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Does 'coming out' affect careers?

09:04 UK time, Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin has announced he is gay, ending years of speculation over his sexuality.

Martin, who had always dodged questions about his sexual orientation, said that he had kept his homosexuality hidden so far because advisers had told him coming out could hurt his career.

The singer, who has sold more than 60 million albums in a career spanning three decades, made the announcement through a post on his website.

Can sexual orientation affect a career? Have you ever pretended to be homosexual or heterosexual? Is it relevant for a celebrity to announce they are gay? How does it affect the perceptions of homosexuality?

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Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    Today, being gay is no big deal. It is legal and accepted (except by some churches).

    All this "coming out" business is getting sooo boring....

  • Comment number 2.

    He's obviously hoping it'll affect his career by getting him in the news again. Until today it's been "Ricky who?" for a long time.

    Publicity stunt, pure & simple.

  • Comment number 3.

    Like we hadn't already guessed. Who cares anyway.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sexual orientation can affect a career, but only when you come out, of course. It shouldn't be the case, but it is. There are far too many bigots around, who have this strange notion of a "naughty" "gay lifestyle".

    The fact is, most gays are boring as heck, with a house, a job, and a bunch of pets (or kids). The few that lead the so-called "gay lifestyle" are no different from heterosexuals who like to go out, get drunk, and sleep around.

  • Comment number 5.

    I think the relevance of such an announcement will vary depending on where the fans are from. I like to think that in Britain very few people would bat an eyelid about this, but I know that the same cannot be said for other places.

  • Comment number 6.

    Those of us, from gay rights campaigners to complete bigots,who still care about a persons sexuality still make too big a deal of it.

    The rest of us, maybe even the majority, could'nt give a fig what others get up to.

  • Comment number 7.

    The simple fact is that it will be different on a country by country basis, depending on the level of sophistication of that country. In Europe for example, it just won't be an issue, whereas sales in some countries in the middle east might very well be affected. Just a fact of life, I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 8.

    What a ridiculous HYS. Bad enough you printed such a non-story in the first place.....now you want us to discuss the non-story?

  • Comment number 9.

    Why do people think that a lot of us care what someones sexual orientation is. Its like an announcement that no-one really gives too much of a fig about. His music was boring before the annoucement imho and will probably continue to be middle of the road durge now this oh so major announcement has been made.

    Oh just for the record Im hetrosexual, wow, thats interesting, but you really didn't need to know that did you?

  • Comment number 10.

    Unless someone actually works in the sex industry, their sexual orientation is utterly irrelevant in their line of work. Sex is something carried out privately (hopefully!), and is something we spend a fraction of our time doing (let's be honest!). Yet it occupies a disproportionate amount of everyone's attention. Or rather, it's forced on us by certain sections of the media who lack the intelligence to focus on any other aspect of anyone's lives. I wonder what would happen the red tops if everyone just grew up, accepted sex is a normal part of life, and stopped sniggering or trying to work it into stories where it isn't appropriate or relevant. Ricky Martin probably spends more time sleeping than having sex, and I'm sure the media won't be 'revealing' whether he sleeps on his back or on his side. The only people who need to know about Ricky Martin's sexuality are Ricky Martin and anyone he chooses to have sex with. No-one else needs to know or care.

    Still, I expect he's being just as cycnical about this as anyone in the press. Now his best days are behind him and the girls have stopped fancying him anyway he'll have realised he can make more money on the gay club circuits.

  • Comment number 11.

    Why did he feel the need to make such an announcement, especially after so many years? It's hardly the business of anyone else. Does it really make such a difference nowadays?

  • Comment number 12.

    An individual's sexuality is none of my business.

    It only becomes relevant if I fancy that individual (am I the right gender to have a chance?) or if he fancies me and I then have to decide if I am interested or not.

    However I resent the assumption that I might be interested in the fellow's private life. It is called a PRIVATE life for a reason. Mr Martin's sexuality is no more my business than mine is his.

  • Comment number 13.

