Beautiful Boy: David Hernandez Opens Up

Officially out, the former 'American Idol' says he was never really in.
August 31, 2016
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When David Hernandez competed on American Idol back in 2008, his singing career was overshadowed by rumors that he was gay. Now, eight years later, he’s here to set the record straight with his new single "Beautiful".

Recently, Hernandez officially came out in an interview with OUT, explaining that “this song resonates with me. The lyrics are just so powerful. This is who I am, take it or leave it.”

We quickly chatted with him to find out more ourselves.

I just listened to your new song and it's actually really good!

Thank you. You know the reception for this song has been really good. I truly am surprised at how much love and support everyone is showing for it. I was out at karaoke last night, and at least two or three people came over who I don't even know and complimented me on it. I also just saw a video of this kid pay tribute to his friend who has passed away in a freak accident and he used the song in the background. I was like balling in my kitchen watching it.

That's really intense!

It's super intense! That's life. It just goes to show we all need a positive message once and awhile - we are just such so saturated with all of this negativity, with the media and people dying and all of that. So just to inject a little bit of positivity in the world feels really nice.

Yeah. The track is kind of a little bit like diva-ish. I get these vibes of Cyndi or Cher in a really good way. 

Like an anthemic sort of quality?

Yeah. I mean your voice is great but it's the whole sound is just very diva. 

I will take that as a compliment. I would love to sit in those ranks.

You're back in headlines not only because of your song, but also because of your interview with OUT. You're having a moment. What do you want to be the message or takeaway for people from this experience?

This was never intended for publicity. The way this all happened was I was doing an interview with the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News for an upcoming show and I was talking with the interviewer and he asked about the gay community. I said, "I think we are super divided at times and we need to support each other more." And he was like, " Oh, so you're gay?" And I was like, "Yeah!" It just slipped out. Legit. I didn't intend for any of this. My publicist then saw the article and was like, "Hey. If you're gonna be out, lets spread this message." And I agreed.

Over the last eight years, I have had younger LGBTQ fans message me with their stories and struggles and I have never been able to share my story or my struggles being from a Mexican family in the projects. I was the kid who wanted to do theater and shit. I didn't want to play sports. I only played them to be like my brother. At this level in my career and my life, I want to use whatever platform I have to speak to people in those small towns or across the world. You can be exactly who you are and be successful in the music industry or whatever industry you want to be in. That was the driving force to get me to "come out" because everyone who knows me knew I was gay. They have known that for years. I have seen some of the backlash online that  I am only doing this to sell albums. I don't need to do this to sell albums. I would just like to reach out to people who is the little boy who I was who was struggling with being himself.

I saw one comment saying, "I never knew he was in." 

There is a difference being out publicly in your career and being out personally. Sharing every facet of who you are with the world is a very vulnerable thing and you shouldn't rush anyone to do that.

What is next for you?

Well, I would really like to finish my album. I am in the studio currently with the same producer who produced "Beautiful", Mark Grilliot. I am finishing up the album with him and also with Printz Board from the Black Eyed Peas who I have been working with for the past four years on the album. I want - the content has changed so heavily because I am finally comfortable in my own skin. So I don't know what songs are going to make it on the album. I just know that I want it to come very soon. I am not sure if it will be the end of the year or the beginning of next year but I am working on it right now. 

What was your personal response to Orlando?

It was crazy to see how these terrifying things happen we still stood that much stronger. I am telling you, there is video of me at Boise Pride and I looked at the crowd and was like, "How are we doing today?" And the screams were just deafening. You would think that people would go in their house and be scared and cower. It was quite the opposite so it was cool to have that.

Where I stand now with it is, I mean - we still have a long way to go. The world is a different place now than it was when I was on TV but we still have a lot of homophobia. Spreading love is the message for me which is why I did the video for "Beautiful" with all different races, religions, sexual orientations and ages. I just wanted to unite everyone. Create a digital reminder that yeah, we are all different but we are all dope as fuck. We are all beautiful. 

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