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Ricky Martin's Lyrical Act of Courage

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After years of playing dodge ball, Ricky Martin found the courage to come out of the closet. On his official web site, Ricky Martin had a courageous conversation with his fans and ended it thus:

I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man.
I am very blessed to be who I am.

The original Spanish version was different in a subtle but important way.

Hoy ACEPTO MI HOMOSEXUALIDAD como un regalo que me da la vida.
Me siento bendecido de ser quien soy!

Translated: Today, I ACCEPT MY HOMOSEXUALITY as a gift that gives me life. I feel blessed to be who I am!

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No matter how you say it, all I can say is: Bien hecho, hermano!

I'll be the first to admit Menudo never was high on my hit parade. Ricky Martin, though, matured into quite the performer. But even while he was living la vida loca and women were all over him like he was the next coming of Julio Iglesias or Tom Jones, he was always dogged by the whispering and the rumors. With all those adoring fans and all the money, Ricky Martin could have taken the easy route and kept living la vida mentirosa, but he didn't. He put everything on the line because he knew some things are more important than money and fame. That's courage.

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"Ricky it's not important", "it's not worth it", "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse", "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature". Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage.

There's a bigger message in there for the millions of young gay and lesbian kids out there "seduced by fear and insecurity" who struggle with "the self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage" and the self-loathing that comes with the burden of living a lie and hating yourself for being so weak when all you are is scared.

There are quite a few high profile performers who are out of the closet. But a lot of them came out when it was safe for them to do it. Some never find the courage and live a lie 'til the day they die. I can't help but think that more than a little bit of Michael's madness could be traced to the unresolved struggle of the "man in the mirror" afraid to step out into the light of day and be himself. Every time I hear I'll Be There I wonder... who was there for you, Michael?

I think it especially touching that Ricky Martin, a man who has given so much to children around the world found the courage he needed looking into the eyes of his own children. To those who might wonder if this decision filled him with fear, this was his answer:

It fills me with strength and courage. This is just what I need especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day. To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where born with. Enough is enough. This has to change.

The beauty of this declaration is that because of the way he comported himself, no one will be able to turn this act of courage into a caricature.This is just one of the many good works Ricky Martin engages in on a daily and constant basis, but what he did today is positively lyrical. Because of the depth of his integrity, and the breadth of his global impact, Ricky Martin's act of courage will make it easier for others to find the courage to make their way into the light and realize they, too, are blessed. That's a beautiful thing.

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For starters, I am not the Henry Porter who writes for the Observer in Britain. I'm a native New Yorker living in Maryland. I used to believe knowledge was power. Now I know knowledge translated into action is power.

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