Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ricky Martin's coming out resonates outside the United States

My story on how Ricky Martin's coming out could prove a watershed moment for LGBT Latinos has already received nearly 11,000 hits on the EDGE network, but here's the story for those who may want to read it.

Ricky Martin's coming out could prove a "watershed moment" for LGBT Puerto Ricans
EDGE on the Net
March 30, 2010

Even though Ricky Martin’s sexual orientation was not a very well-kept secret, his decision to come out could prove to be a watershed moment for LGBT Puerto Ricans.

Pedro Julio Serrano of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s described yesterday’s announcement as "a glorious day for the Puerto Rican LGBT communities."

"He is the biggest star from Latin America and from Puerto Rico to come out; it’s a huge deal," he told EDGE. "It is a watershed moment."

Jarrett T. Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, agreed.

"His decision to model this kind of openness and honesty can lead to greater acceptance for countless gay people in the [United States,] in Latin America and worldwide," he said.

Puerto Rican newspapers and other media outlets quickly posted stories to their Web sites once Martin came out on his Web site on Monday, March 29. El Nuevo Día proclaimed "Ricky Martin confesses his homosexuality," while Primera Hora announced "Ricky Martin accepts his homosexuality." Both publications posted a series of reactions from celebrities and others around the world to the news. And Nuevo Dia interviewed Martin’s brother.

"He is my brother, if he is happy, I will also be happy," Eric Martin said.

Not everyone shared the younger Martin’s acceptance.

"Widelia" commented under a Primera Hora story people "would not be talking so much about this" if "homosexuality were normal." "Eduardo" questioned why Martin’s coming out has received so much attention, but other Primera Hora readers applauded his decision.

"Ricky Martin will be the same Ricky Martin to me, homosexual or not," "Smoochy" wrote. "This does not change the fact he is a good person and always has been. I applaud (his decision) to declare (his homosexuality) publicly, for his personal satisfaction in the moment in which he decided to do it."

Singer Alejandro Sanz, Daddy Yankee, blogger Perez Hilton, Juanes, journalist María Celeste Arrarás and other celebrities quickly praised Martin’s decision.

"One more time, Ricky Martin is an example of bravery, courage and determination," Puerto Rican singer Olga Tañón said in a statement posted on Primera Hora’s Web site.

Martin described himself as a human rights activist in an op-ed Nuevo Día published in December in response to gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado’s brutal murder. He made no mention of his own sexual orientation, but Serrano told EDGE he hopes Martin will use his celebrity to advance LGBT rights in his homeland.

"But for today, we celebrate that Ricky is one of us."

No comments: