Congratulations to Ricky Martin, who officially "came out" today in a statement made on his official website. This comes after years of speculation following an appearance on a Barbara Walters special in 2000 at the height of his career, where he refused to answer her questions about his sexuality. Walters recently had expressed her regret about having done this, believing that it was her line of questioning that led to the fall of his popularity.
In his official statement he stated that "these years of silence and reflection made him stronger and reminded him that acceptance has to come from within.... he is proud to say that he is a fortunate homosexual man."
Although I am unsure where this is coming from and whether or not this is a last ditch attempt to revive his career, I must commend Martin for his honesty - even if it did come ten years late. It is undeniable that we live in a world where the concepts of homosexuality and same sex rights have gained notable attention and progress, but homophobia is still very prevalent in entertainment and the world we live in today. Quite simply, I don't think the world is ready to hear an album of Ricky Martin songs where he is admiring about his lovers' package and firm chest. Hell, I don't think I'm even ready for that and I consider myself pretty liberal.
People can criticize Martin for having remained "closeted" as an artist, but really can one blame him for avoiding the topic, especially when he was given the chance of a lifetime and had millions of Sony Music's dollars to back his dream? Chances are, I would have done the same if I were in his shoes. Also, when one shows up to do publicity with a "credible" media source such as a Barbara Walters, one expects to be treated with professionalism. Yes, Walters was out of line and no, she was not fair in cornering Martin. But at the end of the day, Martin had to have known there was only so long he could go on serenading these "hypothetical women" in his songs before driving himself to Depression anyhow. He knew his popularity had an expiry date. Really it was for the better that things happened this way and I'm quite certain Martin isn't exactly disgraced after having sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.
My question is, does Martin's outing change what you think about him and his music?