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When news broke on Monday that Ricky Martin, Puerto Rican superstar, had come out of the closet, a host of finallys, duhs, and anything resembling a judgement flew out of people’s facebook statuses, tweets, and mouths.  Ricky’s words were posted to his website, but I’ll copy and paste below:

“Many people told me: “Ricky it’s not important”, “it’s not worth it”, “all the years you’ve worked and everything you’ve built will collapse”, “many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature”. Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.

If someone asked me today, “Ricky, what are you afraid of?” I would answer “the blood that runs through the streets of countries at war…child slavery, terrorism…the cynicism of some people in positions of power, the misinterpretation of faith.” But fear of my truth? Not at all! On the contrary, It fills me with strength and courage. This is just what I need especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day. 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.

These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.

What will happen from now on? It doesn’t matter. I can only focus on what’s happening to me in this moment. The word “happiness” takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.

I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am. ”

Ricky Martin

I guess my big question is this…why would ANYONE want to come out to such a hostile environment, ESPECIALLY from GLBT people?  Bilerico, a renowned glbt blog published this…I mean.  I can understand to some extent the inability to understand the coming out experience for a person who’s never had to do it or never will.  But for those who’ve been terrified of parents’ reactions, for those who grew up in a deeply religious, conservative neighborhood…who was judging your timing?  I don’t know I guess it just seems upsetting to me that ANY time a person comes out of the closet it isn’t a celebration of personal liberation…i mean one could argue that it’s not really liberation, that coming out of the closet isn’t even that big of a deal…but that’s not what critics of Martin are doing.  They’re saying, “what took so long”?  Well I’ve often said I’m disheartened with the GLBT community (especially the G part) and this does nothing to help.  Let’s just show some compassion and love for someone who obviously dealt with a lot of fear and hatred in his life.

I can hardly keep up with how angry I am starting to get with glbtq politics.  Whether it’s the story of a lesbian student being denied by her school the right to take her girlfriend to prom or it’s the same exact school suspending a student for trying to dress in the opposite gender’s clothing…I just don’t know how much I can take.  All this work is being done by lobbyists and activists to gain things like same-sex marriage, but how is that ending homphobia, transphobia, biphobia?  The idea of “well we understand it, so why don’t they?”  I don’t get… Fear and power operate pretty similarly.

You know how you can be a part of something and feel like there’s something terribly wrong with it?  I am absolutely having a problem, lately, with the “everyone is entitled to their own opinion” debate.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with opinions…they are more or less harmless.  What bothers me is a lack of understanding of truths, or reason, of critical thought.  I mean, i couldn’t just be like…ok i guess i’m going to go kill myself today because tomorrow I’ll wake up…that’s my opinion…NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE ME. So why do we think that some parts of life just contain no truths?  Why are issues such as heteronormativity, racism, ableism, classism, etc. forced to the land of opinions by the people who DO NOT study them?  I would hardly tell a doctor that my opinion on the effects of a quadruple bypass surgery is higher or the same as his…that makes no sense.  Opinions are just that…but informed ones, educated ones, theories…they are something else.

At this point I could never imagine having children.  I would never want them to experience the level of hatred and injustice in the world.  People talk of change, of hope, of “progress”, but really…where are we?