“I could not say I was gay.” Spanish Musicians Speak on Closeting and Abuse in the Music Industry
From boy bands and girl bands to young men marketed as sex symbols, closeted couples, coming outs and beards we no longer remember. Over the last decade, the Spanish music industry has been involved in many scandals which die shortly and always are effectively covered. Management companies, working hand in hand with the media, have become experts of “not making it a big deal,” and so stories die off quickly and are never given the right importance. You won’t be surprised to find, however, Louis was spot on when he said it all was “a copy of a copy of a copy.”
The Spanish pop singer came out as gay during the pandemic, with a home-made instagram video no less. “Hi everyone,” he says in it, “as you are well aware, the world has been giving us bittersweet news lately. We all feel weird, we reconsider our lives, our careers, what does and doesn’t make us happy…”
He went on to talk about how love unites us and makes us better people, and then he said he had something very personal to share. Pablo declared he had always fought against any form of hatred, and followed with, “Today, I want my voice to be louder, and for it to have more value and weight. I’m here to tell you I’m homosexual. And it is okay, life goes on and everything will remain the same, but I’m going to be a little happier than I already am.”
By that point, Pablo had been dodging gay rumors for years. For instance, there was a time where he was photographed with Ricky Martin in a car in 2014 and the media headaches that gave him lasted years. He was asked about it in many interviews, where he denied everything and defended his right to have a private life.
The curious thing here is that Pablo Alborán assures in said video his label did not discriminate against him, not at all. “In my work, in Warner, my label and among my friends, I never felt discriminated, hatred or had a sense of letting anyone down for being myself.”
“But unfortunately,” he went on to say, confirming with these words the abuse queer artists suffer from their own labels, “there are so many people that did not have the same experience I did.” “I hope I can make somebody’s journey easier with this message, but, above everything, I do this for me.” He confessed. “Because music is freedom and I want to feel as free as my songs.”
And nobody remembers, everyone forgets about the twenty-three years old young adult who was not as free as the songs he wrote, who, in 2012—two years after breaking into the industry when a youtube video of him singing his own song Solamente tú went viral—was papped repeatedly with a girl called Marta. In the popular gossip magazine ¡Hola!, you can still find multiple headlines, more than a decade old, such as This week in ¡Hola!: First photographs of Pablo Alborán with his girlfriend, Marta or, three years later, in newspaper El Español no less, Pablo Alborán is looking for a girlfriend.
This last headline, they probably hoped, would make his predominantly female fanbase flip.
Why has nobody questioned Marta? Why has no one ever asked about the paparazzi photographs of them kissing which were supposed to look natural? And isn’t this indeed a form of discrimination initiated by his management team and Warner, who has supposedly been the epitome of support? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, just a tip: the only time Pablo Alborán breaks eye contact with the camera during his coming out video, is when he is saying the infamous sentence on the lack of discrimination.
Old contestants on talent show “Operación Triunfo:”
Last December, a bomb was dropped for old Operación Triunfo (OT) fans: singer Agoney declared the TV show (thanks to which he was launched to fame in 2017) did not let him kiss his then-boyfriend and fellow contestant Raoul.
This is a bigger deal than it seems: OT consists of a group of young contestants who are given the chance of living in an Academy where they have classes until the weekly and eliminatory galas, and the house is recorded at all times. Fans, when the program came back in 2017, were given the opportunity of watching the life their favorite singers had via youtube; and thus, the only room they could be private in was the common bedroom.
Consequently, what Agoney is saying here is that they were forbidden to kiss at all times, mornings and afternoons, and had to permanently watch their behavior until the daily time cameras would be switched off.