    Yes, coming out can totally have an impact on your career. This impact can be either positive or negative, however in the majority of cases I would imagine it is negative, due to an ingrained homophobia/ignorance of gay people in society.

    The only way to combat this ingrained homophobia is for gay people to come out, be confident and be themselves. Like the tragedy of the commons, individual gay people staying in the closet are protecting and benefiting themselves, however if they were to come out it would add to the greater societal acceptance and recognition of gay people as a whole, and eventually benefit them. I am out in work (work in a construction company), and, if anything, it has had a positive affect on my career; although it may have an adverse affect in the future, if I am hit with a homophobic manager. Many people don't know I am gay, as I don't go around saying 'Hi, how are you? I am gay by the way'.

    I think gay people should try to be themselves and come out, when they can.

    I bet Ricky's record sales increase.

  • Comment number 14.

    Is the act of coming out saying it does matter or it doesn't matter? And doesn't the answer to that question also provide the solution?

  • Comment number 15.

    Like you can't tell anyway. Excellent PR to bosst a flagging career.

  • Comment number 16.

    I was under the impression that everyone already knew Ricky Martin was gay, who is he trying to kid?

  • Comment number 17.

    Ricky Martin hasn't had a record out for a few years, to my knowledge.

    An adults sexuality is of no concern to me whatsoever as that is a personal matter.

    Why are people so concerned about labelling someone as gay, yet the same label is not applied to questioning if a person is straight.

    How many people who describe themselves as being straight can swear on the Bible that they have never had thoughts or had same sex action?

  • Comment number 18.

    We knew that all along, since his Menudo days and allegations that the boys in the band had suffered sexual abuse circulated in the news... I hope he feels free and proud now. But it's not a big 'revelation'...

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Doesnt that depend on weather your wanting to be employed by a true catholic following the popes rules (which is the religion of catholics). Most people dont care but it seems the more religious people are more likely to have a problem with it than anyone else

  • Comment number 21.

    depends on if someone was in total denial prior to finally admitting their sexuality, being honest would prob have no effect , in fact it could have a positive one

  • Comment number 22.

    9. At 10:15am on 30 Mar 2010, Shaun Isaac wrote:

    Why do people think that a lot of us care what someones sexual orientation is. Its like an announcement that no-one really gives too much of a fig about. His music was boring before the annoucement imho and will probably continue to be middle of the road durge now this oh so major announcement has been made.

    Oh just for the record Im hetrosexual, wow, thats interesting, but you really didn't need to know that did you?

    -------------------------------

    If you wanted to adopt it might be. If this is just a way for him to get into the headlines then he will be shocked (we already knew). If he is going to use this for something constructive like highlighting the bigotry from the highly religious then it will be nice to see something good come from this.

  • Comment number 23.

    I really don't have any interest in anyone else's sex life.

    As long as they're not breaking the law they can do whatever they like as far as I'm concerned.

  • Comment number 24.

    Nobody cares, any more.

    It's no big deal.

    The only time it becomes a big deal is when people are either discriminated against or shown special preference because of their sexuality.

  • Comment number 25.

    Well since every one else is at it I may as well 'come out' I am heterosexual, I know it's none or your business or not your concern but I thought I would tell the world...

    Really is it needed, if people want to be treated equal then why make an issue out of coming out, why do people separate themselves from the rest of society, who cares if you are gay, get over yourself, it's not a disease we dont need to be aware of ones 'gayness' for medical reasons its not contagious. This whole coming out rubbish, in my opinion, is more damaging to homosexuality than beneficial.

  • Comment number 26.

    I guess he'll have to cancel that Ugandan cathedral tour now...

  • Comment number 27.

    I've a small mole on the big toe of my left foot. I couldn't hide this from the world any longer and feel complete now that I have come out with this news.

    Ricky, really love, we don't care. You are still living in the 1950's, move on. And Ricky, if YOU find a mole on your big toe please don't think you need to tell us about it.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    How ridiculous! For starters, it never even occurred to me that Ricky Martin might not be gay - it's extremely obvious that he is. Secondly, this is a pathetic attempt by him to get publicity to sell more copies of his autobiography. He says he realised blagh blagh blagh while he was writing his book - how very convenient!

