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La Vida Loca
March 29, 2010 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Ricky Martin is a fortunate homosexual man.
posted by greekphilosophy (219 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good for him. Better late than never.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:45 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


God damned 90s revival.
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on March 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


I was mulling over my trepidation to click the link when I realized that Ricky Martin and Rick Astley are two different kitsch icons.
posted by bicyclefish at 1:46 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ricky Martin's website is not so fortunate, however. It seems to be going down on EVERYONE.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:47 PM on March 29, 2010 [32 favorites]


That'd be George Michael's website.

Yay for coming out. Boo for poor hosting facilities.
posted by Babblesort at 1:48 PM on March 29, 2010


He was tired of women making him take his clothes off and go dancing in the rain.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:49 PM on March 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


It's interesting that he cites parenthood as a primary reason for coming out. Clay Aiken did the same thing.
posted by something something at 1:49 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


He bangs.
posted by WalterMitty at 1:49 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


People will say anything to get into the news.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:49 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


He's cool and all, but he's no Amazing Randi.
posted by Pragmatica at 1:50 PM on March 29, 2010 [20 favorites]


We're fortunate that his site's down, aren't we?
posted by box at 1:50 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was surprisingly moving. Congrats, Ricky! Good luck and Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:51 PM on March 29, 2010


He's no James Randi.
posted by dortmunder at 1:53 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was really touching. I see good things ahead!
posted by milestogo at 1:54 PM on March 29, 2010


That's right don't let the bastards encase you in carbonite.
posted by Babblesort at 1:54 PM on March 29, 2010 [19 favorites]


LikeDuhFilter?
posted by sexyrobot at 1:54 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


The page finally (partially) loaded for me, and yeah: surprisingly moving. Very thoughtful.
posted by brundlefly at 1:55 PM on March 29, 2010


It would sure be embarrassing if this wasn't real and his site had gotten hacked.
posted by bobo123 at 1:55 PM on March 29, 2010


Dammit Pragmatica, how did you do that? That comment wasn't there when I started typing.
posted by dortmunder at 1:55 PM on March 29, 2010


I look forward to his next video.
posted by srboisvert at 1:55 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm fascinated in the not-completely-subtle differences in the Spanish and English text of the coming out announcement.

"Hoy acepto mi homosexualidad como un regla" is pretty different than "I'm a fortunate gay man." And it's not that there is no translation for it, so I'm curious about the choice
posted by greekphilosophy at 1:56 PM on March 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


dortmunder's cool and all, but he's no Pragmatica.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:56 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Very thoughtful writing, good for him.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:57 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmm, regalo not regla. That's probably Freudian.
posted by greekphilosophy at 1:58 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Shocker.
posted by awesomebrad at 1:59 PM on March 29, 2010


Notable quotes on Ricky Martin:


"I'm not supposed to talk about this, but on a scale of one to ten, I'll give him a twenty. He's all man . . . I wish every man were so gay."

— Latvian model Ines Misan, 2001


"Me, too!"

— Metafilterian darkstar, 2010
posted by darkstar at 1:59 PM on March 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


That's a sweet coming-out letter. Real trepidation, sincere fear of losing the spotlight. And of course everybody already knew.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:00 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I know who's mad for cock! That boy from the corner shop, what's his name? Gay Aled!
posted by Madamina at 2:01 PM on March 29, 2010


Now that the site's finally come up for air, I thought the piece was well written as well. True, it's been assumed Martin's been gay for a long, long LONG time, but it's still nice to that he's done this.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:02 PM on March 29, 2010


That's right don't let the bastards encase you in carbonite.

Eh? Is that the translation? But, but--in The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood said it meant...

Damn you, you Canadian literary trickster!

posted by saulgoodman at 2:02 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, I'm surprised he came out.
posted by longsleeves at 2:04 PM on March 29, 2010


The server's getting pummeled, so here's a mirror of the English text.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 2:04 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Though long believed to be the hips-swivelingest, child-adoptingest, Miami-livngest, women-never-datingest pop star in town, Ricky Martin has revealed today ..." Gawker

It's a shame, though, that he started his career in an atmosphere of such extreme homophobia that he decided it was wiser to keep his sexual preference a secret until now.
posted by crunchland at 2:05 PM on March 29, 2010


It's a shame, though, that he started his career in an atmosphere of such extreme homophobia that he decided it was wiser to keep his sexual preference a secret until now.

I suspect it was just marketing - at the time the audience of straight women who would buy his, uh, "works" was a lot bigger than the potential gay male audience.
posted by GuyZero at 2:09 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aw, good for him.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:09 PM on March 29, 2010


Which isn't to say there wasn't a lot of homophobia back then, sorry not to add that. Just that it may have been calculated for money as much as anything else.
posted by GuyZero at 2:10 PM on March 29, 2010


I am shocked. Nothing about him said gay. Nothing at all.

He's our generation's Liberace, who likewise offered no hint as to his actual sexual identity.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:11 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Eh? Is that the translation? But, but--in The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood said it meant...

It doesn't mean anything. It's dog Latin. "Carborundum" is the name of an abrasive mineral, and pretending that it's a verb meaning "grind you down" is hilarious if you're overeducated in just the right way.

posted by nebulawindphone at 2:12 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now that his career as a heterosexual fantasy object is dead and buried? Now that the cardboard cutout pasted on the door of that closet is no longer salable? Why yes. What a profile in courage. Aren't we all so happy for him.

And I still remember having his latin-flavored bubblegum in stuffed down my ear canals, in every public place, for four freaking years. The firing squad is too good for him at this point.
posted by clarknova at 2:12 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are we really cool with the fact that he's denied his homosexuality for so long only for him to now trot it out as a publicity stunt? Where did he locate his pride up until now?

I can't help but just see this as hypocrisy and shallowness.

Meh.
posted by Lleyam at 2:15 PM on March 29, 2010


Service Unavailable

Heh.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:16 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow.

Sometimes I just have to sit back and enjoy the fact that we fucking won. OK, it's not like all homophobia is cured forever, but jesus, the writing's on the fucking wall. My kid is growing up in a very different world than I grew up in, let alone than my mom grew up in, and sometimes I just want to gloat about that a little.
posted by serazin at 2:21 PM on March 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


Why yes. What a profile in courage. Aren't we all so happy for him.

Are we really cool with the fact that he's denied his homosexuality for so long only for him to now trot it out as a publicity stunt? Where did he locate his pride up until now?


Coming out at the time of "Livin' la Vida Loca" (his summit of fame) and coming out in 2010 are two very different things (as Ellen DeGeneres can no doubt attest). Whether he's past his fame or not is irrelevant. At least he's doing it. I save my vitriol for the celebs who are still holding on to that closet door with all their might.
posted by blucevalo at 2:22 PM on March 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


what
posted by fixedgear at 2:22 PM on March 29, 2010


The firing squad is too good for him at this point.

Being a Latin man who has come out publicly is pretty dangerous, so you may yet get your wish.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:23 PM on March 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Oh well. Barbara Walters thinks she destroyed his career by semi-outing him... ten years ago:

And what about that one regret?

In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was. A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now I feel it was an inappropriate question.


Btw, he has a new album coming out later this year.
posted by iviken at 2:25 PM on March 29, 2010


I just tucked my hands under my arms to refrain from trying to type "Heterosexuality is the best all around cover a Latin pop star ever had." into clarknova.
posted by adipocere at 2:27 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


The firing squad is too good for him at this point.

Okay, stop that. Jesus.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:27 PM on March 29, 2010 [24 favorites]


Can he be the Latin Lady Gaga now? Something like Ricky Gago? I totally see him doing to rockish Na na na naaaa nnnaaaaa!
posted by The1andonly at 2:27 PM on March 29, 2010


Another washed-up star tries to give his flaccid career a little boost by leaping out of the closet, a few years too late for it to make any difference. Thanks, guy. Thanks a lot.

You could have made a huge difference, back when you were popular, if you'd been brave enough to, I dunno, stop lying to everyone and faking your orientation to boost your bottom line. Instead, you chose to keep playing like you're straight, and now that everyone's forgotten what the vida loca even means, you're outing yourself to a chorus of 'meh.'

You want to impress me? Follow this up by becoming a tireless, vocal advocate for gay causes. Consider that your penance for having missed your opportunity to help so many people, back when you could have done so much good.

Celebrities don't have more at stake by coming out than anyone else. Everyone who comes out can lose their family, their friends, their living, their assets, their visitation rights, their future as they saw it. Yeah, as a celebrity you might be losing millions instead of thousands, but you probably won't miss a meal, either. The eighteen-year-old coming out to his parents in Terre Haute is risking a hell of a lot more than anyone being featured regularly on the cover of magazines. The only difference is that by coming out, a celebrity can make coming out easier on everyone who has to face that choice.

Oh, one other difference. If you're a celbrity, you only have to come out once; then everyone you meet will already know. For the rest of us, coming out is something that happens every time we start a new job, or meet a new friend, or move to a new place. So consider that a bonus. Once out, you're out.*

If there are any celbrities out there wrestling with the question of whether you're better off out or in, consider this: if you stay in the closet you stand to make millions. Come out, and you can save lives.

Wait too long, and you too can be an internet in-joke like Ricky Martin.

*Offer not valid for David Bowie.
posted by MrVisible at 2:29 PM on March 29, 2010 [29 favorites]


Dlisted has the post copied, and here's my copy of the text (both English and Spanish). If the original page doesn't load for you, you're only missing the weird industrial concrete background image, because the page is only his news post in text.

Also of note: he has a book in the works.

Rolling Stone Mag's summary: Yep, He's Gay.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:30 PM on March 29, 2010


Why yes. What a profile in courage. Aren't we all so happy for him.

Yes, actually we are, because he didn't have to come out, ever.

That his music isn't to your taste is irrelevant. Spare me the "my musical preference is better than everyone else's" bull.
posted by dnash at 2:31 PM on March 29, 2010 [13 favorites]


The firing squad is too good for him at this point.

I'm sorry, let me get this clear.

You want to KILL a man for deciding now to announce his homosexuality, instead of announcing it 10, 15 years ago?

You think he should die for this. Simply because he's... famous? Is that right?

It's not your right to say when he should or should not have announced his preference, or if he should or should not have even hidden it in the first place. You know nothing about the man's life except what you're allowed to see.

You aren't a part of his culture, you aren't a part of his family, and you don't even like the man's music.

