Ricky Martin’s announcement on his blog that he is gay was really not a surprise I think to most people. There have been rumors for years about it and interviews by such luminaries as Barbara Walters came as close to outing him without even him saying it.
This is the not first time a celebrity has come out and will not be the last. I am sure there will be some commentary on his timing of coming out, his upcoming book and album. Some of the criticism may come from parts of the gay community.
However, I personally believe the coming out process is a personal thing that requires courage whether you are a celebrity or an unknown- when we still live in a society where a prom is canceled because a girl wanted to take her girlfriend to it, where there is still a ” Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy” in the military, and where marriage rights for same sex couples have been denied by most states.
I mean ” Coming Out” is still news.
I saw in a recent episode of the MTV’s current show ,The Real World, where the boyfriend of a current gay cast member still is facing ostracization from his family for coming out and declaring his love for his male boyfriend.
It is unfortunate that Ricky and thousands of others like him, and those many still to come, famous or not, will be having to struggle with making the decision to come out. That is why instead of throwing stones at each other and arguing about the intent and timing of someone coming out, let us focus on the real issue. It is not Ricky Martin.
We have to continue to marshal our collective resources, time and energies to change those laws and systems that makes us live like second class citizens of this country and of this world. Until we assume full rights as LGBT people we will forever see headlines of “Coming Out.” The fight to win this war of ideas is honorable and right.
The road ahead may be rough in some places but more and more are joining the cause and one day we will light the flame of freedom and equal rights.
Thank you, Ricky Martin, for reminding us that we have a lot of work to do.