Grammy-winning singer Ricky Martin is out and proud as a gay man but the road to accepting himself and embracing his sexuality was long and filled with anger and shame. The New York Post reports on August 27 that the star has admitted to bullying gay people when he was younger.
In a sit-down interview with GQ Australia, Martin revealed struggling with his own sexuality. He says he acted out against his own impulses and out of shame he bullied those he knew was gay because he feared his own sexuality.
“I was very angry, very rebellious. I used to look at gay men and think, I’m not like that, I don’t want to be like that, that’s not me. I was ashamed.”
Martin’s internal conflict is not uncommon, especially growing up in a society where homosexuality was looked at as wrong. He had to deal with pressure from society and was also conflicted because of the teachings of his religion. Growing up Roman Catholic, homosexuality was something that was definitely not embraced.
“When you’re told you’re wrong by everyone, from society, from your faith - my self-esteem was crushed. I took my anger out on those around me.”
Ricky Martin finally decided to come out in 2010. It was more because of the reflection he saw in his own eyes and the mental fatigue of hiding his sexuality and the self-hatred he explored for so many years. He realized that he grew up hating gay people because he hated himself.
Now, after coming out and finding the love with within, Ricky Martin is the father of twin boys and in a committed relationship with stock broker Carlos Gonzalez Abella. More importantly, he has became a role model as he has embraced his sexuality as an important part of who he is and is helping others in similar situations walk away from the fear and love themselves.