What RIGHT do you have to even think it was at all correct - much less clever or funny, which is what I suspect you were going for (and failed. You are neither clever, not funny.) to suggest that a man should die for this.

People are still being killed for being gay. We are still - in liberal countries, seeing hate crimes and young men murdered simply for being gay. And you think that a man should be killed for NOT wanting to announce it?
posted by FritoKAL at 2:32 PM on March 29, 2010 [44 favorites]


You know, there are some days when I wonder, if every closeted gay person came out on the same day, would the world's population end up a 50/50 split, or close to it? Imagine if it turned out sexual attraction was decoupled from physical sexual organs, completely, genetically; we'd have to rethink our traditional models from male/female to a four-position grid.

Of course, we could all just go ahead and do that now. It would make things a lot easier for a lot of people.
posted by davejay at 2:33 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Coming out at the time of "Livin' la Vida Loca" (his summit of fame) and coming out in 2010 are two very different things (as Ellen DeGeneres can no doubt attest).

Cry me a fucking river. Some of us haven't had the benefits of Ricky's millions to cushion us against the world's homophobia. But we've lived our lives out and proud. This reeks of self-promotion and, at least as far as I'm concerned, his coming out now -- after he's built his cushy life -- means nothing in the ongoing march for queer civil rights.

The firing squad is too good for him at this point.

OK, that's just mental.
posted by Lleyam at 2:34 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


He's our generation's Liberace, who likewise offered no hint as to his actual sexual identity.

I guess I'm the only one who missed the memo on this. I'm not a fan of his music, so I guess I haven't paid attention very closely, but he never struck me obviously gay (more than any other pretty boy pop star).
posted by brundlefly at 2:34 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


You want to KILL a man for deciding now to announce his homosexuality, instead of announcing it 10, 15 years ago?

I thought it was because he hated the music.

And I still remember having his latin-flavored bubblegum in stuffed down my ear canals, in every public place, for four freaking years. The firing squad is too good for him at this point.

So, how do you feel Britney Spears? Or are you only against latin-flavored bubblegum?
posted by filthy light thief at 2:35 PM on March 29, 2010


Cry me a fucking river. Some of us haven't had the benefits of Ricky's millions to cushion us against the world's homophobia. But we've lived our lives out and proud.

You're preaching to the choir. I've been out and proud for over 20 years without the benefit of millions or even thousands. But keep that frothing outrage flowing!
posted by blucevalo at 2:38 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe we missed a joke. If we're lining-up trashy pop starlets to face the firing squad for crimes against culture, I'm quite happy for Ricky Martin *and* Britney Spears to be up against the wall.
posted by Lleyam at 2:38 PM on March 29, 2010


It ain't frothing outrage, blucevalo, I just feel this whole news story utterly trivialises what can be a gravely serious topic. That Ricky Martin is being lauded for his proud moment when he's spent his career denying his sexuality rubs me up the wrong way. Perhaps we can now look forward to glorying in his rebirth as the next Elton John.
posted by Lleyam at 2:43 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I was a closeted high school student, Ricky Martin was a major crush and a total idol and I was obsessed with him and his music. Just because he's past his fame (and even if he does have a book coming out soon) doesn't mean that his coming out late is subject to this level of cynicism. He's extremely handsome and very talented (fine, you don't like his singing, but hips haven't moved like that since Elvis), and this news has totally made my day! Welcome to the team Ricky!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:47 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cry me a fucking river. Some of us haven't had the benefits of Ricky's millions to cushion us against the world's homophobia. But we've lived our lives out and proud.

It's easy to say that, but consider the context. Ricky Martin is a Latino pop star, and coming out is a big, big deal, considering the high degree of homophobia in Latin America, which makes up the majority of his fans and market. The Latina America media has been making light of his sexuality for years, but a lot of it has been negative and homophobic in tone--to the point of being hateful. I can't imagine how difficult it was to him to make this statement, knowing very well he could risk his career. It may be easy to think that we've overcome, but we're still in the budding stages. I think what he said today is very indicative of the times we live in. Things are changing...people are affirming their sexuality in a climate and context that is arguably becoming more welcoming. But we've still got a lot way to go.
posted by chicofly at 2:48 PM on March 29, 2010 [17 favorites]


So there were people that didn't think he was gay before?
posted by cjorgensen at 2:49 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I save my vitriol for the celebs who are still holding on to that closet door with all their might.
So you had plenty of vitriol for him yesterday, but now you're all good?
posted by toekneebullard at 2:49 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Seriously, do any of you saying he should've done this sooner live ANYWHERE NEAR a Latino/Hispanic community? At all?

If not, -shut the fuck up-. Seriously, check your privilege and do some reading on what it's like for minority men to be homosexual.

He's not just gay. He's gay and latino and that changes a lot. It's a terrible thing that he felt like he had to lie, that he had to hide who he was, and it's a wonderful thing that he feels like he can come out now, and frankly, that's all there is to it.
posted by FritoKAL at 2:51 PM on March 29, 2010 [37 favorites]


I think it's a good thing anytime anyone comes out. Closets are destructive to the people in them and the communities they are living in. When a celebrity comes out, it's always a bit dicey because the nature of celebrity requires having one's name being talked about, and so it feels like a publicity stunt. But I doubt it feels like a stunt to the person actually making the announcement on a world-wide stage, like Martin is doing. Coming out is scary enough when you're living life as a normal person. It's scary even for someone who has lived as a fairly confrontational queer for a couple of decades, used to taking a political stance about one's sexuality.

Will this affect his future career? It probably will. How many out gay latinos are there? I can't think of any others off the top of my head. In countries other than the US, where machismo culture is much stronger, I could see this being a real problem for him.

But seriously? All the animosity being directed toward this man for making this announcement? That's fucking bullshit. MetaFilter sometimes feels like the most cynical vortex of loathing and above-it-ness I've ever seen. Why the love-fest for Randi, and all this hatred for Martin? Makes no sense to me. Both of them have stopped lying about who they are. That should ALWAYS be commended.
posted by hippybear at 2:51 PM on March 29, 2010 [59 favorites]


Not that I know, but living in the closet must REALLY be La Vida Loca.
posted by Danf at 2:52 PM on March 29, 2010


Who else read "Ricky Gervais" and was like awwwwww shit?
posted by The Straightener at 2:52 PM on March 29, 2010


Being a Latin man who has come out publicly is pretty dangerous, so you may yet get your wish.

That would be for all the wrong reasons, but I'll take it.
posted by clarknova at 2:53 PM on March 29, 2010


Wait a minute, blucevalo is gay?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 2:54 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a thought, lets not wish death on anyone, because it makes us look like jerks.
posted by FritoKAL at 2:55 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wait a minute, you're not all gay?
posted by The Whelk at 2:55 PM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


*pets trusty gaydar* I knew it wasn't broken, even when rabid Ricky Martin fans said I was crazy.

Even if it is a well timed outing, the words are well chosen.
posted by dabitch at 2:55 PM on March 29, 2010


If not, -shut the fuck up-. Seriously, check your privilege and do some reading on what it's like for minority men to be homosexual.

Ricky Martin, at the height of his fame, was more privileged than anyone who has replied to any MeFi thread ever.
posted by clarknova at 2:57 PM on March 29, 2010


The Latina America media has been making light of his sexuality for years, but a lot of it has been negative and homophobic

This is what makes his announcement remarkable....coming out as gay in Latin America is a pretty big Fucking deal..
posted by The1andonly at 2:57 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who else read "Ricky Gervais" and was like awwwwww shit?

What?

Do you mean, if Ricky Gervais turns out to be gay, you'd be disappointed? Why? Or, is there something wrong with being gay?
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on March 29, 2010


Man, I love the Hollywood machine.
posted by phaedon at 3:00 PM on March 29, 2010


clark, at least he's not the guy wishing death on people he doesn't know. Just saying, right now, I'll take him over you, because you think it's okay to want people to be killed for a) making music you don't like or b) taking longer than YOU like to come out of the closet.

Either way, you're a jerkface.
posted by FritoKAL at 3:00 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Here's a thought, lets not wish death on anyone, because it makes us look like jerks.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 3:00 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


I can't imagine how difficult it was to him to make this statement, knowing very well he could risk his career.

To me, this is what's cynical. Trade in living your life with integrity for pop millions. What a risk-taker.

[Do] any of you saying he should've done this sooner live ANYWHERE NEAR a Latino/Hispanic community? At all? If not, -shut the fuck up-"

I don't care where he lived, what culture his fans are from, or whether he chooses to stay in the closet or come out. That's his karma to live through and his decision to make.

But I don't think it unfair for me to observe that (1) he's only found the pride to do this after he's in a position to insulate himself from any potential adverse impact (a luxury few of us have), or (2) what appears to be the crassness of his timing, what with his waning media interest and new product to push.
posted by Lleyam at 3:02 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you mean, if Ricky Gervais turns out to be gay, you'd be disappointed? Why? Or, is there something wrong with being gay?

Nah, as in like, "Awwww shit, this is going to be the most hilarious coming out statement of all time!!!!"
posted by The Straightener at 3:03 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I know this seems obvious to all of us, but a woman I know actually CRIED when George Michael came out. And when I made fun of her, she threw my long-term crush on Joan Jett back at me but that is different, okay
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:03 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know, Ricky Gervais wouldn't surprise me. I mean...
posted by Sys Rq at 3:05 PM on March 29, 2010


The Straightener -- OIC. Gotcha.
posted by ericb at 3:05 PM on March 29, 2010


That would be for all the wrong reasons, but I'll take it.
Christ, what an asshole.

MetaFilter sometimes feels like the most cynical vortex of loathing and above-it-ness I've ever seen.
QFMFT
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:06 PM on March 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


I don't think he WAS lying. I have never seen him claim to be straight, at least not since the Teen Beat days. (Why yes, I am a fan.) Every time I've seen him asked the question, he's refused to say. His best answer was "I'm not answering that. No matter what my answer is, half my audience is disappointed!"

that's very different from, say, what Tom Cruise is (allegedly) doing.
posted by KathrynT at 3:06 PM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


he's only found the pride to do this after he's in a position to insulate himself from any potential adverse impact (a luxury few of us have)

Because he's not MORE likely to be recognized on the street than the average person, no, and he's not more likely to get a crazy stalker or have his house vandalized or have someone throw things at him on the street. He's not more likely to get shot, or attacked or have some loon try to hurt his kids over this.