  • Comment number 30.

    Agree with 8 , it is a non story , and who really gives a hoot someone being gay isn`t outrageous as it used to be , it all seems like a "look at me" and why should we care about his sexuality !!! thats his business .

  • Comment number 31.

    Sad news indeed, why is a person's sexuality of public interest. Sex should really be a private matter between a man and his wife. Reporting what people get up to in the bedroom really is not in the public interest except perhaps in really exceptional cases where politicians and senior business people might be abusing their position or compromising themselves.

    It is positive to see that he decided not 'come out' earlier in his career when his decision to be a homosexual might have been an influence over his army of younger fans. We know that during adolescence sexuality is poorly defined so he was right to keep the matter private to avoid the possibility of being an influence. Well done for having the courage to remain silent until now and of course congratulations on becoming a Dad.

  • Comment number 32.

    I notice he kept it quiet until he had made his millions...

    So, he certainly thought it would...

  • Comment number 33.

    Ugh

  • Comment number 34.

    tell me something i didn't know... some people will do anything to make a comeback!!

  • Comment number 35.

    I've decided to come out from my undeclared sexuality and wish the world to know that I am, in fact, heterosexual. Does anybody care? Thought not!

  • Comment number 36.

    Frankly I couldn't care less about anyone's sexual orientation. 'Famous' or otherwise. Those who make such a big deal about it should probably get more comfortable with it themselves first.

  • Comment number 37.

    I am glad that he finally has done so. We sort of knew it all, but it is another thing when he himself has announced that he is gay out and proud. To be honest, I wouldn't care much if it were another superstar, say Justing Timberlake, and I've never been a big fan of Ricky Martin's music, but realization of my own homosexuality began when I bought a magazine with Ricky Martin on the cover when I was 14, although I had never bought such types of magazines before...

  • Comment number 38.

    Maybe now teenage girls will realise the folly of playing along with the likes of Martin, George Michael and Elton John when they release songs about women

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    Who cares? Not me. Sexual orientation is an irrelevance, although perhaps the Pope will now scrub Ricky off his ipod.

  • Comment number 41.

    I have nothing against homosexuals of either gender. What annoys me is the missuse of the word GAY. Also the wearing of some form of badge?dress advertising to the world ''I'm Gay.

  • Comment number 42.

    It's not news, and it doesn't matter.

  • Comment number 43.

    Not interested in people's sexual leanings.

    Far too trivial.

  • Comment number 44.

    I suppose it is one way for a failing "star?" to get back into the headlines.
    But really, who cares?

  • Comment number 45.

    Once upon a time being gay would have affected someones' career but not these days. In fact, being gay is more likely to MAKE your career!!

    The Pet Shop Boys have been around for over two decades and it hasn't done them any harm has it? Like Gareth, #15, already said, this announcment has been perfectly timed to shore up a flagging career.

  • Comment number 46.

    Many of the posters here are correct, this should be a non story but we still do not live in a society where your sexuality means nothing. From the bigot in Rome to the thugs that beat a 62 year old man to death in Trafalgar square for simply showing his civil partner affection, to the Ugandan "Christian" bigots who want to pass a law making being gay a hanging offence it is plain that we have a way to go and even in this privileged society of the UK there is an upsurge of homophobic attacks. So any celebrity or sportsman, career on the wane or not, that comes out is welcome and must continue. When the BBC start showing shows like Beautiful People on BBC 1 without a murmur from anyone then coming out will be a non story and hurrah for that.

  • Comment number 47.

    I find some of the cynicism and vitriole on this page astonishing. I'm not a great one for labels, but I do identify as gay/lesbian, as I believe we still need these terms to ensure a voice. When we live in a society where sexuality is fluid and people are no longer fearful of difference and gay people do not get abused and sometimes even murdered in some countries perhaps we can get rid of the terms and stop 'going on about it'. But we are not at that point yet.

    Ricky Martin is a perfect example of where the western film and music industry ensures a culture whereby artists and performers are stifled from coming out because it will 'harm their career' and people won't be able to identify with them. For goodness sake. Do we not have minds of our own? That's nothing but money and fear talking.

    This stifling of gay artists was going on in the 30s and still is - it's mind boggling. The fabric of such a culture is built on prejudice and until enough people have the courage to knock that down it will merrily just carry on.

    Ok, so we all knew RM was gay - but that's not the point - now he's come out and said it himself he's put 2 fingers up to an industry that has suppressed him for years. I urge anyone that says this is a stunt to get his career back to talk to people who have felt unable to truly express who they are and what this feels like.

    Well bloomin done Ricky Martin - brave move and may many many others follow in your footsteps. Personally I hope the bloke’s really happy.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    2. At 09:50am on 30 Mar 2010, StuR wrote:

    He's obviously hoping it'll affect his career by getting him in the news again. Until today it's been "Ricky who?" for a long time.

    Publicity stunt, pure & simple.
    ================================

    100% True.

  • Comment number 50.

    No it doesn't change anything. His music still sucks. Nobody cares, get over it.

  • Comment number 51.

    You are what you are.

    What I do object to is those who make it their business to 'out' others. One's personal life should be just that - private and personal.
    Wearing you sexuality on your sleeve is another matter and if you flaunt your sexual preference in public you can hardly blame the media for their comments.
    I sometimes wonder if you have to be gay to get on in the music/entertainment industry. Or is it that homosexuals are drawn to these career choices.

  • Comment number 52.

    Now that news really is a crime - what a terrible waste of a good man!

  • Comment number 53.

    Can sexual orientation affect a career?
    In some careers like fashion designing, many hetrosexuals pretend as homosexuals.
    Is it relevant for a celebrity to announce they are gay?
    Not at all, until an unless they want to be back in news.
    How does it affect the perceptions of homosexuality?
    In America, it wont affect at all.

  • Comment number 54.

    I don't get all this coming out shenanigans, I mean if you're gay you're gay or you're straight you're straight, what does it matter what the world knows/thinks about you as long as you're comfortable with the idea.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    While the media in this country still think a 'progressive attitude' to sexuality consists of giving chat show jobs to dated 'camp' comedians like Graham Norton and Alan Carr, people whose lives give the lie to that stereotype, sadly, have to 'out' themselves before some cheap tabloid turns the story into a scandal.

  • Comment number 57.

    This is hardly news worthy. A considerable number of people globally are gay and his initial refusal to be honest with people is dispicable as this was purely based on concerns for financial gain.

    It is important that we have worthy role models for young people and I do not see that dishonesty is a trait worth emulating. A far more news worthy item would be the ongiong struggle homosexuals still face in countries around the world when trying to get basic recognition of human rights.

  • Comment number 58.

    All of us doing a sin in one way or the other being on every step we take, we are killing millions of living bacteria under our footsteps for no fault of them but for our desire to walk around where too God prevails. Therefore none is perfect other than God. With our mind and heart squeeze to nothing through drawing of an automatic dis-attraction or fear towards the opposite sex, such behavior on the part of any is understandable so far the ailment is not allowed to spread to others and the action is allowed remaining within a limit. We all are bounded by limits unless and until one breaks the barrier through use or interaction of intense Love between each other of either sex or between living or nonliving or through any other means since Love has no definition to define but is always blind.

    To engage in a sex is a call of the Nature to capture one to interact with, for an infinite period of time which is born out of intense love of Nature towards us but doing so with the intention or ethic absent, but only for the sole purpose of deriving of a very temporary pleasure is possibly wrong nonetheless unavoidable with our deterioration of value which bound to happen over time but renouncing it later surely shall undo the act to a large extent though providing of the said example as an input to others to refrain from doing such acts. We should possibly learn to hate the sin not the sinner as such circumstances bound to change over time with our refinement or enhancement of our values as a human beings. Hence let us all absorb it than taking it otherwise.

    This is therefore a self confession made to the God defeating the desire to work otherwise.


    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA, PhD)

  • Comment number 59.

    Re comment 17. How many people who describe themselves as being straight can swear on the Bible that they have never had thoughts or had same sex action?

    Um, quite a lot actually, in fact the vast majority of straight people I would imagine! I am a girl, and while being bi-curious might be trendy these days, it does not appeal to me even a tiny bit and actually the thought makes me feel quite sick. Each to their own, there's nothing wrong with being gay or bisexual, but most straight people are just that.

  • Comment number 60.

    "Ricky who cares'? What you do behind closed doors' is your private life ? gay is so main -stream today, who is intrested??????

  • Comment number 61.

    I say 'Go On Son!!' Not only has he just lifted a huge wait off of his shoulders and told the world who he really is, he is also going to be a father - this needs to be congratulated! Whislt it may seem a little suspect that he is announcing this now, maybe this will encourage some of our younger generation to 'come out' instead of keeping their true selves a secret like he did for so long.

  • Comment number 62.

    Homophobia is still rife amongst many and for many ordinary homosexuals, exposure is still a very frightening prospect. Loss of friends, family, social position and career, not to mention physical assault, are not uncommon. It shouldn't matter, but as long as organisations like religious bodies are allowed to treat and institutionalise homosexuals as second class citizens, 'coming out' will remain a dangerous event for many.

  • Comment number 63.

    has he a new cd coming out as well...just a thought...

  • Comment number 64.

    Davy G wrote:
    I have nothing against homosexuals of either gender. What annoys me is the missuse of the word GAY.


    From the Oxford Dictionary:

    gay

    • adjective (gayer, gayest) 1 (especially of a man) homosexual. 2 relating to homosexuals. 3 dated light-hearted and carefree. 4 dated brightly coloured; showy.

    • noun a homosexual person, especially a man.

    — DERIVATIVES gayness noun.

    — USAGE Gay is now a standard term for ‘homosexual’, and is the term preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. As a result, it is now very difficult to use gay in its earlier meanings ‘carefree’ or ‘bright and showy’ without arousing a sense of double entendre. Gay in its modern sense typically refers to men, lesbian being the standard term for homosexual women.

    — ORIGIN Old French gai.



    So Davy, the most common meaning of the word gay is a homosexual man therefore no-one is misusing the word gay.

  • Comment number 65.

    What kind of sex Ricky Martin has is really important to my life. Top news story, BBC!

  • Comment number 66.

    Well, the sexual orientation seems to me not important at all. But the WAY he writes about it, making it such a BIG day and decision (especially if it's really evident and not interesting) is just... disapointing and boring, to say the least.

  • Comment number 67.


    It makes little difference, but changes the balance of fans.
    Lose female fans, but gain a bigger male gay following.

  • Comment number 68.

    Depends on what your career entitles, of course. If you have launched an image of heartthrob and you make your money selling albums to besotted teenage girls ...well, I think coming out as an homosexual might change that.
    I think people are in denial that sexual orientation still influences public opinions. We like to think that we don't care about these things and we are all liberals but the fact is that sexual orientation still can be a problem in some areas. Just consider homosexual actors who will never play a leading man or an action man role or an openly homosexual referee who will never be taken seriously by some fans…

  • Comment number 69.

    I'd have been a heck of a lot more surprised if he had said he was straight!

    If people won't buy his records because of this, that just shows that they are not really interested in his music.

  • Comment number 70.

    Infowars wrote:
    I don't get all this coming out shenanigans, I mean if you're gay you're gay or you're straight you're straight, what does it matter what the world knows/thinks about you as long as you're comfortable with the idea.


    A read of this may go some way in explaining this for you:

    New survey says most gay people suffer "hate crime"

    Most lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have been verbally abused and a third physically attacked, according to a new survey.

    The statistics from Stonewall Scotland suggested most people did not report the incidents to the police.

    A quarter of those surveyed said they viewed verbal abuse as part of life as a gay or transgender person.


    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8580960.stm


    There's some interesting statistics here:
    Gay Youth Statistics
    http://wwwf.countryday.net/FacStf/us/floydd/Gay%20Youth%20Statistics.htm


    As well as this:
    2007 Hate Crime Survey - Companion Survey on Homophobia - Statistics on Violence Based on Sexual Orientation

    London show a fairly steady level of crime motivated by sexual orientation over the past several years, with 1,245 homophobic crimes in 2003/2004, 1,346 in 2004/2005, and 1,294 in 2005/2006.[26] However, these figures likely represent only the tip of the iceberg as police themselves estimate that some 90 percent of homophobic hate crimes go unreported.


    Source: http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/discrimination/hate-crime/homophobia/stat-vio.asp


    Coming out isn't easy when you live in a society that still views homophobia as being an acceptable form of discrimination, we may have lots of legislation protecting homosexuals from discrimination but there is still a massive problem in this country with abuse and violence directed towards gays and lesbians.

  • Comment number 71.

    Tedious news announcement of the week, possibly only of interest to hate filled religious groups who will stop buying his recordings. Fortunately in the West its getting to be about as important as announcing that you are not vegetarian. Maybe Puerto Rico is run by hate filled religious groups in which case brave fellow and well done.

  • Comment number 72.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 73.

    For goodness sake, a person's sexuality is nobody's business but his or her own. This is the 21st century - why does the media still feel the need to make such a big deal about a it? I really could not care whether a celebrity, or anyones else for that matter, is gay, straight, catholic, atheist or votes for the BNP.

    And, no, the fact that Ricky Martin has felt the need to "come out" should not make any difference to his career. He is still the same person as he was before he made the revelation.

    Now, can we discuss more important issues, please?

  • Comment number 74.

    "This is hardly news worthy. A considerable number of people globally are gay and his initial refusal to be honest with people is dispicable as this was purely based on concerns for financial gain."

    I agree. It's painted as some sort of suppression of identity that he couldn't come out, when in fact it was nothing more than a financial transaction.

    Simple equation: gay popstar + 'straight image' + screaming girl fans = big money.

    It's no different to John Lennon having to hide the fact he was married when the Beatles first became big.

    I'm sure there are a lot of gay people who are still subject to taunts, violence etc. but Ricky Martin lives in an entirely different, wrapped-in-cotton-wool world, so don't get too caught up in the 'bravery' of his actions.

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 76.

    I must also agree with matt (post 8). With all the other stuff going on in the world
    just now, this is the best you can come up with for HYS? Nobody cares if someone
    is gay, and Mr. Martin's 15 minutes was up some years ago. How about HYS about
    a real news story next time???

  • Comment number 77.

    Can you imagine having a sexual orientation that is not the sexual orientation of the majority & finding yourself in the position of having to evade questions, deny a part of yourself, or maybe - sacrifice away your career?
    When are we going to learn that sexual orientation is not a choice?
    Did you choose your sexuality, or even if you would be a boy or a girl?
    It's relevant and important that all persons blossom fully into all that God made them to be.
    If we are all created in God’s image, doesn’t this apply to bisexuals, transgenders, homosexuals, heterosexuals, and all other sexuals...or are the deniers among us really saying that God made a mistake?

  • Comment number 78.

    so its 'he bangs' not 'she bangs' :)

  • Comment number 79.

    Who really cares. He comes out now when his career is sagging. Now he wants to get it upright again and we are supposed to believe him. Does he think we are suckers? He has let down all his fans-mainly women, who will now not bother to buy his records. And the guys will think he has been deceitful. Enough with all these announcements-it really hurt when Lindsay Lohan came out!

