríguez

Credit: Basketball Game. Digital Image. Page Six. June 25, 2015.

So it came as no surprise to the public when in 2013 she decided to publicly come out in an interview with Latina Magazine, where basically she said she was getting too old to not be honest with herself. She also mentioned that she came out in hopes that she would inspire others to find the bravery to do the same. As you can see it paid out as later she started dating model-actress Cara Delevingne.

7. Aubrey Plaza

Credit: Late Night. Digital Image. Just Jared. June 20, 2016.

Some may know her as April Ludgate, the apathetic and very dark college intern who was the assistant of Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation or as the mean and aggressive Julie Powers from Scott Pilgrim vs The World (best role ever).

7. Aubrey Plaza

Credit: Sundance. Digital Image. Celebzz. January 22, 2017.

She came out as bisexual during an interview with The Advocate in 2016, in which she said she couldn‘t help falling in love with both men and women. Even though she‘s openly bi she has only publicly dated guys like Michael Cera and her current boyfriend Jeff Baena, whom she‘s been with since 2011. She also mentioned during her interview that she has really close ties with the LGBTQ community as her best friends, some relatives, and even her younger sister are part of the community.

8. Danny Noriega

Credit: American Idol. Digital Image. Just Jared. February 13, 2008.

Danny, better known as Adore is a former American Idol contestant turned Drag Queen Extraordinaire who jumped into fame during the sixth season of RuPaul‘s Drag Race. Since we first saw him at only 19 during his audition to American Idol it was clear he was not your average teen… It‘s no easy task to be so comfortable in your own skin when you‘re THAT young and being watched by 27 million viewers weekly, in a time where DOMA was still alive and well and Porp 8 was about to pass.

8. Danny Noriega

Credit: Twitter @AdoreDelano

Soon after becoming a finalist in RuPaul‘s Drag Race, both Adore and Bianca del Río made history by appearing in the first LGBTQ Starbucks commercial in full drag. As the years go by Adore has become a major icon in the LGBTQ community, last year Adore came out as non-binary and is making sure that Gender non-conformists are gaining visibility in today‘s society.

Read:The 24 Slayingest Latina Queens From ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

9. Orlando Cruz

Credit: Orlando. Digital Image. USA Today. October 3, 2012.

Orlando made history not only in the LGBTQ community but in the Sports world when he became the first openly gay boxer. That same year he won his 1st fight after coming out and was then included in the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. He won a major battle in a sport that‘s still overflowing with machismo.

9. Orlando Cruz

Credit: Couple. Digital Image. Gabitos. May 5, 2016.

During an interview, he mentions that he told his parents he was gay at 19 and that he didn‘t come out publicly sooner because he was afraid that the people close to him would react negatively, just like his father initially did. It wasn‘t until 2012 when he decided to come out in a statement he released with the hopes of becoming a role model for kids who aspire to be boxers. Soon after he got married and has become an active advocate for the LGBTQ community. 

10. Patricia Velázquez

Credit: Patricia Before. Digital Image. Iconic Focus. November 22, 2014.

Patricia was the 1st Latina Supermodel back in the early 90s, she worked for houses like Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and Victoria‘s Secret. During her time on the runway, she struggled with her sexuality after meeting comedienne Sandra Bernhard who would later become her girlfriend and was rumored to be Madonna‘s ex.

10. Patrica Velázquez

Credit: Patricia After. Digital Image. Noticia del Día. March 30, 2016.

Anyways, it wasn‘t until 2015 at age 43 when Patricia came out publicly in her memoirs “Straight Walk“ as she wanted to teach her 8-year old daughter the importance of being honest with oneself.

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Luis Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Luis Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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