This should give you enough context to appreciate how brave it was of Agoney and Raoul—no matter if it was planned or spontaneous—to kiss on prime time in the national public television after their first performance as a duet in December 2017. What we experienced afterwards was the peak of damage control: spectators were told what they had seen was not a gay couple kissing, not at all, but two adult singers who had been told to act this way as part of their performance, in support, of course, of LGBTQ+ people. This is the version Raoul sticks to to this very day and the story which would contribute to picture the TV show as a big supporter of diversity in all forms. Quite recently, again as a classic damage control strategy, Raoul has said that they were indeed dating, but only once the contest was done. Agoney, however, never retracted from his accusations, and to me and millions of viewers, their kiss looked everything but pretended.
Lastly, if we listen to the fans—who, after all, were right all along with Agoney and Raoul—, it is worth mentioning they would not be the last couple to be presumably closeted in this new version of OT: Natalia Lacunza and Alba Reche, one season later, were rumored to be together.
And while both of them have denied this relationship, Natalia is currently out as bisexual and her opinion on labels is not very favorable, according to her own words when asked about them in radio program Los 40: “I think it would be very cool if we could put all the big bosses together in a room, and give them a short talk on LGBT inclusion (mostly on queer poc inclusion, as they are the biggest victims). Yes, it would be sick, if we could talk to certain men.”
Curiously, when the same radio program asked her this question, fellow Spanish singer Luna Ki answered: “I’d be very hurt to see a parallel reality where Luna Ki was straight and far more successful. I want to think I wouldn’t be, but it is very hard.”
In contrast, straight couples were vastly published by the same TV show. I can remember, just at the top of my head, how, one season later, Flabio and Samantha were gifted a date night. Yes, a full date, and entirely televised. Not to mention the multiple times we have seen a straight couple of contestants kissing—even in Eva and Hugo’s case, where such revelation implied Hugo had cheated and provoked a huge scandal. Of course, whether or not it was pr does not matter for us to acknowledge the homophobia the show, the TV channel or both felt and acted upon.
Sweet California is a trio initially formed by Alba Reig, Sonia Gómez y Rocío Cabrera from 2013 to 2016, when Cabrera chose to retire and was replaced by Tamy Nsue. As you can see, there is a big difference between this group and so many others who suffered the effects of the industry in the 2010s: Sweet California is still active.
These three women are releasing music to this day, and, after changing their management and label to 33 Producciones & Management, they are speaking clearly on the abuse they suffered. In fact, not too long ago, in June 2021, they released Whisper, a music video for one of the singles of their latest album where they escape out of prison.
“We’ve been through a couple of years where we couldn’t be ourselves freely and that is why we made the music video of Whisper in a prison.” Sonia Gómez confessed after it came out. “It is a metaphor of all we’ve fought to be ourselves. And I think we’ve done it. Nowadays we behave just as we are in interviews and we no longer have tabu topics. We can talk about alcohol, sexual orientation and sexual relationships. There are no restrictions now.”
In fact, Sonia Gomez’s bandmate, Alba Reig, is openly dating singer María Pelae, and the two of them are one of most popular lesbian couples out there right now in Spain. Alba, on the topic of her sexual orientation, had to say: “Now I can speak on my sexuality, I feel far more at peace. For example at interviews, because before there were lots of questions I had to leave hanging so that I didn’t lie. That’s why, on one hand, I’m calmer. And, on the other hand, it’s making me very happy to see fans cared about me taking this step forward, that they indeed needed a referent to count on. Now I realize this was something I needed to do and it feels really good.”
Alba has also explained that, although she accepted the deal she was offered back then, she was soon fed up with arguments such as “you can be difficult to hire because not everyone understands [homosexuality].” She says things have changed, but there is still a long way to go on this issue. And homophobia is not even the only problem in the music industry, racism and, in this case, sexism are very present as well: Tamy affirms they were often told “focus on singing and nothing else.”
The last declaration of interest Alba gave to the Spanish queer magazine Shanghai and that we shall mention is that she never had any problems accepting her sexual orientation. “Now I can talk about this, I’m going to tell you:” she said, laughing “I never had any problems accepting my sexual orientation, not with my family, not with my friends… Nothing. Then I entered the group and the team managing us didn’t agree with me becoming an lgbtq+ referent for the public we were marketed for. We couldn’t impose anything and I said ‘okay.’ So I spent years avoiding questions such as ‘What is your type of boy?’ The many memes out there of me answering those!”
