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Ricky Martin Comes Out

RickyMartin.jpgWhen I heard that Ricky Martin officially outed himself, I paused. Was it true? Only after I read his blog post did I believe it. And he did it not under threat of outing, but on his own terms. I immediately knew this would make headlines.

What I couldn't believe were the reactions on Twitter and in the blogosphere. The so-what attitude that was so prevalent was not only a surprise, but I found it offensive (and trust me, I'm not easily offended). I will try to explain.

Martin didn't sustain his crossover into the English-language music scene, but his megastar power in Spanish-language music has remained undiminished. He continues to sell millions of records worldwide. He won a Latin Grammy as recently as 2007.

His appeal is obviously limited in the United States, but I was still shocked at how culturally ignorant most people commenting were about Martin's status as a top-tier celebrity on the rest of the planet. Such lack of understanding, whenever it reveals itself, saddens me.

To LGBT youth in Latin America, Martin's coming out has the potential to break down a huge chunk of the remaining homophobia and transphobia.

To LGBT youth in Latin America, Martin's coming out has the potential to improve their self-esteem and thereby diminish their risk for HIV.

To LGBT youth in Latin America, Martin's coming out is, to borrow Joe Biden's phrase, a big fucking deal. Millions of people have been moved.

And to the critics who say that he is only coming out to boost sales of his upcoming memoir and albums, I say: Really? He was doing fine financially without coming out.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't. No wonder celebrities hesitate to come out. The immense good that Martin's coming out will do far outweighs any criticisms.

Check out this blog post at Blabbeando for a comprehensive review of reactions and this blog post at Blabbeando for an excellent in-depth exploration about why Martin's coming out matters.

Oriol on:


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Comments on Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.'s blog entry "Ricky Martin Comes Out"

I did read Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano's wonderfully written review, and it made me regret my catty first reaction to Ricky Martin coming out. I was one of those who said it no surprise to anyone.

I lived many years in Puerto Rico, and know first hand of the horrendous homophobia that exists there. The government, the churches, the schools, and most of all, the television programming all perpetuate the hate of LGBT persons. So, Ricky Martin learned at a young age the world was not welcoming of LGBT persons. Sad, but true. RIP, Stephen Lopez.

Ricky did a very good thing for young LGBT people throughout the
Spanish speaking world.

When Hugh Jackman said in interviews that he didnt understand why the US made such a fuzz about weather or not he was a gay, because and I quote him- "In Australia, this issue is not a big deal", I almost spilled my tea. Outside of the two big cities of Sydney and Melbourne, homosexually is indeed not a big deal because almost no one is openly gay. Further, on more than one ocassion I've met young men who refer to their steel toed work boots as "fag stompers". Australia is at par with many Latin American countries' attitudes about homosexuality and I for one celebrate Ricky Martin's announcement as "A BIG FUCKING DEAL".

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This page contains a single entry by Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. published on March 30, 2010 11:01 AM.

Thoughts at 102 Degrees was the previous entry in this blog.

National LGBT Health Awareness Week 2010 is the next entry in this blog.

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