Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Last year, I made a big deal about Ricky Martin’s coming out.
Revisiting the blog piece today, I realize I was somehow evoking the spirit of the It Gets Better Project. And while I continue extremely critical of this campaign (for many reasons, not the least are its ageist and classist narratives), I do believe the visualization of imagined possibility is important. For the young boy who, like myself in my early teen years, finds himself living in rural México, seeing a public figure with pop culture prominence spanning a few decades might help in the process of imagining and/or visualizing what being a Brown man who loves other men might look like.
Later in the year, I wrote a piece titled “How Ricky Martin is Changing the Face of Latino Fatherhood,” based on Ricky and his two sons' (Valentino and Matteo) appearance on the cover of People En Español’s father’s day issue. Given People En Español’s circulation, the image of an openly gay Latino father and his children, would be in countless Latina/o supermarkets and living rooms. Yet again, the image of Ricky’s queer Latinidad was helping us imagine a more expansive Latinidad that includes more of us.
With Ricky’s reemergence into the public light, we had the opportunity to see a queer Latino strike down racist stereotypes about inherent homophobia in our communities. Perhaps the best example was on The View when Ricky responded to Joy Behar’s suggestion that his culture kept him from coming out. In a moment that made him even more beautiful in my eyes, Ricky refuses to take the bait and simply states that people all over the world are struggling with their sexuality. (Thank you!)
This morning, Ricky's new album "Música + Alma + Sexo" hit stores and I typed faster than my queer fingers could to download it on iTunes. Refusing to shy away from the "sex" in sexuality by daring to have the word "Sexo" in the title of the album, I am excited to see where Ricky takes us as an openly queer historically sensual performer.
Watching two brown men in an affectionate embrace in the “Lo Mejor De Mi Vida Eres Tú” video, I’m pretty darn sure Ricky will continue to matter to me… and maybe a few other boys.
Source: Today, Ricky Martin matters more than ever by Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano