Patron Saint: Juan Gabriel
The Patron Saint series is a play on my Catholic upbringing and the practice of remembering important icons in Chicanx culture. The second santito in the series is the beloved singer Juan Gabriel "El Divo de Juarez." His melancholy music and powerful voice became the soundtrack of my heartbreak and joy over the years. From my Tia Sara singing "No Tengo Dinero" to my stepdad's karaoke go-to "Querida", Juan Gabriel's music is an integral part of my forming as a Mexican immigrant to the U.S. Perhaps the most important role Juanga played later in my life, was his existence as an openly flamboyant and soft-spoken man. His queerness was ever present and allowed for me to be exposed and to appreciate the softness in others.