  • Comment number 80.

    a) I accept that coming out is a big thing for someone who's gay, but my gaydar already had him pegged years ago. Sorry Ricky, but it was obvious!
    b) Will it affect his career? Can only do him good since we haven't heard from him in years and now all of a sudden a story about him is one of the most read on the BBC. Well done, Ricky's PR people! Does he have a new CD about to be released?
    c) Why is coming out still such a big deal. Sure, Latin America and the U.S. are still under the thumb of various conservative churches, but how many red neck American fans did he actually have? In the enlightened world nobody under the age of 50 bats an eyelid to someone being gay these days and I doubt he had many fans outside of that group... Being straight or gay has nothing to do with your ability to do a job, sing a song or act, so let's stop making a big deal out of it!

  • Comment number 81.

    There are a lot of comments on here that seem to say that Ricky's coming out is not newsworthy. Absolute nonsense. We may well be in the 21st Century, but I guarantee there will be a huge number of gay teenagers today who are so grateful for this story as it will give them one more bit of strength to admit to themselves who they are and come out when they are ready. Those in the public eye who do publically come out do such a tremendous amount to inspire and encourage a great many people.
    And as for those who are of the opinion that what he gets up to "behind closed doors" is no one's business but his own, you're absolutely right. But you are rather spectacularly missing the point that being gay is not confined to the bedroom. It is about sharing your life with someone, holding their hand when you're feeling affectionate, declaring your love for someone, and all those other things that most couples take for granted. And more importantly it is about being proud of who you are.
    Well done Ricky. It may have taken you a long time to get there, but you really will have inspired a lot of people today.

  • Comment number 82.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I'm gay too, who cares? Boring.

  • Comment number 83.

    I suppose it depends what career you have....... I'm sure Mr.Martin has always been a gay icon, as well as a teenage idol. Now he can enjoy the best of both worlds! Although, now I don't see him getting a lot of gigs in Dubai anymore....

  • Comment number 84.

    coming out did not kill freddie mercury or elton john's carreer so ricky martin will be ok.

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    I'm a Christian, and I have no problem with RM being gay or anything else. I don't think homosexuality is right, but then there's loads of stuff that is sinful and we all sin, every day - lying, being jealous, denouncing/rejecting God, discriminating on various grounds (e.g see post 75 and the way they speak of religion/faith - very respectful) are some examples. To God, sin is sin, there aren't different levels of 'naughtiness'.
    Having said all that, we are all also people and should love and respect one another's views. I have mates who are gay, and I respect them for the lifestyle choices they choose to make just as I accept other straight friends lifestyle choices. In the same way, they should accept that I am a Christian and therefore have certain beliefs. That doesn't mean that we don't enjoy one another's company and care deeply for each other.
    This is a non-story. I'm sorry RM has felt he's needed to keep it hidden for so long - to be honest, I think it was pretty obvious to everyone anyway.

  • Comment number 87.

    Maybe this is about career promotion, a new album due out perhaps? It will have no effect on whether I buy his music or not. That depends on the track itself, not the singers sexuality.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    one is intitled to one's opinions but i'd have thought we are way past that ugly era of homophobic tendancys. also i would have thoght we no longer played the horrid skin games but alas,reading the ? posted and the answers given it does not appear so.sadly parts of society still suffers from soar knuckle syndrome.one day i hope to see the evolution of the mind in all of us but i doubt it.

  • Comment number 90.

    Who cares?
    What is it about celebrity gays that makes them feel they have to flaunt their sexuality?

  • Comment number 91.

    So What !
    Stephen Fry, Derek Jacobi, Oscar Wilde, are all gay. As I said "So what"

  • Comment number 92.

    "Does 'coming out' affect careers?"

    It depends on the career. If your business caters to an anti-gay religious or social conservative audience and it isn't accompanied by the phrase "and I'm committed to a life of celibacy" then yes, it could hurt your career.

    In the United States, this would be religious leaders in conservative denominations, almost any politician or political appointee in the Republican Party, anyone involved in the Boy Scouts, anyone in the military (although this is changing), and even entertainers and sports players whose audience is primarily conservative.

  • Comment number 93.

