Omar Apollo, a name that has been making rounds recently, particularly due to his association with “The Last of Us” star and widely adored figure, Pedro Pascal. It’s intriguing how simply being seen with someone so renowned can elevate one’s own fame. Such is the nature of our world.
The photograph of the two together has ignited a frenzy of speculation on the internet. Are they an item? Should they be? Unfortunately, the picture, reportedly taken on October 24, doesn’t provide much in the way of answers. It primarily captures Pascal holding his phone, while Apollo appears to be possibly looking at it. Deciphering their relationship from this snapshot is quite the enigma. Adding to the intrigue is Pascal’s reputation for guarding his privacy. Over the years, he’s been linked to several notable figures, including Maria Dizzia, Lena Headey, and Robin Tunney.
At 26 years old, Omar Apollo, born Omar Apolonio Velasco, is a versatile singer who showcases his talents in both English and Spanish. He commenced his career on the platform Soundcloud, and his debut on Spotify with the track “Ugotme” was a sudden breakthrough, garnering over 20,000 daily streams. Within a year, this number escalated to a staggering 15 million. His initial album met with a similarly enthusiastic reception. His most recent EP, “Live for Me,” dropped on October 6.
As the child of Mexican immigrants, Apollo’s songwriting took a poignant turn after he came out to his family, receiving a response that fell short of ideal. The resulting song delves into the internal struggle of being pulled in two different directions ─ torn between being true to oneself or to one’s family.
Apollo expressed that the song encapsulates the emotions he experienced during the winter he revealed his truth to his family, recounting the chilly reception he received instead of the acceptance he had hoped for. It serves as a reflection of his realization that he had to leave his home. The lyrics convey a sentiment of never expecting to depart, yet clinging to the belief that he can still make his family proud.
This candid expression of his identity arrives at a critical juncture in our society, where certain political factions aim to roll back the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and stifle freedom of expression. Consider the recent enactment of the “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida, which restricts classroom discussions on gender and sexual orientation.
A study by the nonprofit True Colors United reveals a staggering statistic: an estimated 40 percent of homeless youth find themselves in such a situation due to their non-heteronormative identities.
Apollo was previously reticent about discussing his sexuality, but a shift occurred in 2022. His appearance at the Coachella music festival was teased on billboards with a provocative message challenging heteronormativity. In November of the same year, he candidly addressed a fan on Twitter, affirming his sexuality. He later explained that it was not a choice, but an intrinsic part of who he is.
Growing up in conservative Indiana, he grappled with the pressure of conforming to societal expectations. For a time, he refrained from using gender pronouns in his music. Eventually, he reached a turning point, realizing he couldn’t allow others’ opinions to dictate his life.
In an interview with NPR, he revealed his initial inclination to maintain an air of mystery. However, he reached a point where he no longer cared about maintaining that mystique. He boldly declared, “I’m very gay.”
For Apollo, his journey serves as a bridge to facilitate conversations between parents and their LGBTQ+ children. It stands as a testament that this is a reality within families, and it doesn’t have to be a negative experience.
Through his vibrant and spirited approach to life, Apollo has become an unofficial ambassador for the LGBTQ+ community. He sets an example for how to navigate familial challenges related to gender and sexuality with grace and authenticity. His story resonates as a beacon of hope and understanding in an evolving world.