AARP Pride Information and Resources for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People, Families and Allies - AARP
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Ricky Martin is officially ending the speculation and is now an out and proud gay man. Welcome to the club, you gorgeous piece of man meat! Er... I mean you incredibly brave and talented singer who has done so much to raise the level of awareness of the plight of the Latin community and break down social barriers.
A lot of folks are shaking their heads and saying, "duh!", and I've been one of them. Honestly, no one was surprised by Martin's announcement on his website yesterday, where wrote in both Spanish and English about his decision to come out, saying, "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."
What everyone in the LGBT community knows is that it's not easy to come out, even in a more accepting world. Think back to when you came out to your family (if you ever have). It takes more guts than most straight people will ever have or will ever be able to comprehend. Add to that coming from a very traditional Latin background and having a huge following in that community, which still very much holds onto the macho standard of masculinity.
We haven't heard much on the pop charts from Ricky Martin in the last decade, but if you do a search on YouTube, you'll find dozens of videos of his Spanish language concerts, which I actually like better than his more commercial hits. It somehow sounds more honest and that's what coming out is all about.
A lot of sites are posting video tributes to Ricky Martin today featuring "She Bangs" or "La Vida Loca", but personally, I think he shines best in this performance from the 2000 Latin Grammy's All Star Tribute to Tito Puente, featuring Gloria Estefan and the legendary Celia Cruz.
As some of you may know, I was born in Puerto Rico when my dad, a Coast Guard officer, was stationed there in the 50's. I studied Spanish for five years in high school and college and still have fondness for Latin music. We may have written off Ricky's career, but the Latin community never has. This is what he is risking by coming out. Bravo, Ricky.