In spring 2019, Joy Huerta of the Mexican pop duo Jesse y Joy opened up to her fans, penning a heartfelt letter where she shared, “I never thought that the love of my life would be a woman, 7 years ago we met and love took us both by surprise.” She also announced that she and her partner were expecting their first baby together.
“As a pop artist who started out in Latin America, coming out meant redefining my whole career,” she tells Billboard. “It redefined me as a person and my music as well.”
For the 35-year-old Grammy and six-time Latin Grammy winner it’s always been important to empower whoever sings her lyrics — which is why she celebrates Pride Month with songs such as “Love (Es Nuestro Idioma).” “I can’t separate my craft from who I am, so my craft has always been as true to myself as can be,” she notes.”
Joy wraps up Billboard’s series featuring queer Latin artists who are helping reshape their genre. Learn more about her below:
How have you helped create tolerance in your genre?
Aside from being an advocate for my LGBTQ+ community, I believe that every queer artist in my industry and any other industry is pushing for and creating tolerance just by being fully open about who we truly are. Being openly queer isn’t only pushing for tolerance; it’s also a path of resistance.
As a queer artist, how have you helped reshape your genre?
As a pop artist who started out in — a still very conservative/traditional in many ways — Latin America, coming out meant redefining my whole career. Not only among my peers but mainly among the public and my fans. It redefined me as a person and my music as well. I want to think that as a mainstream artist in LATAM it helped pushed the boundaries of my genre.
How did accepting your queer identity impact your craft?
It’s always been important for me to empower whoever is singing my lyrics, whether a breakup song or a love song. But to know that my music also gives a voice to my LGBTQ+ community, it’s something that has made me feel more responsible when I’m writing a song. I wrote a song called “Love (es nuestro idioma).” Not only was it written with love, but also with a purpose, a video that celebrates and embraces diversity — but most importantly, it shines a light on and brings attention to the fact that still to this day there are many countries that don’t punish conversion therapy. I can’t separate my craft from who I am, so my craft has always been as true to myself as can be.
This year I’ll be celebrating Pride by …
Spending the day with my family, forever grateful to those before me who fought endlessly for equality, pushing doors and boundaries, losing their lives for love to be seen as love between two people of the same sex.
What’s your all-time favorite pride anthem and why?
I love “I Want to Break Free” by Queen. It’s a song I can relate to. And I think we all can, we all want to break free from something at a moment in our lives.