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Superstar Mexican Singer Juan Gabriel On His Sexuality: "You Don't Ask About What Can Be Seen"

Gabriel died on Sunday at age 66.

Legendary Mexican singer Juan Gabriel, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 66, was beloved by millions. And while he was known for his flashy style, smooth moves and romantic lyrics, he never discussed his sexuality openly.

Writes the L.A. Times

Juan Gabriel, the stage name he preferred to his given name, Alberto Aguilera Valadez, remained coy about his private life from the 1960s, when he started his career singing on the streets of Juarez. He maintained that posture into his later years despite a shift in public opinion on gay and transgender rights.

He never married, conceived four children via artificial insemination with a female friend and repeatedly refused to answer questions about his sexuality, even after a male former personal secretary wrote a book alleging they had a romantic relationship.

Still, he was an icon in Mexico's gay subculture. Many viewed his silence as a business decision to remain silent, given Mexico's ultra-macho attitudes.

“I think he made a deep cultural change—not by talking about his sexuality, but by living it out on stage," said Alejandro Madrazo, a law professor battling for marriage equality in Mexico. “Juan Gabriel taught us how to be feminine.”

Rumors persisted throughout his career, and, in a tell all, a male secretary claimed they had an affair.

Asked point blank if he was gay in 2002, Gabriel simply replied, "You don't ask about what can be seen."

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