I mean, nobody knows what the guy looks like, or what his name is, and he doesn't have photographers following him around, course not. That's be CRAZY.
posted by FritoKAL at 3:06 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


But I don't think it unfair for me to observe that (1) he's only found the pride to do this after he's in a position to insulate himself from any potential adverse impact (a luxury few of us have), or (2) what appears to be the crassness of his timing, what with his waning media interest and new product to push.

Yeah, or, as you might consider if you actually read what he wrote, it could have something to do with RM not wanting to impose his lie on his kids, which is actually a pretty great reason.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:08 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


So how does everyone in this thread bashing Ricky Martin feel about James Randi coming out of the closet? Where was your contempt for him, and why is it different?
posted by Grimgrin at 3:13 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


So there were people that didn't think he was gay before?

I favorited this so hard, I punched a hole in my monitor.
posted by MexicanYenta at 3:13 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


To me, this is what's cynical. Trade in living your life with integrity for pop millions. What a risk-taker.


On the contrary. When I meant his career, I wasn't only specifying music. He's also worked on a lot of humanitarian causes, particularly the human trafficking of children. He's also the father of two boys. You think he hasn't thought out what people may say or assume now that they know about his sexuality? You think he isn't worried about the world his children are growing up in?

But I don't think it unfair for me to observe that (1) he's only found the pride to do this after he's in a position to insulate himself from any potential adverse impact (a luxury few of us have), or (2) what appears to be the crassness of his timing, what with his waning media interest and new product to push.

Again, I beg to differ. Why is it when people are famous, we immediately think they do things strictly to push a product, or reattain fame? The statement was really personal and self-reflective. He's writing a memoir of his life, and he's reflected on a lot of things in his life which he's kept private. If anything came out of what he says, is that he's come to terms with who he is, and celebrates it. He didn't approach a magazine, a TV show, or a famous talk show host. It came from it, unfiltered. I think that's something worth seeing beyond some sense of skepticism of his intentions.

Finally, I'm kinda bothered with people's reacting with sarcastic 'wows,' 'i can't believe it,' 'how surprising' ---type reactions. To me, its masking some form of cynicism and lack of respect for a person's sexuality. And this doesn't apply to Ricky---but to anyone in our lives to chooses to take this big step and tell their friends, family, and loved ones. To have people just react, and cynically go 'how surprising'....well, it reveals a lot more about their character and how they perceive homosexuality.
posted by chicofly at 3:15 PM on March 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Another thing to consider: 10 years ago, were you out of the closet at a blatantly homophobic workplace? If not, STFU.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 3:16 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


So how does everyone in this thread bashing Ricky Martin feel about James Randi coming out of the closet? Where was your contempt for him, and why is it different?


Probably because Randi is much older, and everyone realizes he was raised in a time when no one admitted they were gay, they are more understanding of Randi not coming out till recently. But a lot of them don't realize that the Latino/Hispanic culture still has a pretty strong anti-gay bias.
posted by MexicanYenta at 3:19 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


My wife will be crushed. Ricky was the one celebrity she was allowed to have sex with if he ever came to the door of our house and demanded it. I guess if he shows up now... I'm gonna get LUCKY!
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 3:24 PM on March 29, 2010 [22 favorites]


Yeah, I was out of the closet at a blatantly homophobic workplace. Cost me my job, too. Not that I could prove it or anything.

He came out because he didn't want to lie to his kids. That's nice. He missed his chance to be honest with a lot of other peoples' kids in the decade or so he waited.

"To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where born with. Enough is enough. This has to change. This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment."

Yeah, but ten years ago, he could have been honest with a lot of other people too. And whatever vague predestination claims he's making about whenever this was supposed to happen, he made the choice to come out only when it wouldn't do too much damage to his career, and when it would boost his sagging sales a bit and get him some of the spotlight he misses.

I didn't participate in the James Randi thread for much the same reasons as I'm cheesed of at Ricky Martin. But Randi is in his eighties, was diagnosed with cancer last year, and it had the aura of last wishes about it.

Ricky Martin coming out now reeks of being a mercenary decision, based as much on sales data as his previous decision to stay in the closet. Thus, my snark.
posted by MrVisible at 3:27 PM on March 29, 2010


I can understand why he waited more than I can Sean Hayes.

I'm concerned, though, that he's waited too long. The support in the gay community is gone--people come out now while they're STILL popular, so who needs the has-beens? And there most likely won't be support among Latin music fans. I don't see the benefit. How hard up is the guy?
posted by Epenthesis at 3:29 PM on March 29, 2010


He missed his chance to be honest with a lot of other peoples' kids in the decade or so he waited.

Wait- he's responsible for "being honest" with other people's kids? WTH?

No. One's sexuality is one's own business. Full stop.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:30 PM on March 29, 2010 [13 favorites]


I guess I'm never going to understand why public figures are obligated to reveal details of their personal lives, if they aren't comfortable doing so. Or why they have to cough up the goods on our timetable, rather than their own.

You know, I haven't even told my exceedingly obnoxious boss that I'm entering into a heterosexual marriage this September. Because I don't want to hear him run his yap for months about "I told you all women want to get married, you'll change your mind about babies soon, too, because that's just science that all women want children and men'll hump any soggy hole in the ground! Ha ha! You're probably not getting laid at home, and that's why you're so cranky, right? Or is it just your period? How's that toilet seat issue coming?"

God, I may not even tell him after I'm married. Fuck having to deal with other people's idiocy, sometimes. It's sweet bliss to not have to hear his dumbass opinions on my personal decisions -- which he knows nothing about, despite that he actually knows me in person!

Yet Ricky Martin (Ricky Martin, for Christ's sake!) had a moral obligation to confirm for a world of strangers that he is gay, and has to endure the unwelcome slings and arrows of homophobes everywhere, because he's a famous pop singer.

Never mind that he may not have felt like it was anyone's business. Never mind that the decision to come out may have caused strife and heartache in his family and community. Never mind that not every famous gay person wants to be a political symbol. Never mind that he's just a human being like everyone else, and may be worried about the impact it could have on his life and the lives of his children. None of that shit matters. All that's important is, this man is Famous, so he owes us.

I believe that Ricky Martin, like all people, reserves the right to just not want to open some varieties of canned worms, until he's ready to deal with all the worm shit.

(He has always seemed like a decent kind of person to me. I hope this all goes well for him.)
posted by Coatlicue at 3:32 PM on March 29, 2010 [30 favorites]


So how does everyone in this thread bashing Ricky Martin feel about James Randi coming out of the closet? Where was your contempt for him, and why is it different?

Thank you, I came in here to say just that. I feel pity for those who think this is just some publicity stunt. Being gay is a hard, hard thing to carry around, and it takes a lot of consideration before feeling comfortable enough to come out. I remember living with (irrational) fears, things I convinced myself of because of my orientation. It was hell deciding whether or not I was more comfortable living with those fears or living as an openly gay man. A little (ex)Catholic boy from the Midwest doesn't exactly have the nurturing, progressive environment of some west coast cities.

Given that, it's easy to see why Ricky would hide this. Like many have mentioned Ricky comes from a Latin background, making it all the more difficult for him to admit he was gay. It took some time but he is absolutely entitled to that. His fame has nothing to do with his sexuality. His being gay was strictly personal until he felt safe enough to make it public. He's not riding on some wave of I'll-say-i'm-gay-for-the-press - he will still be faced with the daily realities of living as a gay Latin American, something that can be dangerous, even more so given his recognition.

Good luck Ricky, good on you sir, and I hope you're more successful than ever. Way to be a good parent - to show your children acceptance and tolerance is exactly what is going to continue to change the way people see things, and for the better.
posted by deacon_blues at 3:34 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Either way, you're a jerkface.

And not feeling in the least bad about it.
posted by clarknova at 3:37 PM on March 29, 2010


Nope, he didn't have any responsibility to out himself, ever.

But he had a platform from which he could have helped gay people everywhere, especially in Latin America, and he chose not to use it until it couldn't hurt his career, and it could potentially help him.

So, big freaking whoop. Another celebrity outs themselves when it's most convenient for them. If he'd done so when he was still relevant, I might have cared.
posted by MrVisible at 3:39 PM on March 29, 2010


those with their tsk-tsks and their cries of "too late, famous boy!", have you considered the effect of those kind of statements on those still closeted? have you considered that there could be those that are terrified to come out adding "everyone will think i'm just looking for attention" to their reasons to padlock themselves in?

there are out and famous celebrities still telling men in the entertainment field to stay closeted for their career. those are the ones that deserve the vitriol. i'm not surprised by the reactions of some in this thread, but i am deeply saddened by it.
posted by nadawi at 3:40 PM on March 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


"Why the love-fest for Randi, and all this hatred for Martin?"

Read the Randi thread again, there was a lot of this anger in that post as well.
posted by Mitheral at 3:41 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm still having some trouble comprehending people that are criticizing a man for coming out of the fucking closet.

We've come so far, but not far enough that we can start writing a major celebrities announcement off as "meh." This is a good thing for a lot of people, can't people be happy for them without dissecting this bit by bit?
posted by deacon_blues at 3:43 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another celebrity outs themselves when it's most convenient for them.

Still not seeing why this is a negative...
posted by small_ruminant at 3:45 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm hoping that the celebrities who are still closeted will realize that there's a point where it's too late to come out and have it do anyone any good, including themselves. That this sort of mercenary fame-grab just looks ludicrous after you've become irrelevant, and can no longer give your moribund career a quick shot of gay Botox.

If the closeted gay celebrities still at a peak of their fame come out, when it could do them more harm than good, I'll be impressed and pleased. But they should know that the window in which they can do any good by coming out is limited, and if they wait too long, they just look like they're making a pathetic grab for attention.
posted by MrVisible at 3:46 PM on March 29, 2010


there is no point that i know of that is "too late" for someone to say "i don't care what you think, i'm living my life honestly and without fear of being found out". i think that does the person saying it a world of good, no matter how "ludicrous" it looks to the tittering masses.
posted by nadawi at 3:51 PM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


While Martin keeps a house in Miami, apparently he and his sons are living full time in Puerto Rico. From my minimal searching online, it seems that being gay in Puerto Rico is still quite fraught with hate and danger. Just four months ago, a young man was killed, decapitated, and dismembered for being homosexual, and according to one source, the police investigator suggested that he deserved it.

