Ricky Martin opens up about coming out of the closet and drawing a parallel between his real and reel life
"Well, you know, for many years I lived in the closet, and you will never know how easy it is to be out of the closet until you actually decide to come out of the closet. If I knew how easy everything was going to be afterward, I would have done it way before. So, I went to that moment and I went to the relationship, where I held my partners pretty much prisoners of my closet, so as an actor it was very easy for me to get somewhere emotionally. And I felt a joy, and I felt the love come from my partner. Honestly, I went to my real life where I was hiding them, and then the other side of the coin, my partner is exposing our truth, our reality, and it felt amazing and I cried. But it was joyful, and when I held Edgar — Gianni’s — hand, I wanted to kiss him, and we did. He was nervous. It’s one of the most beautiful scenes, I think.”, Ricky Martin says about his coming-out scene.
Drawing parallels between him and Gianni Versace, he espouses, “Yes. Everybody, people that I love, people that were really close to me told me, “You come out, this will be the end of your career.” You know, “Girls won’t buy your albums, they won’t buy your T-shirts, they won’t buy your concert tickets,” and that kept me from coming out many years. Because you work so hard to get to a place in the entertainment business and then they tell you if you talk about your nature everything’s gonna collapse. So you say, “Okay, no. Okay, let’s just not talk about it then.” But then there’s this emptiness; it doesn’t matter what you created. Living with this emptiness, it’s not how I want to live. And then one day you find the strength, you don’t know from where, and you just do it for yourself, you do it for your kids, and then with social media you realize the power and how important it is for us in the LGBTQ community to normalize families like mine, and then it wouldn’t be an issue. I mean, Harvey Milk said it many years ago, “Guys, you need to come out, ’cause then it’s normal. Yeah, you know, back then, Donatella or someone would say, “the board of directors advises not to…” and to me, it was “the record company advises not to,” which was b.s. Doesn’t matter. What’s important is what you need to do to become a better person, and with this — I go back to this scene — and how important it was to present this moment where you see this amazing fashion icon, a monster, strong, being vulnerable and afraid of sharing something as beautiful as your nature. You know, that scene where he holds me in the hallway before he walks into the room, that he gives me a kiss? He was trembling. And we all go through it at a certain point.”
Talking about his partner at the time, “I had my girlfriend, who was a woman that I dated on and off for nine years, and she’s like the Gala for Dalí. Dalí had Gala. And I had this woman who was amazing. Unfortunately, we don’t talk anymore, but she was amazing, and she was powerful and she knew about me. She knew I was gay, but we were together. She knew. She knew and we were together. It was one of those things, but we broke up around ’97, ’98, and then I just worked. I worked so hard. I dated, but nothing as serious, as formal as Antonio and Gianni.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story will premiere in India on Star World on April 16th