GLAAD contributor Enrique Torre Molina is a diversity, inclusion and LGBTQ+ community activist, speaker and consultant working with companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and media. He co-founded Colmena 41, co-hosts the “Mafia Gay” podcast and lives in Mexico City.
When Mau Hernández — singer, songwriter and actor from Mexico – won a Best Actor Award at Mexico’s Premios Los Metro for his role in the musical Él Último Teatro del Mundo, he dedicated it to “people who have felt like a weird bug because, believe me, there’s a place for you. And if you can’t find it, create it.” (He was wearing a fabulous tux with sparkling bug brooches). Mau has done precisely that as an independent pop artist, and a proud part of the LGBTQ+ community, singing about “those who fearlessly did not lower their voice, even though they never got to see the changes we have today” and how we can all – using the inclusive “todes” in Spanish — be “seeds of the multicolor phenomenon.”
Why did you decide to speak openly about your sexual orientation in your lyrics? It doesn’t seem to be what most LGBTQ+ artists feel comfortable doing.
During the covid pandemic, I began to question my mission through art, what discourse I would feel proud of having immortalized if I was to suddenly leave this world, and my music project is where I have more freedom. I began to explore, get informed, and realized that most singers in Spanish prefer to stay in the closet out of fear of being rejected or judged by a machista society, old paradigms and anti-LGBT hatred. On the other hand, those whom we identify as LGBTQ+ icons are usually not part of the community. And if they are, they rarely speak of our movement in their lyrics, and it was important for me to do so.
What has been your experience of producing and publishing music independently? What are the advantages of managing your career in that way, and how is it limiting?
It has been revealing, cathartic, exciting and complex. At the beginning, a music producer told me “If you go ahead with this project, you are dooming yourself to address only this audience”. And I thought: that is exactly my goal! I’m doing this for our community. I’ll be the hero who dares. With my current team, I’ve been realizing that this is a much deeper phase of my search to celebrate and accept myself, and that mainly I’m being that hero to myself. I’ve been realizing this audience is not the minority that many people believe it is due to lack of visibility.
As an independent artist, the investment and decisions are mine. It is a risk, but it’s exciting to see it come to life and to know that my songs trigger conversations. I love the version of myself I’m finding on the way.
Who have been your main influences? Who would you like to collaborate with?
When I started composing my first songs, I listened a lot to Mika and Jaime Kohen, both of whom are part of the LGBTQ+ community, although they had not made it public at the time. Love Today and Alguien really inspired me. They could be considered anthems for our community.
Now, it blows my mind to see what is happening with music in English: Sam Smith, Lil Nas X, Beyoncé, Janelle Monáe, Troye Sivan, Kim Petras, among others. My goal is that we achieve that with music in Spanish. And I’d love to collaborate with Esteman, Adrián Bello, Danna Paola and Sam Smith.
How do you expect the LGBTQ+ community to be inspired and empowered through your work?
A year after premiering Fenómeno Multicolor, some people heard it for the first time during this year’s Pride month and it still feels current. My goal, of course, is to reach more people who will celebrate this anthem with me. It makes me feel good that some people can feel represented in my music, and that they know they are not alone.