Of course, it should come as no surprise that, according to journalist Maite Nieto, the record label Warner was asked about the treatment the band received while working for them, and they answered “The Company’s policy is not to make any declarations on any topics related to the company.”
Nevertheless, I would be a little afraid if I were Warner, because Whisper ends with the Sweet California burning a skyfolder, probably their offices. The camera switches off with these three powerful women burning the empire down in what could be a reference to Fight Club and project Mayhem, watching the music industry burn to the ground. And we are left with a couple of headlines telling us the ones guilty of such fire were not found and would never be.
Auryn was a Spanish boy band who sang in Spanish and English, and looking at their situation as a One Direction fan is scary at best. It is scary because Auryn was promoted as a house brand of the same boy band we love, because their marketing plan was a copy, because the fanbases of the two—while one was more international than the other—had the exact same profile and you can’t help but look at them, at their declarations, and wonder how worse One Direction (who obviously were considerably more famous) had it.
Auryn happened to be under Sweet California’s old label and management team, because the girl band started as an experiment after it was proven the boy band was successful. Curiously, this was the same label Pablo Alborán has always had: Warner Music Spain.
When it comes to the similarities between One Direction and Auryn, an interesting detail to notice is that, like One Direction, Auryn was formed by five members: Álvaro Gango, Blas Cantó Moreno, Carlos Pérez Marco, Daniel Fernández Delgado and David Lafuente. These young men—a couple of years older than the One Direction boys—started their careers in 2009, but nothing ever happened until 2011, when they participated in a contest to represent Spain in Eurovision and the band blew up.
Over the next five years, they would expand their fanbase to a legion of hispanic teenage girls and would go through some very similar experiences to what we could see of 1D abroad: these boys know what is like to have your car shaken and practically mauled by the crowd. Besides, they were very busy as well, and, from 2011 to 2015, they had four albums coming out and toured their home country once per album. In fact, it is documented that, during one of their tours, they did 200 shows in one year and a half.
Enough time has passed since then to say that Auryn breaking up in 2016 was probably the best thing to ever happen to them on a personal level—if not professionally. Just one year later, the first member of the band to come out turned out to be Blas Cantó. He did it almost by accident, a slip up saying his new song could be about an ex boyfriend (“or girlfriend,” he quickly added) that the press picked up, and he never gave any public declarations on their managers’ treatment, but fans knew, and any person with a minimum capacity of critical thinking would have known, had they been paying attention. And two years after that, in 2019, a second member of the band came out as gay and confirmed his relationship with songwriter Junior Ferbelles: David Lafuente.
It wouldn’t be until June 2021 when Blas would give us the first thread to pull from. And this is not something I care out of gossiping, of course, and neither should you. But what does it imply that Blas confirmed last June having a romantic relationship with his bandmate for roughly two years? Don’t get confused, it was not with David Lafuente, but with Álvaro Gango. And how curious is it that this turned out to be a predominantly queer boy band. It is almost as if it is a possible thing to happen, as if it is common and a very real thing to have couples and multiple queer members in boy bands and girl bands.
Blas did it in a Tik Tok on his new single El bueno acaba mal (“The Good One Ends Badly”). “This happened ten years ago,” he said in it, “I was with this boy for two years and I gave up everything to be with him, but he had a second life: he flirted with everyone and that hurt me, and later on I found out he had been with others while we were still together. He then initiated a public attack against me and that is why I’ve written so many songs for him: he’s had to listen to them on the radio, partying… And I hope he dances to this new song a lot.”