Really, I'm sorry that Martin hasn't lived up to some of y'all's standards of what it means to be a gay man living proud in the world. But as someone who has been attacked, fired, and harassed on and off for 20 years for being gay, I can only say that you're sounding like whiny, overly political bitch-asses for not applauding anyone who finally lives a life of honesty after years of hiding. If you can't celebrate that, then there's something wrong.
posted by hippybear at 3:53 PM on March 29, 2010 [60 favorites]


I'm hoping that the celebrities who are still closeted will realize that there's a point where it's too late to come out and have it do anyone any good, including themselves. That this sort of mercenary fame-grab just looks ludicrous after you've become irrelevant, and can no longer give your moribund career a quick shot of gay Botox.

So who gets to decide when its 'too late' to come out? The overzealous media, the GLBT community? You? I respect your opinions, but this simply reeks of some sense of privilege over when its the proper time to come out, as if it were something that is dependent on whether or not someone is still 'famous' or culturally relevant. From what I know, Ricky is still very famous. He isn't taking drugs, in jail, or exploiting himself on some reality show. Seriously, consider the words you're saying. But I feel we're going to have to agree to disagree.
posted by chicofly at 3:59 PM on March 29, 2010


Grats for him. I guess James Randi must've given him the courage. ;)
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:05 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd be gay too if every girl through history stung like a bee as I am allergic to bees... and also I don't want to be alone, not forever :(
posted by I Foody at 4:11 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty, I'm now having a wonderful image of Randi and Ricky making a fantastic couple. :)
posted by darkstar at 4:11 PM on March 29, 2010


You've got a clarknova? A Classic.
posted by ovvl at 4:19 PM on March 29, 2010


And not feeling in the least bad about it.
C,WAA222222
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:20 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


When your last three singles haven't cracked the top twenty on the US Latin charts, and it's been eight years since you've been seen in the US top twenty charts, and ten years since your only #1 hit, then yeah, you're a washed-up pop star doing whatever you can to make a buck. If the whole coming-out thing wasn't happening in a blitz of publicity, perhaps I would be more sunshine-and-roses about it.

I'm deciding, for myself, that to me, Ricky Martin seems like he's done a cost-benefit analysis of coming out, and the balance has finally tilted to where he'll make more of a profit out of the closet. You can make your own decisions based on whatever critieria you like, but I'm not throwing the man a parade for making the choice to not lie to his loved ones.

To me, that's just part of being an honorable human.

And if it seems like I don't have much respect for those adults still in the closet, well, I don't. A big part of the reason that it look so scary outside of the closet is because there are so many people still too afraid to come out.
posted by MrVisible at 4:23 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


You want to impress me? Follow this up by becoming a tireless, vocal advocate for gay causes.

Why should he want to impress you?

Some of these replies sadden me with their cynicism. I'm not sure I remember him denying his homosexuality, but I do remember him saying he wasn't going to discuss it. And why should he? To impress some blowhards on the internet?

Hippybear pointed out something I was going to add to the discussion as soon as I started to see it veer into this kind of territory. Being a gay Puerto Rican man (and I say this as Puerto Rican) is not easy. It can sometimes be dangerous, as can be seen in the case of Jorge Steven Lopez. But even if Ricky wasn't afraid of repercussions, people are allowed to come out when they are good and ready, no? Or are they suposed to come out when a random sampling of complete strangers who don't know your situation decide it's your time?

Wait too long, and you too can be an internet in-joke like Ricky Martin.

This kind of thinking completely ignores the cultural issues surrounding someone who is coming out of the closet.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 4:25 PM on March 29, 2010


Metafilter: the most cynical vortex of loathing and above-it-ness
posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:31 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, if he wasn't trying to impress me, why come out in a public relations blitzkrieg?
posted by MrVisible at 4:31 PM on March 29, 2010


Is a post to your blog considered a "blitzkrieg" these days?
posted by GuyZero at 4:33 PM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


Well, this news made me smile. I don't know what's wrong with some of you. But I hope you feel horribly, horribly guilty for coming out when you did and not several years sooner. Cripes.

Go Ricky!
posted by Hildegarde at 4:38 PM on March 29, 2010


Better late than never, and good for him and all, but with a book and an album coming out this year, it does smell like a publicity stunt.

How many out gay latinos are there? I can't think of any others off the top of my head.

Pedro Zamora always springs to mind. There must be some, no? Admittedly, I can only think of a few poets ...
posted by mrgrimm at 4:38 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm not sure I remember him denying his homosexuality, but I do remember him saying he wasn't going to discuss it. And why should he? To impress some blowhards on the internet?

So why should he now?
posted by mrgrimm at 4:39 PM on March 29, 2010


Meaning that he could tell the truth to his sons and still keep it a public (yet obviously well known) "secret." The press still does that, right?
posted by mrgrimm at 4:40 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm now having a wonderful image of Randi and Ricky making a fantastic couple.

Surely that wouldn't last long. Randi would start debunking how Loca Ricky's Vida actually is, and there's no way he'd be able to keep up with all the dance routines...
posted by hippybear at 4:44 PM on March 29, 2010


[Original link seems badly hosed at this point, threw in a mirror from one of the early comments in its place.]
posted by cortex at 4:45 PM on March 29, 2010


It just dawned on me that it takes more for the MeFi Hate Machine to be triggered than merely the punker-than-thou mechanism of something or someone being, simply, too famous to like.

That may play a role, but beyond that there's simple numerics: something most people will have heard of will invariably have a number of detractors, one which tends to snowball.

So next time you imagine something awesome being liked by everyone here, such as Neutral Milk Hotel, or The Wire, or This American Life -- all of which American, incidentally, unlike myself -- remember that had it only reached a wider audience there would be rows of unzipped hoi polloi ready to summarily piss on its glory regardless of it.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:54 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


There must be some, no? Admittedly, I can only think of a few poets ...

First two that came to mind for me were Wilson Cruz and Guillermo Diaz, but I suppose it's a little different for actors.
posted by kittyprecious at 5:04 PM on March 29, 2010



So why should he now?

It's not the he should now. It's that whether or not he does is his choice. Not anyone else's.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 5:07 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm betting Perez Hilton will be calling Ricky for a date, pronto.
posted by bwg at 5:07 PM on March 29, 2010


Bitch got deep.

Stopped reading here. But good for you, Ricky.
posted by Splunge at 5:10 PM on March 29, 2010


I don't understand why so many, here, think Martin, or anyone else, should have come out on your schedule rather than his own. He's a singer, for God's sake. Does his orientation really affect you in any way while you enjoyed his songs, or hated them? He didn't owe YOU any disclosure about his personal life.
posted by path at 5:13 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's amusing how many of you think his career ended in 2000 (stop being so Anglo-US centric).

He had two world tours 05-06 and 07. His last album went gold in three countries and hit #12 in the Us Latin Pop Billboards. He was named the 2006 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy, and on October 16, 2007, Martin received the 2351st Hollywood Walk of Fame star. He also won two Latin Grammies in 2007, the last time he released an album. Finally as people have noted he's coming out with an album this year, and it's a certainty that being out of the closet will not help his sales in Latin America or Latin markets in the USA.

So, he didn't fall off the face of the earth after 2000. He still has a viable and lucrative career. And he isn't just generating publicity because the market he is most successful in is still, generally speaking, homophobic.

Furthermore, even if all of that wasn't true, you should still feel ashamed for dismissing and insulting a man that finally found the wherewithal to be himself in public and whose actions will certainly inspire other closeted men and women to come out and encourage many homophobes to reconsider their prejudices.

Is there any good news that the cynics on MeFi won't crap all over?
posted by oddman at 5:21 PM on March 29, 2010 [36 favorites]


I got just as far as "dance offs with my aunt." Then I said bye twerp. Really...Um Ricky who?
posted by timsteil at 5:21 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm deciding, for myself, that to me, Ricky Martin seems like he's done a cost-benefit analysis of coming out, and the balance has finally tilted to where he'll make more of a profit out of the closet.

And seeing as you aren't him, aren't in his head, and haven't lived any of his life, then this "decision" of yours doesn't mean jack shit. Enjoy your little universe of self-important smug.
posted by dnash at 5:25 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm astonished, and saddened, by the vitriol and assumptions of bad faith in this thread. Perhaps I shouldn't be, but I am.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:27 PM on March 29, 2010


Wow. OK everything that hippybear has said.

Bizarre how, because he's famous, Ricky Martin is somehow expected to come out, but not publicly, but is evil for not coming out, publicy, before now. Having opinions are fine, but what happened to logic?

FWIW I think the "firing squad" comment above was a poor choice of words but not actually advocating putting RM to death - but some of the other comments here are bizarre. Everyone in a minority knows that, whether they like it or not, they often get forced into being Official Spokesman and Universal Representative of $Minority; people get dehumanised, reduced to one data point. That's just reality, unfortunately. But he doesn't have to pass a test to be "good gay". There is no good gay. Just gay. Actually I'm looking forward to when I can say there is no "gay human", just human.

Reducing him to TehBadgay is little more than internalised homophobia in my opinion. Reducing being gay to having to devote your entire life to civil rights is as ridiculous and unfair as is reducing it to being about anal sex. By either criterion there are more straight people who are being (good) gay than there are gay!

Also, not everyone lives in a 21st Century American metropolis. Blerg.
posted by blue funk at 5:27 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whether he's past his fame or not is irrelevant.

Whatever you say, sizzlechest. Also, this.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:37 PM on March 29, 2010


And seeing as you aren't him, aren't in his head, and haven't lived any of his life, then this "decision" of yours doesn't mean jack shit. Enjoy your little universe of self-important smug.

Crikey!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:38 PM on March 29, 2010


This modern day aloofness and cynicism just depresses the hell out of me.. Of all the things to criticize. Someone not coming out soon enough??! How dare anyone try to have a private life! Enough mystery people have decided you are gay so you should out yourself right now!! Not ready, who cares?!! People like (or loathe) your music so suddenly you are obligated to them? Erg.
posted by kanata at 5:43 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's amusing how many of you think his career ended in 2000 (stop being so Anglo-US centric).

Fucking USians!
posted by cjorgensen at 5:48 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Over the course of all these comments, I managed to figure out that this isn't the guy married to Jennifer Lopez.

