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Last Updated: Monday, 5 March 2007, 16:05 GMT
Mexican singer breaks gay taboo
Christian Chavez
Chavez played the character of Giovanni in TV show Rebelde
A Mexican pop star has revealed to fans he is gay, breaking a taboo in a country where it is highly unusual for celebrities to make such statements.

Christian Chavez, 23, belongs to RBD, a band that emerged from popular TV soap Rebelde (Rebel).

He said he did not "want to keep on lying" about his life, after pictures emerged of him with a man apparently getting married in Canada.

The announcement had taken "a lot of bravery", one Mexican columnist wrote.

Yuriria Sierra asked in Excelsior newspaper: "Why has no Mexican public figure... felt comfortable enough to openly express their sexual preference?"

Mexican gay rights activist Sergio Villarreal said he considered the singer to represent "a new way of seeing things, less prejudiced and more open".

"Christian Chavez's decision symbolises this new way of seeing life, and raises hope of a more inclusive future with more respect for differences."

'Tolerance' appeal

The star, known for his ever-changing hair colours, was apparently pictured signing documents and exchanging rings with a man in 2005, the year in which gay marriages became legal in Canada.

Chavez said the photos showed a part of him that he had not been willing to discuss previously "in fear of rejection, of criticism, but especially for my family and its consequences".

I ask them from the bottom of my heart, not to judge me for being honest and to feel proud of who they are
Christian Chavez, to his fans

"Although I'm scared and filled with uncertainty, I know that I can rely on the support of my fans.

"Their love is bigger than all of this. I ask them from the bottom of my heart, not to judge me for being honest and to feel proud of who they are and never make the same mistake I did."

He added: "Tolerance to diversity!"

RBD have been successful across Latin America and have also gained fans among the Spanish-speaking community in the US.

The group made the news in February 2006 when three people were crushed to death outside an autograph-signing session in Brazil.

Thousands of fans had surged through security barriers in Sao Paulo.


SEE ALSO
Country profile: Mexico
02 Jan 07 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Mexico
15 Feb 07 |  Country profiles
Catholic threat on gay rights law
23 Jan 07 |  UK Politics
Fear and loathing in gay India
17 May 05 |  South Asia

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