How do we know it is about Álvaro? Well, you see, each of the Auryn boys had a term which defined them, similar to the way the One Direction boys were known for their microphone colour, and these helped fans refer to their favourite member. In the caption of this tiktok, Blas writes Álvaro’s among the two hashtags used: the English term “Smile.” Moreover, in his Twitter account, Blas said “it had to happen someday, you say the wrongdoing, not the wrong-maker. Those who understand, understand,” and, when fans started calling out Álvaro for it, Blas Cantó wrote one last message “I owed you the story, not the bullying.”
The ultimate confirmation, and what makes the story become a fact, is that the media picked it up and shared it as such (which means Blas’ team agreed to it), journalists confirmed the relationship and neither of the two protested against it (Álvaro Gango came back to the industry in 2020 after disappearing from the public eye in 2016 and has never stated his sexuality).
Curiously, months before that, with Blas doing promo before representing Spain in Eurovision, we had had an interaction between them when Álvaro surprised him with a video in a TV show. In response to his ex boyfriend’s good luck wishes, he answered “Alvaro was a very important person for me the first 2 years of the band, we were together at all times, it was wonderful, we were a team. I have to say I learnt a lot with him.”
Sadly, with both of them in the industry and Blas still under Auryn’s old management and record label, neither of the two has spoken out on how Must Producciones and Warner Music treated them, we have no Sweet California moment, no revenge. And that’s okay, because someone did it for them, there is someone else who is gay, who was in the same boy band and ended his career in 2019 after coming out. David Lafuente had already made some notorious declarations such as “being gay does affect your career” that same year, but nothing like the interview he gave last summer.
In a famous gossip TV programme, accused in Spain of never saying anything of importance except for pr and meddling in people’s lives, David Lafuente confessed what a hard time he had being gay in Auryn. And the problem was not only with his sexual orientation, but also with the whole public image it was assigned to the band: “They made me believe I was but a pretty face and the only thing I was capable of was moving my hips,” he says at some point.
Another interesting declaration is the one he made about how toxic this new world was: “I’ve gone through times in my life (mostly in Auryn) where I was surrounded by people who offered me nothing positive in return and were by my side just for what I was.”
“I could not say I was gay.” He confirmed when the TV presenter, a gay man himself, asked him. “I feel guilty saying they forbid me to say it, but it was kind of like that: I couldn’t say I was gay. I understand we worked for a female audience and we had to keep the [straight] image, but… I wasn’t allowed to go to any gay scene, for example, and I was a 22-year-old with an LGBT friend-group and a boyfriend.”
David had struggled a lot with his sexuality in the past and with the homophobia he suffered in his hometown, and moving to Madrid, for him, was a moment of liberation. Thus, Auryn felt like “going back into the closet.”
“I was the black sheep, and it meant constant telling offs.” He commented on what being closeted implied and the treatment he received. “The would tell me: ‘you’ve been seen here, pictures are coming out, they’ve caught you with someone.’ In a way, I was very scared, I spent a long time in therapy.”
As you can see, in Auryn, everything was “a copy of a copy of a copy,” the band followed the exact same patterns we have unfortunately seen with so many other artists. However, there is something their old management team has achieved to cover gracefully, something so buried in the web that, when I started looking into them, I honestly fell for it. Did the Auryn boys have beards to cover this up? I was very put out by the fact that they didn’t: this is not like with Pablo Alborán, when you google their names along with the word “girlfriend,” nothing comes up. Well, something does, and that is David Lafuente’s partner and a couple of articles on his coming out. Why are there, then, fan-made blogs from 2014 talking about the breakup with his “girlfriend,” a girl called Clara?
Was Auryn’s and Sweet California’s management team so scared of the possible backlash they made journalists erase every article following the straight narrative planted? Because that is where their weakness lies: they are not invincible, not if they care enough to make sure there was no proof of closeting of easy access for the public.
And, on this topic, do you want to know something bitterly funny? When you google “David Lafuente and Clara,” the headlines you get could be roughly translated into: “David tells us how he dealt with his sexual orientation while he was in Auryn: ‘they didn’t forbid it to me exactly, but they kind of did.’ ” and, of course, “David Lafuente (Auryn) confesses the nightmare he lived in due to him being gay.”
