Ricky Martin says coming out as gay felt amazing: ‘I wish I could come out 20 times’

Ricky Martin attends the world premiere of Apple TV+'s "Palm Royale" at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on March 14, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.

Ricky Martin says his father encouraged him to reveal his sexuality publicly.Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage
  • Ricky Martin says being able to publicly acknowledge his sexuality in 2010 was an “amazing” feeling.
  • “I wish I could come out 20 times,” Martin told Andy Cohen in a SiriusXM interview.

He said his father encouraged him to be honest, even though his team was worried about his career.

 

Ricky Martin says revealing his sexuality publicly was an amazing feeling.

In an interview with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM released on Thursday, the singer opened up about his decision to come out to his fans in 2010.

“I wrote a letter, and I tweeted it,” Martin told Cohen. “I wish I could come out 20 times. It felt amazing. Of course, I started crying like a baby. You know, I pressed send, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s it?'”

Martin shared that it took some time for him to decide to come out publicly because his team thought it’d be best for his career if he kept his sexuality a secret.

“‘Don’t. This is going to be the end of your career,'” Martin said, recalling his team’s words. “‘Everybody knows around you. You don’t have to tell the world. Your friends know, your family know. Why do you need to stand in front of the camera and talk about it?'”

The “Livin’ La Vida Loca” singer added that his team “didn’t understand” the significance of him coming out.

However, his father encouraged him to speak his truth, especially after Martin welcomed twin sons with his ex-partner Jwan Yosef via surrogate.

“He said, ‘What are you going to do, teach your kids to lie? You got to be open. You got to go out. I want to help you. How can we do this?'” Martin said, recalling his father’s words.

Though his parents were both supportive, he says it took his mother some time to understand his situation when he came out to her at 18 years old.

“She was concerned because she was like, ‘Oh my God, I just don’t want you to hurt.’ And people out there are really cruel, and so it took her a minute to accept it,” he said.

The press has speculated about Martin’s sexuality for years, even before he came out.

In 2000, Barbara Walters asked him if he was gay on national television.

“You could stop these rumors,” Walters said. “You could say, ‘Yes, I am gay, or no, I’m not.'” Martin eventually answered, “Barbara, for some reason, I just don’t feel like it.”

In 2010 — the same year that Martin came out — Walters told The Toronto Star that her biggest regret was pushing him to reveal his sexuality.

“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,” Walters said. “A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now I feel it was an inappropriate question.”

Martin isn’t the only celebrity who has talked about their experience of coming out and the support they received from people around them.

In 2012, Frank Ocean posted a letter on Tumblr addressing his sexuality. That same year, he told GQ about his emotions when he uploaded the letter.

“The night I posted it, I cried like a fucking baby. It was like all the frequency just clicked to a change in my head. All the receptors were now receiving a different signal, and I was happy. I hadn’t been happy in so long. I’ve been sad again since, but it’s a totally different take on sad. There’s just some magic in truth and honesty and openness,” Ocean said.

In 2019, Andy Cohen wrote a personal essay for Oprah Daily recounting his coming out experience. He shared that he had come out to his mom after she found a letter he had written explaining his sexuality.

“After my mom found it, I came out to her—and she later wound up getting involved in an AIDS charity in St. Louis because she wanted to get involved in my community,” Cohen wrote.

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