Through Music, Gina Chavez Shares Her Story of Being Queer, Catholic, and Married

Gina Chavez

Gina Chavez is queer and Catholic, and she wants the world to know her story. The Texas-based musician was recently profiled in Little Village Magazine and she spoke forthrightly about her faith and her recent marriage:

“When I say that I’m queer and Catholic and go to mass with my wife, a lot of people are like, ‘How does that work?’ But on some level it does work, and it’s because we’re all multifaceted. All of us understand what it’s like to not fit in, to not belong and to feel like we have to change some part of ourselves in order to do that. If we’re lucky, if we’re blessed, we figure out that that’s not actually how we belong. How we belong is by really loving who we are at our core and being that person in the world.” 

The first-released single on Chavez’s EP, Heaven Knows, is a love song to her wife, Jodi Granado. The two women attended University of Texas – Austin and met at the University Catholic Center there. On her website, Chavez shares a bit of their experience:

“I was 24, staunchly Catholic and I’d had great, healthy relationships. But I’d never been in love. Then I met this girl with a smile that made me question everything I thought I knew.” 

Over the next twelve years, the couple managed a long-distance relationship, faced the challenges of coming out, and volunteered together in El Salvador, where they established a college fund for teenage girls. “Niñas Arriba has now put four women fully through college and is prepared to support two more. The couple, still practicing Catholics, were married in Austin in 2017, and their relationship continues to be a cornerstone of Chavez’s work. About her EP, she says:

“These are the songs my heart has been wanting to sing for so long. To shout from the rooftops that I am in love! To tell the world about this incredible woman who lights me up and calls me to my best self, and to show that our love is more than tolerable. It’s the kind of love we’re made for.”

As Chavez’s work grows in popularity, she hopes that her voice can reach others who need a boost of positive support. Her main goal is to show audiences that they don’t need to “fit into some box that the world prescribes for us.” While she has gained a following for her work, she wants listeners to know that it doesn’t take a huge audience to make an impact: 

“I always feel like, ‘Oh, you have to make it big and then you can do good for the world.’ No. You can do good for the world now. Right here.”

One way Chavez does good is by telling her love  story. The lyrics to Heaven Knows celebrate her marriage, and the music video includes footage from her wedding. She sings: 

“Shout to everyone that love is love is love is love and ours was made to last / Heaven knows every star that shined / The night you cast me in your glow / And I thank God you walked in to my life.”  

The video was featured in a Billboard article when it was released, and Chavez told reporters about how her faith and relationship inspire her work:

“We’ve been together twelve years, and being able to get married in Texas and us both being Catholic, it’s still something that’s fresh and kind of changing every time we go somewhere. It was kind of fun to let it come out in these (songs). We finally stopped waiting for the other foot to fall and feel like, ‘Wow, why don’t we just enjoy the fact we have a beautiful life together and the way we found each other is beautiful and the way we love each other is beautiful. Let’s just go with that.’ But it took us a long time to get here.”

At her core, Chavez is a musician who thrives by raising up others and living her truth. At a time where many of us need some good news, her work comes as a welcome reminder of the many wonderful people speaking up for the love in their lives. It’s a joy to see her music celebrated and we hope to see more from her in the future. 

Catherine Buck, New Ways Ministry, March 26, 2020

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