According to the fan post from 2014, backed up with photographs from David’s own Instagram, he had a whole womaniser image. The scandal was such it divided fans because some of them supported the beard, Clara Álvarez, and not him, and the official story seems to be that he posted a photo with a long caption for New Years Eve in which he mentioned he was single. A couple of weeks after that, both David and Clara coincidentally (please note the sarcasm) posted new pictures kissing other people. He had a new beard, an old friend of his acting as such, and her name was Salo. And after the “Instagram break up,” to no one’s surprise, the fans experienced an “Instagram war” where both of them dropped constant hints attacking the other and which kept “Auryners” on their toes.
Did Blas and Álvaro have beards as well? I would dare to say they probably did. In fact, when looking into social media, and, particularly, old fan accounts, it is easy to notice a certain tendency from 2013 onwards: fans were convinced Alba Reig (from Sweet California) was dating her close childhood friend Carlos Marco (from Auryn) and Rocío Cabrera was dating Blas Cantó. Nothing ever came of those rumours (that we can tell) besides fanfiction. Is it possible, however, that management instigated them parting from a close PR friendship between the two groups in a similar way Modest Management linked Little Mix and One Direction? Unfortunately, their old label and management teams left no trace of it, no proof they were ever forced to pretend they were dating the opposite gender.
After David’s declarations, the biggest form of damage control came this 7th of February, in a podcast called “Animales humanos” interviewing Carlos Marco. It may surprise you that I call this interview damage control if I tell you up front Carlos Marco came out as queer in this podcast. How can a coming out be a cover up for closeting, right?
Well, the first part of the podcast focuses on Auryn and Carlos’ experiences from the very beginning of the band (2009) and it takes them around twenty minutes to touch on a very controversial topic in any boy band or girl band: the singing time each of the members is given. Carlos assured that this division was extremely equal and they even counted how many words each of them got to sing; however, he also said he disagreed with this, as they all had different abilities and you couldn’t adapt accordingly. And a few minutes later he contradicted himself when he said: “there were songs I barely sang and others where I was the protagonist. In some of them, you could only hear me, and in others I had just one sentence.”
This is merely a topic they mention for a few minutes, but a big part of the Auryn section of the podcast consists on Carlos calling David out. If you remember David’s declarations, he was the one who quit music and reaffirmed what Sweet California had already said: that they were forbidden to say they were queer. So when, in the middle of a conversation about how Auryn was very frustrating at times because it was stopping them from pursuing solo projects on TV, in minute 21:32 Carlos says they were never forced to do anything and mentions his one bandmate who has talked about contracts, we know exactly what is this podcast for, or should I say who?
“The thing with Auryn is that—and this is really bothering me because, sometimes, I hear some of my bandmates (well, only one of them actually) talking about contracts and shit—there were no contracts on that, it was a pact between the five of us, but there was no big man telling us…” He leaves the sentence hanging, and the interesting part here is that, up until this point, they are supposed to be talking about how the band was really limiting career wise and all of them had to do the same things at all times. However, Carlos follows with: “Besides, this is against the law, you can’t sign certain clauses restricting you as a human being, and this was a conviction we all had about doing things equally and in a certain way.”
Weren’t we talking about career opportunities? Why has this become an interview where one queer person calls another one, who happens to be his own bandmate, a liar and denies the abuse he says they all suffered? And I wonder: how would our society respond to these declarations if they had been on any other type of abuse in any other professional sector?
Of course, the “denial” is done with a half truth, an argument so overused in our own fandom it is easy to recognise it: while it is true no contract can indeed deny you to be a certain sexual orientation, from the very moment you sign your image rights off, they can indeed force you to hide anything contradicting the public image given (image which, in closeting cases, obviously includes heterosexuality).
