Was It Important for Ricky Martin to Come Out?

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you heard that über-famous bon-bon shaker Ricky Martin came out as being a homosexual. Maybe you were surprised (we doubt it), maybe you were happy for him, but chances are, you had an opinion. Rumors have been swirling about Martin's sexuality for more than a decade. So, the real question is: Why do people care so much if Ricky Martin is gay?

Perhaps we allow ourselves to get caught up in the game of "Who is?" and "Who isn't?" because celebrity culture has evolved to the point where our favorite stars are constantly oversharing their personal experiences (i.e. Twitter, of which Martin is a huge user). We feel closer than ever to the celebrities we look up to, and the internet is a huge facilitator of this generic familiarity. So it was no surprise that Martin took to his website to make his announcement in a heartfelt open letter to anyone who cared enough to read it. And boy, did we care.

Some heralded the revelation as a great moment for the LGBTQ community, while others lamented the admission. Martin’s former biographer, Mexican journalist Antonio Carrizosa, told the Chilean press that by coming out, the singer "allowed everyone into his private life and his career has taken a turn and will never be the same. In Europe and the US it might remain relatively normal. But here [in Latin America], no. Here everyone will make jokes or will have a morbid curiosity to know more." But not everyone felt that Ricky Martin's moment of honesty would be bad for his career. In fact, most of his fellow celebs have been supportive.

In the end, we think what matters most is that Ricky Martin was true to himself and his reality. For a lot of people, finding out that Ricky Martin was gay was like finding out that a beloved family member was gay. No matter how you feel about his sexuality, Martin has been a wonderful example of humanitarian ideals and the power of celebrity activism. His crusade to help children as well as his work with Habitat for Humanity and his own Ricky Martin foundation has inspired thousands. Perhaps by being honest about who he was, Ricky Martin—a celebrity since he was 12-years-old in Menudo and the loving father of twin boys—has demonstrated to those who harbor close-minded notions of homosexuality that people can not and should not be judged for their sexual preference.