More and more, we live in two overlapping universes: one where your sexual orientation doesn't matter, and one where it does. Where I work, until a few years ago, no one would even discuss homosexuality. We have to get security clearances, and we all had this feeling that a gay person would not get a security clearance. Then one day we got a student intern who was gay. He was two generations younger than most of us, and didn't carry our burdens. He just cheerfully carried out his life while being gay, and thought nothing of it. It was like someone opened a window and fresh air blew through our building; like we had all been insane and suddenly were cured; like the evil witch's spell had been lifted. Surely, I thought, even the most homophobic person in our building must see what a wonderful young man this was. So I asked the most homophobic person. He said it made him sad to see a young person condemned to eternal damnation, and he prayed for his soul.

So I am not going to be mean to Marc Anthony- I mean, Ricky Martin. Maybe we here at Metafilter don't see the big deal, but there's that other universe.
posted by acrasis at 5:53 PM on March 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


You know, it's funny how rabidly pro-gay rights and rabidly anti-gay rights people can apparently feel the exact same way about this guy coming out of the closet. Hooray for hating people that you've never met!
posted by _cave at 5:55 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Can I just sidestep all the weird, passive-aggressive (and aggressive-aggressive) attitudes towards other people's choice as to whether and when to reveal their sexuality to point out the lame stereotyping of all Latin Americans as macho homophobes?
Latin America has over 550 Million people in it. Some are macho. Some are gay. Some are macho and gay. Just like in the US, or other first world places.
I think that people just assume because there's a word for it in Spanish, that somehow people who speak the language have a monopoly on it. I've seen way more macho bullshit in the US than in Latin America. (And that's not even counting Bush's War to Prove Dick Size).
posted by signal at 6:00 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Soon the only place you'll be able to find closeted gay men is the Republican National Committee.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:01 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can I just say I think Ricky Martin is totally hawt? And that his coming out fills me with warm and fuzzy feelings that are simultaneously compassionately supportive and deeply lustful?

I mean, is it hot in here?

*fan himself*
posted by darkstar at 6:09 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


darkstar is gonna be so busy removing all the "S"s from "She bangs"
posted by The Whelk at 6:11 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


One can hope, Joe.

And Ricky Martin, well done, you big sexy magnificent gay bastard you!
posted by Mister_A at 6:16 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


All the animosity being directed toward this man for making this announcement? That's fucking bullshit.

Dude, from what I can tell it's the timing of the announcement that's causing the angst, not the announcement. Stop being so coy.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:19 PM on March 29, 2010


Metafilter is a dreadful place sometimes.

"Tch, he gave 50% of his income to charity? What a slackarse, he could have given 70%. I hope he's killed."
posted by Sebmojo at 6:21 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Just a thought, but Ricky Martin's family are in (one of) his house(s), not mine. If he doesn't want to lie to them about being gay, that's great; but where's the necessity to tell me (or anyone else) about it? Maybe showing his children that one's sexuality should be a non-issue*, public figure or no, might have been a better lesson for them than showing them how to wheedle more fame out of a tired career would be.

Sure, he is still something of a public figure, and his public status carries with it some measure of opportunity to advance the general public acceptance of homosexuality by being open about it, but by waiting so long to reveal this EARTHSHAKING news, he lessens it's impact. For a lot of people, Ricky Martin is an bit of an over-warm nostalgic joke, and this announcement does indeed smack of desperation to remain relevant. I think some people's irritation with his timing on this may come from the notion that it would have been SO much more effective for the 'cause' for him to risk it all while it was still an actual risk (and as far as post-announcement danger of public exposure to looneys goes - If you think this dude's still doing his own grocery shopping, you're on a cloud).

And all the homosexuals in here dropping the "SFTU!!!!!! YOU DON"T KNOW OUR PAIN!!!!" bombs; get over yourselves. Everyone has their own cross to bear, and while yours is indeed a doozy, that kind of self-righteous exclusion does not advance your argument.

*And really, was Ricky Martin's sexuality a burning issue for anybody at this point?
posted by Pecinpah at 6:25 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


On Outing:

I have this experience about once every few months

"Oh hey! It's Mister_A (or whomever) in a thread. Oh I enjoy him. "

"wait, is he gay? Huh, quick check of history .."

"Uhh, can't tell. Hmph."

"Not that it matters I was just wondering, oh look Flickr photos -quick tag search..huh"

"maybe if I narrow down the search, oh great an LJ! Oh- dang. nothing. "

"wait a second"

"Did I just spend 25 WHOLE MINUTES trying to figure out if someone on the internet is queer by rummaging through their social media nightstand?"

"..."

"What the fuck is wrong with me?"

*Refreshes Recent Activity*
posted by The Whelk at 6:29 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Whelk, fear not. I've just spent 25 minutes thinking about who might be next to come out this week and wondering if it would be too greedy of me to hope that either Enrique Iglesias or Zac Efron were to make it a trifecta...
posted by darkstar at 6:33 PM on March 29, 2010


Replace "queer" with "a spammer" and "months" with "hours" and you've described my job, The Whelk. Though I like to think of it more as an avocation.
posted by cortex at 6:36 PM on March 29, 2010


My avocation is way more fun.
posted by The Whelk at 6:38 PM on March 29, 2010


Just a thought, but Ricky Martin's family are in (one of) his house(s), not mine. If he doesn't want to lie to them about being gay, that's great; but where's the necessity to tell me (or anyone else) about it?

*And really, was Ricky Martin's sexuality a burning issue for anybody at this point?
posted by Pecinpah


Come on. He didn't email you personally did he. You actively clicked and read, then despite Ricky Martin's sexuality not being "a burning issue" you felt the need to comment. There are loads of other links on the front page. I'm bored to death of football (even allowing for Cristiano Ronaldo, hubba). I can't imagine clicking on football articles only to comment/snark on that boredom.

On preview:
Replace "queer" with "a spammer" and "months" with "hours" and you've described my job, The Whelk. Though I like to think of it more as an avocation.
posted by cortex


I read that as "spanner" and had to pause for a second, thinking eh, am I missing some new meme? Hehe
posted by blue funk at 6:42 PM on March 29, 2010


but by waiting so long to reveal this EARTHSHAKING news, he lessens it's impact. For a lot of people, Ricky Martin is an bit of an over-warm nostalgic joke

Tell that to Doogie How...I mean, Neil Patrick Harris.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:45 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Trade in living your life with integrity for pop millions. What a risk-taker.

You know, it's awfully easy for those of us with jack to criticize people with much, much more than jack for worrying about losing their much, much more, on account of us having jack. If we had much, much more than jack, I suspect many of us would not be so quick to criticize.

And to Martin, it's not about the money. He has shitloads of money, had it long before his sexuality was ever questioned. He made it clear: it's about still being able to perform, because he loves doing that.
posted by mightygodking at 6:50 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seriously, though, I have two hopes:

The first is that he gets all the support he deserves as he makes this transition between being closeted and being open about his sexuality. Good for him for taking this step!

My second hope is that he actually begin to incorporate this revelation into his art. So that instead of the (granted) more sellable "La Vida Loca" and "She Bangs", he can maybe sing about some gay relationship themes. It'd be really cool to have more mainstream artists singing overtly gay love songs, you know?
posted by darkstar at 7:00 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Timing, schmiming. All I want to know is: is he a top?
posted by Vavuzi at 7:15 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heaven knows I was just a young boy – didn't know what I wanted to be. I was every little hungry schoolgirl's pride and joy and I guess it was enough for me.

To win the race? A prettier face, brand new clothes, and a big fat place on your rock and roll TV.

But today the way I play the game is not the same. No way. I think I'm gonna get myself happy.

I think there's something you should know. I think it's time I told you so. There's something deep inside of me, there's someone else I've got to be.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:21 PM on March 29, 2010


I thought he already did this a few years ago.

I'm absolutely serious and not at all joking.
posted by HostBryan at 7:43 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good for him, on many of the levels described above.

I have never bought his music but am moved to now. If anyone can suggest a particular CD of his to buy, I'd appreciate it.
posted by Morrigan at 7:48 PM on March 29, 2010


GEEZUS FUCKING CHRIST METAFILTER! YOU NEED MORE PUERTO RICANS IN THIS PLACE!

am in the middle of writing about Ricky and your reactions have really outraged me. Ricky is only a few years younger than me. the Puerto Rico we grew up in is an intensely homophobic country that is rife with too many men and women in the downlow.

when i go home it breaks my heart to see so many people who i knew to be thisclose of coming out as gay and lesbian married and deep in the closet. and that's the problem. everybody will know XY or Z are gay or lesbian but it's OK as long as they are not out.

it's huge for Ricky to say not just that he is gay but HOMO SEXUAL. it's a huge social transgression even today and it will definitely force Puerto Ricans to talk about our culturally acceptable homophobia.
posted by liza at 8:40 PM on March 29, 2010 [15 favorites]


According to my friend in Arizona, the Spanish-language TV stations there have been interrupting regular programming to announce that Ricky Martin has come out.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:55 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


it's a huge social transgression even today and it will definitely force Puerto Ricans to talk about our culturally acceptable homophobia.

This. It may be a big yawn in parts of the mainland US that have learned to greet most anything with a generous dose of cynical detachment, but if Ricky Martin's decision to come out, and in a very public way -- whatever its purpose -- leads to more questioning of gender roles and other sexual/political assumptions in places (including places in "the states") where it is still extremely dangerous to be publicly or even privately out of the closet, then I say it's more than worth it. I still recall how much publicly-expressed snark there was in the gay community in San Francisco (and other big cities, too, I'm certain) when Ellen DeGeneres appeared on the cover of Time in 1997 with the words "YEP, I'M GAY" in big print. The reasons for the cynicism were some of the same reasons that have been expressed in this thread.

Her decision to come out turned out to be a huge deal, not because she was a celebrity who was coming out, not because there might not have been some mercenary aspect of her coming out, but because it opened people's eyes in places that weren't San Francisco that people they saw on TV every day could be publicly and openly gay and that the world didn't come to an end. That was big then, it's big now, and I don't care if it's Ellen doing it, or Ricky, or Neil Patrick Harris. Every step forward is a step forward. Every brick removed from the wall of prejudice is a victory.
posted by blucevalo at 9:36 PM on March 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


> Being a Latin man who has come out publicly is pretty dangerous, so you may yet get your wish.

That would be for all the wrong reasons, but I'll take it.


Okay. You really want someone dead. Good luck with that.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:38 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm glad he made an announcement, but I definitely picked up a People magazine in the last year or so that had a full-on photo layout and article about his kids and him, and it seemed to very clearly be one of those we're-not-going-to-say-but-it's-totally-obvious kind of things.
posted by redsparkler at 9:54 PM on March 29, 2010


While long-believing him to be gay (and a big fan for years and years), his statement was very beautifully written, thoughtful, and touching. I only read the Spanish version, but it was all of the above and more.