It would not be the last attack against David Lafuente, but the interviewer moves on to talk about the fan phenomenon, and Carlos himself compares their experience with One Direction. It was then when the interviewer confessed: “I was very shocked to see, in every interview you did, you were told ‘you drive girls crazy,’ ‘do any of you have a girlfriend…?’ and so on. I don’t know how many of you were and are queer, but I understand some of you must have been…”
He broke down right then and there: “I can cut this, if you don’t mind saying it, if not I can…”
“No, no, I don’t mind,” Carlos assured him.
This last bit is extremely weird. Firstly, because normally it would have been cut; but, apart from that, why does it sound like the host is not sure if there were queer members? We already know there were, has he been living under a rock? Two of them are out, one of them is the person they are not so subtly trashing in this podcast and the other one confirmed a romantic relationship with a third one. The question here, if you must ask one, is: “Was there a straight member in Auryn?”
I wonder if the interviewer is pretending that the whole thing is natural, improvised, and that it comes from the heart. Because it doesn’t work, not when later on he confirms he indeed knew about David, he already knew there were queer members in the band before Carlos came out, which he does in the answer to his question:
“I have never been asked ‘what do you like?’ Everyone has always assumed I liked girls, or that I liked boys. So in interviews they asked me about girls, and then on social media I was called a faggot.” Carlos told him. “So I’ve never been asked, and I’ve never said anything. In fact, this is the first time I do.”
“I like boys, I’ve had boyfriends, but I’m not opposed to being with a girl either. I think, as time goes on, you become more open and you experiment… And this is what I’ve experienced. So I cannot say that I’m gay.”
“So you are just queer.” The interviewer chimed in.
“Yes, exactly.” Carlos confirmed. “Although every relationship I’ve had has been with a boy. I’ve been in very long relationships so… But yes, there were times they asked me about girlfriends and I had a boyfriend.”
This is when the interviewer insisted on how uncomfortable that made him feel as a viewer and referred to David Lafuente’s interview: “I’ve seen your bandmate say in Sálvame [the TV gossip show where David made those controversial declarations] he felt restricted.”
“I’m going to tell you what I experienced.” Carlos cut him off. “I was never forbidden to say I was gay, or that I had a boyfriend and I liked guys. Never!”
He followed this with how all they did was recommending them not to drink too much or that they kept a good image, but only because there were little girls following them. And what he said next can be translated into:
“Where sexual orientation is concerned, nobody ever told us ‘don’t do this.’ Obviously, they didn’t recommend you to come out either, nobody told you ‘oh yes, feel free to say you like boys’ because it was 2013. 2013 was not like 2023, 10 years have gone by. At the time, it was not the same. But well, no one ever asked us, so…”
The section closed with another intervention from the interviewer. It seems he needed, once again, reassurance: “And you told me I didn’t have to cut this, didn’t you?”
Everything sounds so organic, not planned at all, obviously. Who did they pretend to fool with this? Certainly not us.
“I never said I had a girlfriend,” Carlos confessed at some point, “I said, for example, that I liked blond girls. And I do! But I do have to admit, looking back, I would have loved to be able to say it, because with the amount of young followers we had…”
One very interesting declaration is how, when talking about what happened after the band, Carlos said: “I fought with the label and I wanted to leave, and the president, a very charming guy, told me ‘no stay, you will see…’ So, at the end, I negotiated a very good contract which was later used as a model for the rest of Auryn. They still thank me for that!”
So Carlos Marco was under Warner until very recently, good to know. Curiously, the singer stopped releasing music in 2018, and didn’t come back until 2020, when he formed a trio called Mantra. The group, unsurprisingly, is under Auryn’s and Sweet California’s old management team; in fact, every member of the band except for Álvaro and David works for them. Nevertheless, it appears that Carlos left Warner when he formed Mantra (the contract probably ended in 2020), while Blas and Dani Fernández are still with them. And, while Must Producciones only did the management work for Auryn, according to their website, they are also a label. And they happen to be the only company credited in Mantra’s music; thus, they not only manage them, they also act as their label.
