In a nearly five-minute video posted June 5 on YouTube, Raymix announced to his fans that he’s a gay man.
While on the clip he seems calm, cool and collected, the electrocumbia singer-songwriter says he was feeling anything but that. “It’s not an easy thing to do,” Raymix tells Billboard. “I was nervous and shaking. I’m typically a very calm person but this was hard and I worried about my career that I’ve worked so hard for.”
Four days since the announcement and after almost 500,000 people have watched the video titled “Officially announcing I’m gay” with a smiley face at the end, the 29-year-old Mexican artist has no regrets. “Everything seems fine. Nothing has changed. I’m still me. Only I’m now a gay man.”
On social media, the “Oye Mujer” singer has been reposting the supportive and heartfelt messages he’s received from his fans. And colleagues like Esteman, Paulina Rubio, Angela Aguilar and Georgel have also shown him support leaving comments like “I’m so proud of you” and “keep shining.”
In an interview with Billboard, Raymix, who is hunkered down in Mexico City, opened up about the days leading to the release of the video, how his previous management team advised him to not come out (his new, current manager is Guillermo Rosas) and whether or not he wishes he had come out as a gay man earlier in his career.
What was going through your mind or how were you feeling days before your video went live?
I recorded the video because I didn’t want to forget anything important that I had to say. It’s not an easy thing to do. I’m typically a very calm person but this was hard and I worried about my career that I’ve worked so hard for. So, four days before the video went live, I recorded it, edited and scheduled it to go up June 5. That way, I would forget about it even existing and just let it go live. I also thought that by scheduling it, I couldn’t back out.
I was nervous and shaking. I’m still shaking now and that doesn’t happen to me. I don’t even get this nervous when I’m on stage. I just thought, ‘Please God, let people react in the best way.’ There were people who had advised me not to do it because they’d criticize it but I did it and everything is fine.
Now that a few days have passed and you’ve been able to reflect, what’s your take away from the reactions you’ve seen?
I realized that people have evolved. I think people, of all generations, are more understanding and that makes me happy. I was reading comments on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and I saw some of the female fans that would always write to me saying they were in love and wanted to marry me had written comments saying that it didn’t matter, that I was still their crush. I worried they wouldn’t be there anymore. Everything seems fine. Nothing has changed. I’m still me. Only now a gay man.
In the video, you mention that there was some people in the industry that recommended you not to come out. What would you tell those people now?
I invite them to evolve like so many other people have. Why lie or deny anything. I’m now living a new era in my life with a new management team. My previous team, which whom I began my career, would tell me not to make this public because it would affect ticket sales or my popularity. I thought, so then what’s the point of doing this? So that I can live in a box pretending I’m someone I’m not. So what if I’m a gay man who sings cumbia? That’s what I’m here for, to make a difference and contribute however I can. Maybe my existence will make someone’s life better or easier on this earth.
It’s time to be courageous tho I understand it takes time and it’s not easy. We should modernize our music too because cumbia can fall under two categories, urban and regional Mexican, both with heteronormative standards of masculinity. We see the typical macho guys all the time. Why not change the game? You don’t know how happy I am for doing what I did and for my new team to support me. They played a huge role in this. Here I am, showing the world that we can and should evolve. The most important thing is to be happy.
Do you wish you would have come out earlier in your career?
Everything happens at the right moment. Perhaps if I would have come out earlier in my career, I wouldn’t have made an impact. I think people will now see that I too struggled with this, had to lie about who I was and it makes me more real and maybe more people will identify with me.
There are many things happening around the world, but how has quarantine been for you? Have you been working on new music?
I’m taking advantage of this time to produce music that I had recorded in the past. I also just wrote some songs with other songwriters at a distance. That was a first for me. I typically write with other people in a room. Doing it virtually is a little complicated but we did it. Aside from my recent collaborations with Paulina Rubio and ICC, there are more collaborations I have to release so there’s a lot of work.
Anything else you want to add?
I want to tell anyone that is going through what I went through that it’s worth coming out. Even if your family and/or friends don’t accept you at first, it’s worth it because you are finally putting yourself first. This will open doors to a happier life with less weight on your shoulders. Even the most conservative parents will come around. Love conquers all. My father is very conservative and it’s taken him some time to come around but now, I can talk to him about a guy that I like or stuff like that. It’s so worth it, trust me.
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