The RBD singer tells us how the tabloids forced him to reveal the truth about his sexual orientation

Christian Chávez

It all began with a mysterious email sent last February to singer Christian Chávez, a member of Mexico's platinum-selling sextet RBD. Chávez, 23, read in horror that photos would be circulated on the internet the following day of him and his partner, hairstylist William “BJ” Murphy, 21, exchanging rings and wedding vows in Canada in 2005. Up until then, Chávez had vehemently denied his sexual orientation telling PEOPLE EN ESPAÑOL last October: “If you are what you are, then do it, tell it, yell it out, but I am not gay and no one has the right to make up things about me.”

Desperate for solutions, Chávez visited RBD's producer and manager, Pedro Damián, with whom he tearfully drafted a press release that stated his sexual preference. It read: “I no longer wish to lie or lie to myself over fear. I feel very bad about not having been able to share this with all of my fans, who I am most concerned about and for whom I decided come clean.”

But things were about to get worse. The day after the photos went public, the group was scheduled to perform in the border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Chávez's hometown. Fearful of his family's rejection, he reluctantly took to the stage not knowing what to expect. “Seeing my mother sitting in the first row gave me tremendous courage,” says Chávez in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE EN ESPAÑOL. “When I went on stage and the audience began to clap and cheer, I thought to myself: ‘I can die now.'”

Chávez has never been more at peace about his life with Murphy. “It's like removing a mask or a heavy sack and you're suddenly free,” he says. “RBD is now for everyone: there's the gay guy, the rocker chick, the hunk, and the two nerds. It's a complete group, the sort of group this generation needed.”

Article excerpt from PEOPLE EN ESPAÑOL August issue.  Â