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RBD’s Christian Chavez on being outed in 2007, not wanting to seem “too gay,” & reclaiming his pride

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A post shared by Christian Chávez (@christianchavezreal)Back in 2007, Christian Chavez was enjoying a wave of success on the Mexican telenovela Rebelde and the pop group RBD when he made the bold step of coming out of the closet.It was a huge milestone for queer representation in the Latin community, but Chavez’s brave move was initially motivated by more sinister machinations.Behind the scenes, photos of Chavez were being used to blackmail the show’s network Televisa, with perpetrators threatening to out him – and potentially jeopardize the program and the music group’s future – if they were not paid to keep their silence.

You don’t realize the rarity of queer Latinx artists until you try to name five.Prior to joining the series, Chavez secretly married a man in Canada and their private wedding photos were now being used against him.

Conflicted on how to handle the situation, Chavez decided to post a letter on the group’s website revealing to the world more of his authentic self, but without ever actually using the word “gay.”“It was so hard for me because I was just 23 years old and I didn’t have any guidance,” Chavez told People. “There was Ricky Martin, but Ricky Martin was not even out yet.

I didn’t know how to [handle it] —especially because I was being forced to do it and I was not ready.”A post shared by Christian Chávez (@christianchavezreal)15 years ago, being out in the public eye came with the threat of it negatively impacting your career.

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