Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Ricky Martin's Coming Out
We gays can certainly be quite bitchy in our glass houses of superiority, especially when it comes to stars and celebrities coming out. Some star who has made the courageous act of coming out of the closet, no small feat for any of us, at the possible detriment to their own livelihood is met with the usual derision and bitterness we usually reserve for Repubicans or beauty pageant Christians who wish to tsk tsk our gay away. Is it any wonder why stars are reluctant to come out? I mean, didn't we all receive fanfare and adulation when we came out? No?!? But I bet you wish you did. I bet you wish those gays who were already out had been there to welcome you and comfort you from the slings and arrows of the religious right and those raised to believe we Gays are simply confused/making poor life choices/sick/child molesters/deviant. It takes just a second to make a choice to be gracious and kind to someone. It only takes a little longer to give a snarky remark that reduces you as a human being and reveals you for the ass you are. In this long line of entertainers who have come out recently (T.R., Lance, Sulu, Doogie...) some have done it to manage press, some to boost sales, and some because they just wanted to. Whatever the case, as long as it was them stepping out into the light and not in some foot tapping, wide-stance moment, shouldn't we be a better, safer place for the news to land than "Meh." or "Who cares." or "Bitch please." (Responses typed or tweeted immediately after the news broke.) or are we so easily able to forget how difficult it is to take that first step?
Maybe I'm making too much of it all. Maybe it isn't the biggest story of the day. Still, as a story, it is compelling in that the step he took as a Gay man, a Gay father, a human being was certainly more interesting than the ongoing and ongoing and ongoing talk of health care reform or teabaggers. His words say it best...
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.
With that I say, "Welcome. The world may not be different to the rest of us, but I hope you feel freer in it."