    Can't say it's a surprise, it's long been believed that his refusal to deny or confirm speculation he was gay was an indirect admission.

    Good for him to finally have the courage to come out, let's hope he goes on to have even greater success than he has before as an affirmation of his decision and the valour he's shown. Let us also hope that he will be a role model to others questioning whether to tell family and friends of their secret lives.

    Happiness comes from knowing who you are and living the life you deserve.

  • Comment number 94.

    "Coming out isn't easy when you live in a society that still views homophobia as being an acceptable form of discrimination, we may have lots of legislation protecting homosexuals from discrimination but there is still a massive problem in this country with abuse and violence directed towards gays and lesbians."

    So don't tell people, I don't walk down the street feeling compelled to advise everyone what my sexuality is. If you don't want it to be a big issue, stop making out it is a big secret that has to 'come out'.

    I'm sure the news coverage will help Ricky Martin's career, having made millions with his hetro' lurve songs he can now attempt to re-brand hmself. Good luck Ricky.

  • Comment number 95.

    Is this such a big deal to us anymore?
    British TV and radio is peppered with Gay Men.
    Alan Carr, Paul O'Grady, Graham Norton, Dale Winton et al.

    No surprise that Ricky comes out just in time for the release of his book.
    Cynical? Me? Surely not.

  • Comment number 96.

    Actually, unless his sexuality is illegal or immoral, who cares? For instance, I liked some of the music made by George Michael, Elton John, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Soft Cell, Freddie Mercury, etc. but I am really not interested in their sexuality or sexual orientation, I am just interested in whether or not they do good music.

  • Comment number 97.

    20. At 10:34am on 30 Mar 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    "Doesnt that depend on weather your wanting to be employed by a true catholic following the popes rules (which is the religion of catholics).."
    That is a very racist stereotype, nicely perpetuated by the beeb. I am a Catholic, and do not have a problem with homosexuality at all - none of my family do, nor my friends and there are no more Catholic bigots on this issue than with any other religion.
    Even following the "popes rules", as you put it, Catholics would have no problems with the LGBT community. The "true catholics", as you put it, would only take umbridge with the sexual relationship side of it - and that's a small minority of Catholics - not with the person at all!
    I bet if you replaced the word "Catholic" with "Muslim" it would not have gotten past the moderators!
    Regarding Ricky's decision, ultimately, it is the right choice for him. How does is affect me? Well, I made a bet in 1999, someone owes me a tenner ;o)

  • Comment number 98.

    82. At 12:46pm on 30 Mar 2010, Ben wrote:

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I'm gay too, who cares? Boring.



    what a ridiculous attitude to take. Having been in the position that I felt I would not only loose my job, but potentially be beaten to a pulp by my work mates if my sexuality became known I have every sympathy for his decision NOT to tell people before now, and admire his courage for finally being able to come out.

    I appreciate it isn't "news" since most gay people already assumed he was gay, but seriously the "news" is that he's "come out" at all. That has to be commended, not condemned otherwise you give ammunition to the homophobes.

  • Comment number 99.

    The ability to come out is also largely dependent upon your generation. I am a lesbian in her early 70's, from Canada, and do not hide who I am. However, I do not advertise it. I have received some vicious words in the past 10 years.
    No, it should not influence anyone's path in life, but it does. Younger people usually don't care, unless they are religious fundamentalists. It is hard to influence the acceptance of the older generation including family. But even this is dependent upon how rigid one's thinking is. Perhaps in another 50 years people will realize it is what is in the heart is what is important, and not who one loves.

  • Comment number 100.

    Personally I think that a person's sexuality is a private matter, and I don't particular care or want to know. The only thing I care about is how you treat those around you and what good you are doing for the world.

    However, it amuses me that there are many comments saying that by coming out he is showing the world how proud he is of being gay. If I told the world how proud I was of being straight I would be labelled homophobic. Please can somebody explain to me why this is right.

    A person should be judged on how they behave, not their sexuality. This rule has to work both ways, or we are all guilty of prejudice.

 

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