AB Soto Is The Queer God With Absolutely No Time For You Machismo On His Schedule
Abraham “AB” Soto is here, queer and unapologetically Mexican. Having grown up in East L.A., Soto has channeled his experiences, culture and love of fashion to make bold, in-your-face statements. He really gives no f*cks what you think about him or his fusion of Mexican and gay culture because that’s who he is. PREACH!
First, AB Soto wants you to know that he is his own person and has no time for your machismo, Latin-men-should-do-this BS mentality.
“I think there’s a lot of homophobia within the Latin community, and I think that there’s a specific ideal of what a man should be,” Soto told mitú. “There’s a specific role of what a Latin man should be, should look like, should act like, should dance like, and I’m not really interested in that. I’m my own person. If I want to wear a cowboy hat, and I want it to be pink, and I want the quebradita outfit to be sparkly sequins, get into it.”
And, yes, he does have a pink cowboy hat with a matching, sequined quebradita outfit, and it slays, honey.
“I can be masculine, and I can be feminine, and I’m comfortable in my own skin, and if you have a problem with that, that’s kind of your problem with it,” Soto said. “If you want to leave a comment [laughs] in the comment section, go right ahead [laughs harder ?]. But, like what RuPaul said, ‘What other people think of me is none of my business.'”
Soto is addressing those who are offended by him wearing mariachi outfits – and he’s not biting his tongue. He wants the world to know he’s embracing what it means to be LGBTQ and Latino.
“They’re [haters are] like, ‘Oh, well, you’re making fun of our culture.’ And I’m like, ‘How so? I’m proud of my culture so I’m wearing it, but this is about homophobia,” Soto said. “Just because I’m gay, you don’t like me wearing it and, in your own words, I’m not a man because I’m wearing the mariachi outfit? But if I was straight, there would be no problem with it.”
But his social commentary goes much deeper than just his outfits.
Soto, who studied fashion at Brooks College, can definitely put a jaw-dropping outfit together with no problem, but he also uses music to push his message. It isn’t just about embracing his Mexican background. His music and artistry also offers him a platform to get his culture out to the world.
He is using his name and his fame to let everyone know that you can be as Chicano and queer as you want, hunny.
There is nothing wrong with opening up and accepting all of your identity. Whether or not other people accept you is none of your concern. Just follow the energy and words of AB Soto and own your identity. By being a beacon of queer Latinos in the U.S., AB Soto is opening a pathway for so many other queen Latinos to follow him. That is a legacy worth fighting for and something we know will make life easier for so many people.
He stands up for and is a fighter for all of his communities.
AB Soto navigates the same identity as so many queer U.S. Latinos. One where people have to determine what it means for them to be American, yet Latino. From a culture that is hyper-masculine, yet being a part of a community that is all about sexual freedom, liberation, and fluid identity. The constant pull between all of the different identities is something that so many people relate to and can see themselves represented in the performer.
“I was listening to a melting pot of music,” Soto recalled of his childhood in East L.A.
“Whether it was house music; whether it was Selena; whether it was my dad playing Vicente Fernández, corridos, charros, cumbia, like, everything, I was watching MTV and listening to pop,” he added. It was this melting pot experience that would later encourage and guide Soto to become the entertainer he is today. He has connected his two cultures and identities into one unapologetic, badass persona.
Soto, inspired by his life in East L.A., and decided it was time to try his hand in music, still tearing down machismo-enforced walls.
After trying rap and banjee ballroom music, Soto decided to go back to his roots.
“Making music, for me, isn’t really like a vain endeavor. It’s another paint brush for people to listen to my message,” Soto said. “So I said, ‘What area of music really needs a make over, really needs a voice?’And I, literally, was just like, ‘Well, I want to embrace where I come from and my Latin roots. So, I think that I need to, like, jolt this area of music that needs, like, a makeover.’ That, and also I wanted people to know that I’m [dramatic pause] Mexican!”
And it isn’t just the Latino community’s mind Soto is trying to open. This fierce Mexicano is also challenging the LGBTQ community’s thoughts on masculinity and beauty.
Yaasssss!!!! For too long, men within the queer community have tried to control what is and is not sexy for the community. There has been a toxic focus on masc for masc and an overwhelmingly accepted idea that “no fats, no blacks, no fems, no Asians” is just a preference. However, that is unacceptable in a tolerant and accepting society. Calling someone too fem shows a deep-seeded issues with gender norms and constructs, Soto argues.
He is constantly flirting with the line between masculinity and femininity through his dancing and clothing.
“I want people to think. It’s like, I’m the same person, these are just articles of clothing, and if an article of clothing turns you off, there’s something there,” Soto said. “It might be homophobia, it might be your own fear of a drag queen. I want to jolt people into feeling these uncomfortable feelings.”
“Anything can look hot,” Soto said. “It’s just more of, like, the energy.”
“We’ve been trained that if you have the right outfit that you’ll have confidence,” Soto said. “If you have the right amount of muscles, you’ll have confidence, but it’s the other way around. Everything else is just drag for lack of a better word.”
AB Soto’s authentic and unapologetic sense of self and music has taken him far and wide, like to Tokyo, Japan.
Who would have guessed that there would be a bigger audience for queer, Latino music outside of the U.S.? Honestly, AB Soto is deserving of the global recognition and love he has received for his music. He keeps things real and never shies away from defending his sexuality and his background. He is the strong queer Latino lead so many younger queer Latinos can look up to.