Unfortunately, in the music industry it is very common for management teams to work hand in hand with the label in a bit of an incestuous relationship, and in this case, this fusion is especially alarming because they have the same people producing their music and managing their public image.
“How is your relationship with the rest of the members of the band?” Is another interesting question Carlos was asked.
“With Dani and Blas it is fantastic! I don’t see Dani as often but there is always this feeling of ‘it sucks we don’t meet more because we connect so well!’ ” Carlos said Blas is like part of his family and that he even talks to Carlos’ mum. “We have a very close relationship.”
“So, with the other two, there is no contact.”
“No,” he confessed, “with Álvaro, I talked to him because a person we knew passed away, but apart from that, there is none.”
He explained nothing happened, that Álvaro disappeared after the band and that was it.
“And with David, I did have a good relationship. In fact, I had a youtube channel and he came and we recorded some videos… But then he started to go to TV programs and look, I simply disagree. I prefer to remain away from everything.”
“So it was when he talked about his experiences on TV,” the host guessed. “The three of you cut ties with him?”
“Yes. Well, we didn’t have that close of a relationship.” Carlos contradicted himself. “We were all friends but one doesn’t have the same kind of friendship with everybody. And even more so if you go out there saying these kinds of things!”
How curious is it that, from the very beginning of Calos’ career, his only public friends from the band have been the ones he still shared a label and a management team with. How curious is it that the three ex boybanders managed by Must Producciones and (until 2020 when Carlos left and the other two remained) under Warner Music Spain are all offended by how the management team’s and label’s names have been trashed, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem with his childhood best friend Alba Reig and her bandmates from Sweet California, who gave the exact same declarations.
I wonder if this is the price Carlos paid for coming out. But did he even come out? He definitely acts like he is doing so, he says he has never been asked about it before, and this is the first time he says something on the topic. Nevertheless, there is one article from 2020, after David’s declarations, on many other Spanish queer artists including David and Pablo Alborán, where Carlos gave this exact same version, assured there was no clause in the contract preventing them from coming out, and said “I’ve lived my experience in freedom, and I’ve said so when I was dating a boy.”
The whole situation is extremely messy and confusing, because in the podcast he lamented he would have liked to say he was queer and didn’t because he was never asked, and the topic, after this one-paragraph-long intervention, was never touched again in the media. Carlos being queer never became general knowledge but rather a very common assumption people made, and only one year later, in 2021, we have, for instance, a despicable article on how “fans project homosexuality on heterosexual artists” such as, according to the writer of the article, Shawn Mendes, our own Harry Styles and Carlos Marco.
Something clear is that he has always been a big supporter in the public eye and is even referred to as a “gay icon” by some newspapers. He has always been very open about his queerness, but never came out in the traditional and outdated way the public expects of celebrities and queer people in general to come out (even after releasing a song about “freedom of sexual orientation” in 2018) until after David gave those declarations and he denied the existence of an “anti-gay clause.” To me, it sounds like he was very open about the community while he was in Warner, even if he was possibly glass closeted, and he later started casually living his life as an openly queer person.
It is unfortunate and very sad that his label and management team is using him to cover their tracks and alienating his public persona against David. It is unfortunate that the public doesn’t see anything wrong with this and they get away with the gaslighting and invalidation of one of their artists’ traumas using another one. Because while Carlos said this is “his personal experience,” it obviously puts in question David’s story before the eyes of an uneducated public no matter what, and they know it.
But what is truly tragic is that a boy band like Auryn turned out to be a queer boy band, with four out of five members being part of the community, with a documented history of every bit of promo being girl-focused, with one of the members’ confirmation that there were “anti-gay clauses” in their contracts, and the reality of artists being unwillingly closeted is still denied.
As always, nobody looks into it, nobody questions it.