Ricky Martin: My mother helped me come out
Ricky Martin says his mother “opened the door” for him to come out.
The Puerto Rican star said his mother reacted positively at first but then became concerned that his career would be over.
Speaking to Attitude magazine, he said: “The relationship I have with my mother is amazing but it has grown stronger and stronger.
“The day my mother asked me if I was gay, she asked me if I was in love with a man or a woman. Oh God. For this woman to make it easier for me… this is really cool.
“But she struggled with it. She went there. She opened that door. That’s a mother’s love. Then she hurt. She said: ‘I love you, my son, I’m so happy for you. Bring it on. I’m right behind you.’
“And then, suddenly, I think she thought ‘Oh my god, it’s Kiki [his family nickname]. It’s his career.’ I’m sure every mother reacts to this in different ways.”
He said he doubted whether his parents had met an out gay person before and criticised the portrayal of gay people in the media when he was younger.
“TV would present this very one-dimensional character of a gay man that was so far away from my reality,” he said. “A lot of men and women are struggling because this is what they are given and they think: ‘But this is not me’.”
Martin said that his ambition to be a father was one of the reasons he told himself he couldn’t be open about his sexuality.
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But shortly after he came out earlier this year, he said he had to do it to show his twin toddler sons Matteo and Valentine a good example.
“I really wanted to be a father,” he said. “It was so fundamental. So maybe I didn’t come out earlier because that was one of the thousand and one reasons not to. I always saw myself as a father.”
At the age of 35, he began researching his options. “I Googled parenting and then Googled single parenting, and that took me to adoption and then surrogacy, and that’s when I really started searching within this fascinating world. Then it happened. From the moment I Googled surrogacy to the moment I held my children in my arms was exactly 12 months.”
The star added: “If I had known the reaction to [coming out], I would have done it years ago.”
It was raw, he says. “A lot of people say to me: Ricky, were you lying all these years?’. I don’t think I was lying. I was manipulating information.”
Attitude is out now.