Celebrities don't owe us, the public, a coming out or any of that. But I'm glad for him, and he can now be someone people can look to, as a gay father, to be another example of how families differ, and how none of this will destroy the world or make the sky fall.

Those of you who know only his English-language music, or have never seen Ricky Martin in concert, are really missing out. What he said about the stage really shows when he's on it.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:56 PM on March 29, 2010


> Being a Latin man who has come out publicly is pretty dangerous, so you may yet get your wish.

That would be for all the wrong reasons, but I'll take it.


Fuck how did I miss that? OK I take back my presumption-of-reasonable-human, above. Jeez.
posted by blue funk at 9:58 PM on March 29, 2010


deacon_blues: "Being gay is a hard, hard thing to carry around"

Yes. Yes, it is.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:02 PM on March 29, 2010


I have never bought his music but am moved to now. If anyone can suggest a particular CD of his to buy, I'd appreciate it.

I'm pretty partial to Vuelve or A Medio Vivir, but his MTV Unplugged is also great.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:02 PM on March 29, 2010


When I lived in PR back in the 70's, there was an actual gay bar in our barrio. I am not recalling the island culture as being any more homophobic than most places I've been (and I'm not saying it wasn't/isn't homophobic, just that it's a regular part of the generally homophobic world.)
posted by bonefish at 10:17 PM on March 29, 2010


@bonefish: i come from a family of cops. the harrowing story i once heard from drunk friends of my grandfather, who were bragging about their latest gay hunt traumatized me enough to make me distrust cops to this day.

Mayaguez, the town i grew up in the 70s, is a college town. At the time it was a gay heaven for many people who'd run away from the smaller towns around us. My first memories of meeting and befriending a trans woman was of the famous "Charitin" who tried to look like the original and would "work" the corner of the Mayaguez cathedral every day, one block away from my school.

My grandpa was a sherrif in one of those smaller towns. You really didnt want to be gay in any Puerto Rican pueblo chiquito.

btw: Ricky is just a few years younger than me. I think he went to el Perpetuo Socorro in Santurce. I went to high school in Santurce at el CUSC & i'd see him in the varsity games from time to time.

People forget that Ricky is in his 40s. He comes from a very different Puerto Rico. They also forget the big child sex exploitation scandal that rocked Menudo and that had him and the other kids in the middle of it all. I can't remember the details of the case but I remember vividly that people had the temerity to blame the victims and say that the "gay boys" in the group for seduced the pedophiles that abused them.

Am just always baffled at how USians assume that because a Puerto Rican speaks english that culturally we speak their same language :P
posted by liza at 10:46 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


The use of "USians" is much more annoying and vapid than said cultural assumptions.
posted by raysmj at 11:15 PM on March 29, 2010


I've been thinking about why I feel so strongly about this. Why should it bother me that Mr. Martin decided to ride on the gay movement's coattails now, instead of leading the way when he could have?

He made a personal decision to come out when he was comfortable doing so.

That's what bothers me.

Because it's not just a personal decision. No matter how much we would like it to be. Every decision to come out, every decision not to, has an impact on the world. Coming out is, because of the context of our times, a political act.

Every person who has someone gay in their lives who they love becomes a voice in our corner, questioning whether the hatred against us is justified. Every gay person who learns to answer the hatred with calm rationality is a treasured advocate. Every time one of us comes out, we can affect hundreds. We can make life infinitely easier for the generation of gay kids growing up right now, and immensely more so for the generations after them. When you know someone gay who isn't a faceless monster based on fear and prejudice, but is a real person, it's much harder to muster the hatred that's needed to justify the oppression we live with.

I learned when I came out that the worst part for the people I loved was wondering why I hadn't trusted them enough to tell them sooner. Why I had let a rift grow between us, because I couldn't share who I really was. I realized that in hiding myself, allowing that dishonesty to affect all my relations, I had been depriving myself of the chance to really be known, to really trust anyone. And without that trust, what sort of relationships can you really have?

If your life is in immediate jeopardy if you come out, by all means stay in the closet, and work to get yourself out of the horrible situation that you're in. If you're a minor, and afraid to come out because of loss of parental support, then stay in, and get help from community youth organizations in your area; there are good safe places to go to talk about this.

Other than that, I've got no respect for the closet-bound. They're hurting the people they love and themselves by telling so fundamental a lie. They're losing the chance to help other gay people by allowing themselves to be known. And in all probability, from what I've seen when people do come out, they're doing so based on fears that are massively exaggerated.

Is it dangerous? Probably. Does it take courage? Yes. But you're being honest with people you love, and you're helping others too. Sure, you have the right to make whatever choice you want. But I have the right to respect those who I feel make honorable choices.

I'm glad Ricky's out, and I regret that he missed so many opportunities to do so much more good.
posted by MrVisible at 11:18 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can only hope that in ten more years, "the openly gay one" is as much a boy band trope as "the cute one" and "the bad boy."
posted by klangklangston at 11:24 PM on March 29, 2010


I look forward to his minor cameo appearance in Tropic Thunder 2.
posted by beardlace at 11:36 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait a minute, you're not all gay?

I thought I was, for a bit. Until I found out about the prohibitive standards of hygiene. And all that dancing!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:49 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Man... I'm bisexual and I would never imagine that anyone, celebrity or otherwise, has a special obligation to disclose their sexual orientation. It's laudable if they do, but NO ONE is morally obligated to do it. It's a private and sensitive issue, regardless of whether you're a celebrity or not. You can't look at a guy and start screaming that he be your torch-bearer just because you're both gay -- or both women, or both minorities, or both whatever else. That's absurd. Resenting him for doing it now, instead of earlier, is even more absurd. People are people foremost, they are not stand-ins for whatever cause is giving you grief.

The whole "fuck gay celebrities who refused to make my gay life easier ten years ago" attitude frankly makes me sick; it's cynical, immature, naive, and self-absorbed. If you think you've had troubles being gay, then magnify the negative attention by a millionfold for a celebrity. Money has shit to do with making your life emotionally secure, it's just more people looking to tear you down, and it's idiotic to think that the only reason he didn't come out sooner was because of money or his career. Remember all those things you felt before you came out? Celebrities feel those things too. If someone had given you millions of dollars when you were 14 and confused it probably wouldn't have done anything to give you courage to come out sooner, nor would being handed millions of fans along with even more people who don't like you. Did you not know how to tell your family? Money and fame have no impact on that. Did you grow up in a community that was homophobic? Money and fame don't make that easier. You can move away but you still think everyone you grew up with will hate you -- it's no different than moving to a liberal town for college in that regard. Your close relationships are pretty much the same, and if those people think you're a hellbound sodomist before you have a million bucks, they're still going to think so after.

Some people are lucky and come to terms with it early in life, or have easier circumstances. Others take longer. Tearing someone down because it took him longer is disgusting, and even moreso because you want him to do something to make your life easier, and especially when you start whining about it when he actually does come out and is willing to be recognized as a part of the gay community. "NUH UH YOU HAD YOUR CHANCE ASSHOLE" is comically childish.

On the whole this isn't a big problem among the queer community, but still, when this whole "my-life-is-harder-than-thine, I-am-gayer-than-thou" stuff is expressed I want to stab myself in the face. It's the same shit when some gay guys say bisexual guys are insincere in their sexuality because they just don't want to take on the social stigma of being entirely gay. Those guys will try to talk about bisexual guys as some sort of wuss and horrible hypocrite for not being as "out" as they are -- and it's completely delusional. It's just a horrible way to prop up their own self-esteem. Some lesbians say this about bisexual girls too, but it seems much more infrequent. More common is resenting femme girls that come out as bisexual: some of them will say they're just doing it for attention -- like being queer is some special badge only the long-suffered can earn, instead of something people can't help. Rather than being glad these people feel free to express their sexuality -- and I think most gay people are glad about it, thank god -- they'd rather shove them back in the closet because the idea that they were dealt a shittier hand of circumstances than someone else is too unfair to fathom; that other person just isn't REALLY gay, and I am, I am SO gay, that's it, that's why life is harder for me. I've run into older gay people that seem resentful that coming out isn't a big deal for some people now -- like if they had to suffer everyone else should, too, or they're not gay enough. It's like they have all this anger but feel powerless against homophobes, so they turn it on gay people that they perceive as weaker than them; at least then they can feel like they're better than somebody. And those poor people that find themselves as their punching bags realize: great, the gay community doesn't accept me either. It's a real dick move.

I've also noticed with these people, everything is about them. What other people have or haven't gone through is about them. It's not rational, no matter how they rationalize it to themselves. It's not rational to do it to bisexual people or young people or people that have it easy, and it's not rational to do it with Ricky Martin or any other celebrity either.

Coming out is hard, being gay is hard, but don't take out the resentment over the stuff you've been through on other queer people because you perceive that they have it easier in some way or didn't do enough for you. If you're mad at how homophobes have treated you, the answer ISN'T to find someone that you can, in turn, tear down. Aside from its being counterproductive, it makes other people think you're emotionally unstable. The answer is to support those that don't yet have the strength you do, and to applaud them when they find it. This has been working fairly well; raging at gay people when they tentatively step into the gay world, shockingly, doesn't seem to have accomplished anything but making those people feel worse.
posted by Nattie at 11:51 PM on March 29, 2010 [23 favorites]


He made a personal decision to come out when he was comfortable doing so.

That's what bothers me.


Aside from those who were targeted by Michael Signorile in the pages of OutWeek, I don't think there are many who come out at a time which isn't of their own choosing. What are the alternatives, in your opinion? Do you advocate forceable outing of public figures like Signorile did in the 90s, in order to try to force social change?

I learned when I came out that the worst part for the people I loved was wondering why I hadn't trusted them enough to tell them sooner.

So you have a happy coming out story. Good for you. I haven't seen my parents in nearly a decade because they refuse to acknowledge the man I have been with for nearly 17 years. My sister doesn't relate to me without being full of stereotyped assumptions about me and my lifestyle. I've been ejected from "friends'" houses for sitting on the couch too close to my partner, when my hosts were draped across each other and engaging in very public kissing, and was told never to come back because they felt my display of affection was too public. The list of people who are no longer in my life because they have personal issues with my sexuality is long, and makes me weary to contemplate. Coming out isn't all about love and trust for everyone who does it, and some of us have paid a pretty heavy price for being honest with the world around us.

