On his website today, Martin posted a lengthy statement that ends with, “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”
Well, good for you, Ricky! Meanwhile, the general consensus throughout the blogsphere is: Well, finally!
I can’t say I’m a fan of Ricky Martin, although I can appreciate the contribution he’s made to the music world. I just wish he could have found it within himself to come out when at the height of his fame, and not wait now when, really, he’s somewhat of a “yesterday’s hero.”
I definitely think that for many people coming out can be a very long and protracted process. I think particularly of those who marry young and start a family before realizing who they are sexually. Yet this wasn’t the case with Martin.
No, it appears that Martin intentionally chose to be closeted when he was at the height of his success (and thus influence) as part of a very tactical move to guarantee a lucrative career. No crime in that, of course. But I must admit I find it disappointing.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, many assumed Martin was living life as a gay man, and his welcoming of twin sons via a surrogate in 2008 went a long way in confirming what most people sensed: the guy was gay.
And now that his highly successful career has seemingly run its course, he opts to come out. Some, of course, may want to praise him for his “bravery.” Personally, I reserve such high praise for those artists and celebrities who from the start of their careers or from a point early in them, make the decision to come out, regardless of the price that may be paid in terms of success (and income). Gay entertainers who have done just that include George Maharis, Ian McKellen, Adam Lambert, Neil Patrick Harris, Darren Hayes, Rufus Wainwright, and the late Stephen Gately.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely happy that Martin has finally come out, and I recognize that even at this late stage, it may well have been a difficult decision for him. I just can’t bring myself to seeing him as a hero for doing so, primarily because I can’t help but wonder what an incredibly powerful role model he could have been if he had mustered the courage to come out when at the height of his success, a move that I really don’t believe would have devastated his career - despite what Barbara Walters may think. (Hmm, am I being too harsh? Certainly not everyone agrees with the perspective I’ve shared, as demonstrated by many of the comments in response to this Entertainment Weekly article about Ricky Martin’s coming out.)
Anyway, I appreciate Alligator.org’s rather humorous take on the news of Martin’s coming out, excerpts of which are reprinted below.
He Bangs . . . He
After years of no one speculating about the skimpy-Speedo-wearing, surrogate-sponsoring father of two, Ricky Martin has finally opened his boca about what he means by “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”
In an announcement almost as shocking as a weather forecast at the North Pole, Martin (finally) admitted his sensual dance moves and scarf-sporting style wasn’t just due to his Latin lifestyle. He is gay.
And to be more accurate, according to his public announcement, Martin is a “fortunate homosexual.”
We agree with our favorite have-you-even-made-a-CD-since-we-were-in-elementary-school singer in his fortunate qualities. We’re much more excited in this announcement than when Clay Aiken made the same announcement to the unsurprised world.
. . . So, we’re supposed to be surprised by all this, Ricky? C’mon.
You make Elton John look like a toolbelt-toting Home Depot fanatic.
We knew ever since we laid eyes on you wearing that shimmering long-sleeved shirt on the cover of that self-titled album we secretly fell in love with.
And we love you even more for it. We know that it often takes more courage to tell the truth than to live a lie, and we wish you nothing but future happiness in your “vida loca.”
Recommended Off-site Links:
Yep, He’s Gay: Ricky Martin Comes Out of the Closet - Rolling Stone (March 29, 2010).
Ricky Confirms: “I’m Gay” - The Advocate (March 29, 2010).
Ricky Martin Comes Out and No One is Surprised - Samantha Gordon (Gather.com, March 29, 2010).