Pablo Alborán joins the fight for equality from his personal trench
"I want to be as free as my songs," Pablo Alborán
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Today, Spanish singer Pablo Alborán published in his Instagram account a video of just over three minutes in which he confessed his homosexuality.
"I have always fought against all expression that goes against any freedom or equality. From racism, xenophobia, machismo, homophobia, transphobia, any kind of hatred and today I want my cry to become a little louder and have more value and weight. I'm here to tell you that I'm gay. Nothing's wrong, life is still the same."
Reactions to the publication have been swift and mostly supportive and respectful of their gesture.
"I need to be a little happier than I already was," he says in his video. The hope is that openness to his sexuality will indeed be liberating and improve his quality of life.
But the questions that stand out are: Why does a singer still need to go out and make a public statement about his or her sexuality? Why is it still relevant when his songs have been played in both straight and gay marriages for years anyway? And how long is this going to be a point of discussion in relation to his career? Is there a marketing strategy to do it right now?
Ricky Martin and Juan Gabriel
In 2010, Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin published a letter on his website stating his homosexuality.
Six months later he published his autobiography, "Yo" ("Me"). In the interviews he gave on this subject, he also explained that his children had just been born at that time and he did not think it was a good example for them to continue living in concealment of his sexuality.
He has also said that many people close to him advised against doing so, for fear that his career would be damaged.
Ten years later, the book has lost relevance, Ricky Martin continued with his musical career, is part of the public figures that mobilize citizen pressure in Puerto Rico (along with Residente and Bad Bunny) and has participated in numerous television programs, including "The Assassination of Gianni Versace", where he played Antonio D'Amico, the Versace's couple.
Perhaps the problem lies, then, in the way Ricky Martin and Pablo Alborán approached themselves as public figures in the first place.
A good point of contrast is Juan Gabriel, the most divo of all the singers that Hispanic America has had.
In a country as machista as Mexico, Juan Gabriel had from the beginning a clearly effeminate aesthetic, singing about love and heartbreak, without ever making any kind of public statement about his sexuality or private life.
He even sent CNN en Español journalist Fernando Del Rincón off with absolute force when he asked him about his sexuality.
After Del Rincon pressured him to inquire into his intimate life, Juan Gabriel insisted that the press likes to write about people's lives, in the way that it violates the privacy of artists without any relation to their work. When the journalist told him, "They say... That Juan Gabriel is gay," the singer responded with a laugh: "Do you care much? They say that what is seen is not asked."
While Twitter smokes about Pablo Alboran's sexuality, he works on promoting his latest single, released only seven days ago.