I continue to believe that living in the closet is terrible for the person doing it and the community in which the closeted live. But I don't think it's fair to assume that everyone wants to make a political statement by talking about how or who they fuck. I agree with you completely about everything you say about inspiring young gays, making the world a more accepting place by living honestly, and all that. However, I think your ire is misplaced. His honesty now is going to do a lot of good, for reasons outlined by non-US people in this thread. Placing the burden of political sexual leadership on the shoulders of pop celebrities, when they don't choose to wear that mantle out of their own choice, will only drive others to fear coming out themselves because they want to be seen as artist-of-some-type, not gay celebrity.

Someday all this will be nonsense. But right now, I still think Martin has done the right thing, in his own time, and with great honor and sensitivity.
posted by hippybear at 11:54 PM on March 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Resenting him for doing it now, instead of earlier, is even more absurd...

People keep saying this in this thread like it's a fact chiselled in stone. Yet plenty of other people have given erudite reasons to the contrary.

Frowning and ruffling your feathers is not a good rebuttal, mmmkay?

/rebuttal, heh
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:22 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been ejected from "friends'" houses for sitting on the couch too close to my partner...

Man, I would have loved to have seen that transpire. And I'm also calling BS.

Your friends: "Too close!"

"Get out!"
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:27 AM on March 30, 2010


Wow. :D

my adolescent dreams...
posted by polymodus at 12:51 AM on March 30, 2010


hippybear: "I continue to believe that living in the closet is terrible for the person doing it and the community in which the closeted live. But I don't think it's fair to assume that everyone wants to make a political statement by talking about how or who they fuck. I agree with you completely about everything you say about inspiring young gays, making the world a more accepting place by living honestly, and all that. However, I think your ire is misplaced. His honesty now is going to do a lot of good, for reasons outlined by non-US people in this thread. Placing the burden of political sexual leadership on the shoulders of pop celebrities, when they don't choose to wear that mantle out of their own choice, will only drive others to fear coming out themselves because they want to be seen as artist-of-some-type, not gay celebrity."

This expressed what I've wanted to say as I've read down this thread way better than I could have managed, what with all my bottled GRAR.

Sometimes I think that some British celebrities who are "obviously" gay should come out for the benefit of others -- after all, we're a progressive country and we cope with Stephen Fry well enough. But then I remember that Jan Moir-gate was just last year; the tabs will use anything as a weapon. And then I remember that this is the country that made There's Something About Miriam and I have to go hide in a hole.

I'm happy for Ricky Martin, proud of what he's done, and I hope that his coming out, whatever the timing, can help someone, somewhere.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:00 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, I would have loved to have seen that transpire. And I'm also calling BS.

Your friends: "Too close!"

"Get out!"


Actually, it transpired this way. I get up to go to the ice chest in the backyard to get a beer, Steve approaches me and says that he and his wife were uncomfortable with how we were sitting on the couch and "pawing each other" (I had my hand on his leg), and suggested that perhaps we should just leave to avoid "any further display".

A week later, I was supposed to go over to his house with a female friend, and when I got to her house, she greeted me with a bottle of wine and said we weren't going over there because Steve had called her and said that he didn't want me to come over because of "my uncomfortable PDA last time."

This was in 1995. I haven't been back to their house since.

Why do you think I'd make something like that up?
posted by hippybear at 3:03 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Good for him. My mum will be disappointed, though.
posted by harriet vane at 3:24 AM on March 30, 2010


I believe that gay people have a unique opportunity to help the world by being honest about themselves. I believe that, while it may not be a choice, being gay does come with a responsibility to make the burdens that we've borne easier for the next generations of gay people.

And I believe that if Ricky Martin had come out at the height of his fame, it would have been awesome. As it is, meh.

To anyone reading this who hasn't come out as of yet, I wish you the best of luck with the process, and offer these links. There's plenty of help out there these days; you don't have to go through it alone.

Human Rights Campaign

Safe Schools Coalition

The GLBT National Help Center, featuring a 24/7 hotline, as well as a hotline for GLBT youth

Some of the books on the subject
posted by MrVisible at 3:56 AM on March 30, 2010


You know, I think one thing that hardly anyone acknowledges, and what makes coming out an intensely personal decision is that fact that the first person you have to come out to is yourself. And that is always done alone. It takes a conscious act of will, an actual choice to stop the self-deception and denial.

You cannot know, really, how long it takes for another person to come to that point. In retrospect many of us say "I've always known," or "I was born that way," but our world, almost from birth, conditions us to deny this. It might be easy for some to overcome that conditioning. But for most people I know, it's incredibly difficult. And that's only the first step in the process.

Anyway, I think we all should think about that a little more before making judgments about other people's choices and lives.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:53 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


uncanny hengeman, people can be much, more worse then you could ever think.
posted by The Whelk at 5:12 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


He was living life in the closet, which actually translates to Spanish as 'la vida locker'. True story.

Not true. Possibly just realising the joke in the thread title.
posted by asok at 6:28 AM on March 30, 2010


a couple of things:

a) i was willing to get a little dismissive and angry about the timing of this announcement, but Charlie Vasquez, the latino queer writer and editor suggests that this is a huge deal for those communities. Since I am not a latino, I am willing to take his authority.
b) this coming out letter is an amazing, magnificant camp document---like Celine weeping for the children at a telethon camp document; it could be read by kiki w/o any editing what-so-ever.
posted by PinkMoose at 6:45 AM on March 30, 2010


If you think this dude's still doing his own grocery shopping, you're on a cloud).

Yeah -- it's not like any celebrities go grocery shopping on their own.

Dude, spend some time in a Pavilions, Ralph's, Gelson's or Whole Foods in L.A. You can find celebrities doing their own marketing every day of the week.
posted by ericb at 7:13 AM on March 30, 2010


it could be read by kiki w/o any editing what-so-ever

If only David Mamet could have come up with this line, his exhortation to staff writers to create better drama would have been so much shorter.
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:31 AM on March 30, 2010


a) Good for him.

b) ...

And I believe that if Ricky Martin had come out at the height of his fame, it would have been awesome. As it is, meh.

You are assigning him a role as cultural advocate which he obviously does not desire. He has no obligation to you or anyone else to turn his newly-stated sexual preference into activism, nor should he be forced to do so. He self-identifies as gay and he's tired of balancing his sense of safety with having to lie to the public about who he is. So, he's come out.

Would it be nice if Mr. Martin turned this revelation into a greater cause? Sure. But no one has the right to demand he do so or sit in judgement of him if he doesn't. Nor should we assume he owes anyone a damned thing. Mr. Martin has worked tirelessly on behalf of children as well as in support of disaster relief, against homelessness, poverty and hunger among other charitable causes. If he adds your cause to the list, more power to him. But the idea that he should somehow be beholden is ridiculous.
posted by zarq at 7:42 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's not like there weren't any hints 'out' there already.
posted by ericb at 7:44 AM on March 30, 2010


And I believe that if Ricky Martin had come out at the height of his fame, it would have been awesome.

It would have been reckless.

"In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was," she told The Toronto Star. "A lot of people say that destroyed his career, andwhen I think back on it now, I feel it was an inappropriate question."
This is stated by Barbara Walters. Your logical reasoning is of the form, suppose X happens, X would be awesome! while neglecting reality's constraints on the feasibility of X.


As it is, meh.

What goes around comes around. There's a line between critique and criticism.

And from his own letter: Many people told me: "Ricky it's not important"—
Having the insight to see beyond and the courage to break free from the views of your peers and loved ones is never meh.

So you're wrong on both counts.
posted by polymodus at 9:31 AM on March 30, 2010


Other than that, I've got no respect for the closet-bound.

It is possible to respect all people, regardless of their imperfections. Chastising people can get people to change but it's not the only way.


They're hurting the people they love and themselves by telling so fundamental a lie.

Sorry what? You are, like, saying that in a schoolyard fight, the victim started the fight with the bully. It is society that hurts gays; they create the lie as a defense mechanism. The burden is on the intolerant society that is blind to what it is missing when it does not encourage and nurture the diversity amongst its people.

There's forces pushing against both sides of the closet door; you focus on the inside half of it rather than considering the net force in the system.
posted by polymodus at 10:11 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Dude, spend some time in a Pavilions, Ralph's, Gelson's or Whole Foods in L.A. You can find celebrities doing their own marketing every day of the week."

My dad used to live a block away from the Gelson's in Pacific Palisades, so I've seen my fair share of celebrities picking up the milk (I have no pictures to back up this claim. Sorry). That's kind of my point though, ericb; Pacific Palisades is sort of a celebrity haven (like Brentwood, parts of Beverly, and so on...). Celebrities move to these places because they know that the people in the local grocery are used to seeing them there, and won't bother them. It's not the 'real world' so much as it is a tacit agreement among everyone in the community to not ask for autographs.

Additionally, there are plenty of celebrities that send the help out to shop. Just because there are pictures on the internet of celebrities carrying grocery bags doesn't mean they all do it, all the time.

"Come on. He didn't email you personally did he?"

No, he didn't email me personally; he posted it to the internet instead, where no one would ever see it.

And, incidentally, I clicked on this link because I thought it was going to be a joke ("Ricky Martin? GAY?!"), and because I used to have a girlfriend who was in LOVE with him, and I wanted to find something funny about him to post on her Facebook page (which I have indeed done with this, thank you Metafilter). I commented the way I did because the conversation in here hooked me, what with all the "GAY LIFE IS TEH HARD!" and "DEATH TO RICKY MARTIN!" talk. I wanted to throw my 2c in, both to see what kind of lame comebacks people would throw my way and to actually contribute to what I have found to be an engaging dialogue.
posted by Pecinpah at 10:51 AM on March 30, 2010


The use of "USians" is much more annoying and vapid than said cultural assumptions.

No, it's not.
posted by blucevalo at 11:08 AM on March 30, 2010


And all the homosexuals in here dropping the "SFTU!!!!!! YOU DON"T KNOW OUR PAIN!!!!" bombs; get over yourselves. Everyone has their own cross to bear, and while yours is indeed a doozy, that kind of self-righteous exclusion does not advance your argument.

Since you evidently live in San Francisco amidst tens of thousands of "homosexuals," I'm wondering why you seem to want to be such a jerk about this. Saying that "everyone has their own cross to bear" is the lamest of clichés and doesn't advance your argument, either.
posted by blucevalo at 11:37 AM on March 30, 2010


Why Ricky Martin's coming out matters.
"Still, as the catty remarks continue, as people boast about how they knew and think he should have done this 10 years ago, or sassy queens dismiss the news as inconsequential, I say, look beyond our borders (geographic, cultural, and age-based) and take a minute to honor the fact that for many, Ricky’s coming out is groundbreaking, perhaps even life-saving.

So Ricky was doing more than living la vida loca; he was, in fact, a loca. To the trained eye, this is just confirmation that our gaydar runs on more than hormones and dreams.

Hormones, dreams and cattiness aside, I challenge the ungleeful remarks about Ricky’s coming out.

...The dismissal of Ricky’s coming out seems to be rooted in an U.S.-centric perspective where we have the opportunity to stop celebrating any queer image on TV and offer our critique. There is so much gayness these days that we can spend our days and dissertations balking at how a character isn’t gay enough, is too gay, is too white, etc. And although we don’t actually have the type of representation GLAAD and I would like to see, we have a whole lot more than we did in México in 1992...

...I am not critiquing the fact that we spend so much time criticizing queer portrayals in the media. To the contrary, I am celebrating the fact that we can. In fact, I’d go further and ask why queer people of color media performance and productions are so weak, lame and superficial. Having once curating a queer people of color cultural arts program, I know we can do better.

What I am critiquing is that our criticisms of Ricky’s coming out has us falling into the pitfall of imagining and defining all things queer through a U.S. lens. I even joked about the fact that he used the term 'homosexual' to define himself. And now, in retrospect I find that identifying as a “fortunate homosexual” was much more powerful than a simple 'gay.'

Perhaps for the jaded queen living in urban U.S., the oversaturation of gayness in the media has deemed Ricky insignificant and worthy of our dismissal. For that frightened and confused 12 year old in rural Chihuahua, it’s monumental.

My coming out process was stumped by the fact that I could not even imagine my queerness, let alone live it. At the time, the saturation of gayness was mostly strictly white. It wasn’t until queer brown men like Jaime Cortez and Emanuel Xavier fearlessly (or perhaps fearfully) exposed their work and their bodies to the sun of public criticism, that I was able to imagine myself.

Whether U.S. fags approve or not, Ricky is a prominent figure here, and more importantly, in Latino América. Ricky’s coming out makes it possible for young boys in countless homes to imagine themselves as something other than confused.

For this, I say to Ricky: gracias. And, you know where to find me."
posted by ericb at 12:22 PM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


No, he didn't email me personally; he posted it to the internet instead, where no one would ever see it.

Yep. Your'e right. No one saw it.
posted by ericb at 12:27 PM on March 30, 2010


I can't figure out why the reaction of any reasonable person wouldn't be "well, good for you, I'm so glad you're finally able to be open about who you are, to yourself and others" plus a little "there was a time you might have been killed for admitting this...and technically we're still living in that time, so I'm glad you found the courage to do it."

The only thing I can think of is that people believe celebrities somehow aren't people. I mean, if I was in a band in high school, and for some reason we got a lot of gigs, and then a record agent came and found me, and signed me, and I sold a few records, then had a big hit, and suddenly was packing 'em in at the stadiums...at what point would I stop feeling like that high school kid in a band, and like a person who somehow had a higher moral purpose? I mean, don't we mock people who erroneously assume they have a higher moral purpose just because they're a celebrity?

People are people; they have their struggles, and they solve their problems, and for every celebrity who "finally" comes out about being gay, there are tens of thousands of people in the world who "finally" come out about being gay and nobody gives them a hard time about not doing it soon enough. If a celebrity can use their notoriety to help others, great, but claiming they should be ashamed for not doing it soon enough is just insulting, somehow.
posted by davejay at 1:04 PM on March 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


Daily Telegraph: "Coming out is likely to boost Ricky Martin's career. Ricky Martin's revelations about his sexuality are getting him tonnes of press and are likely to expand his already considerable gay fanbase. (...) I bet every gay disco in the world plays La Vida Loca tonight."
posted by iviken at 1:50 PM on March 30, 2010


While this announcement has no impact on my life whatsoever, I am glad he finally found the courage to come out of the closet and make a positive impact on other people's lives, including and especially (hopefully) his own. Maybe its 'too late' for some of the people in this thread, but for others, especially those in other countries, it might be just the right time for them. To know they aren't alone, that others struggled with whether to come out or not, and who did do so.
posted by sandraregina at 1:51 PM on March 30, 2010


In other words, its not about ME, its about Ricky, first, and about some other people second, if it does impact them, and if it does impact you, well then, its probably not supposed to.
posted by sandraregina at 1:56 PM on March 30, 2010


Since you evidently live in San Francisco amidst tens of thousands of "homosexuals," I'm wondering why you seem to want to be such a jerk about this.

Yes, I live in San Francisco and there are tons of gays here. I'm not sure what about what I've written makes me a 'jerk', though. Is it just that I won't lay down in front of the Ricky Martin Adulation Wagon and get all misty over the newness of it all? Or is it that I find the timing to be redolent of media manipulation? How do either of those things make me a jerk?

Saying that "everyone has their own cross to bear" is the lamest of clichés and doesn't advance your argument, either.

You're right, that is kind of a lame cliche.

To be perfectly clear, I'm glad for anyone who finds the strength to come out of the closet. I'm nearly 40, and I have two gay friends my age who still haven't told their families that they are queer. I don't blame them, either; I wouldn't want to look my dad in the face and say anything like that. But Ricky Martin's timing is suspect, and moreover, I just don't give a shit about him or who he wants to bone. It seems to me that he could have done a lot more good by throwing the dice earlier, but I guess any progress is better than no progress at all.

Yep. Your'e right. No one saw it.

Not so good at the sarcasm, are you ericb?
posted by Pecinpah at 2:20 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not so good at the sarcasm, are you ericb?

No. Never have been, especially when someone says:
"And all the homosexuals in here dropping the "SFTU!!!!!! YOU DON"T KNOW OUR PAIN!!!!" bombs; get over yourselves. Everyone has their own cross to bear, and while yours is indeed a doozy, that kind of self-righteous exclusion does not advance your argument."
I'd say you've done very little yourself to "advance your argument. I have other words for you, but I'm refraining from them.

Love and kisses from this "doozy homosexual."
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on March 30, 2010


Love and kisses from this "doozy homosexual."

So...you know that 'doozy' is not an insult, right? I wasn't insulting you, ericb, or anyone else; I was actually quantifying the 'cross you have to bear' as a large, cumbersome one. Really not sure why you'd take offense at the use of that word (also, calling yourself a 'doozy homosexual' makes no sense, really, though saying that you are a 'doozy of a homosexual' might.).

If you have "other words for me" that you'd rather not write here, please feel free to MeMail or Gmail me (My address is in my profile). If you're just going to tell me how much of a jerk I am for not agreeing with you though, then you can just keep it to yourself.
posted by Pecinpah at 3:24 PM on March 30, 2010


I think it's great that people who are coming out can now be judged for their choices by both homophobes and homosexuals. I mean, this kind of vitriolic reaction is just bound to make it easier for other people to come out.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:50 PM on March 30, 2010


This thread needs more grappa, less GRAR.
posted by darkstar at 5:27 PM on March 30, 2010


Why do you think I'd make something like that up?

Hmmm. I think my original call stands. There's certainly a lot more info in your elaboration than "too close."

But you know what? That was just petty, and I'm not gay, and the posts are sorta heading in a direction where I'm not gonna have any valuable input. Sorry.

I remember when johnmc got into trouble for participating in too many "women's problems" questions in AskMeFi. When the subject arose in a thread down the track, he pipes up with "this is where I go outside and have a smoke, right?" Too funny.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:30 PM on March 30, 2010


To be perfectly clear, I'm glad for anyone who finds the strength to come out of the closet. I'm nearly 40, and I have two gay friends my age who still haven't told their families that they are queer. I don't blame them, either; I wouldn't want to look my dad in the face and say anything like that. But Ricky Martin's timing is suspect, and moreover, I just don't give a shit about him or who he wants to bone.

Fair enough. I overreacted, and I apologize.

I don't really give that much of a shit about Ricky Martin, either. I've never liked his music. I'm still glad he came out, though.
posted by blucevalo at 9:33 PM on March 30, 2010


uncanny hengeman: you're correct. you are petty, and your posts have not had any valuable input.
posted by hippybear at 12:25 AM on March 31, 2010


"We hear rumblings that the reason Martin stopped living his (rather badly concealed) lie was that his boyfriend, a fellow Puerto Rican, was tired of living in hiding and threatened to expose his sexuality."*
posted by ericb at 8:04 AM on March 31, 2010


uncanny hengeman: you're correct. you are petty, and your posts have not had any valuable input.
Come come.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:46 AM on March 31, 2010


No, he didn't email me personally; he posted it to the internet instead, where no one would ever see it.

And, incidentally, I clicked on this link because I thought it was going to be a joke ("Ricky Martin? GAY?!"), and because I used to have a girlfriend who was in LOVE with him, and I wanted to find something funny about him to post on her Facebook page (which I have indeed done with this, thank you Metafilter). I commented the way I did because the conversation in here hooked me, what with all the "GAY LIFE IS TEH HARD!" and "DEATH TO RICKY MARTIN!" talk. I wanted to throw my 2c in, both to see what kind of lame comebacks people would throw my way and to actually contribute to what I have found to be an engaging dialogue.
posted by Pecinpah


Well, people who click on it are guaranteed to see it.

And... You clicked on this thread because you thought it was a joke? I know, Metafilter is totally well-known for having a front-page full of GAY!LOLZ! posts, isn't it.

How likely is that really.

So to summarise, you aren't gay, have no interest in Ricky Martin, his sexuality, the wider effects of his coming out (whatever they may be) and yet, you still feel the need to post and complain? Why?

And all the homosexuals in here dropping the "SFTU!!!!!! YOU DON"T KNOW OUR PAIN!!!!" bombs; get over yourselves.

Ah. Never mind. I suppose I don't need to mention that you were the first and so far only person to say that here. Disingenuous troll.
posted by blue funk at 5:12 AM on April 2, 2010


Disingenuous troll.

Heh.
posted by Pecinpah at 10:49 AM on April 8, 2010


Ricky Martin Naked! Nude & Tattooed For Concert Video.
posted by ericb at 7:40 AM on April 16, 2010


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