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Ricky Martin reflects on his decision to come out publicly as gay

In an interview with Andy Cohen, Martin, who came out in 2010, said the team representing him as a musician at the time discouraged him from coming out.
Ricky Martin on NBC's "TODAY" show on March 20, 2024.
Ricky Martin on NBC's "TODAY" show on Wednesday.Nate Congleton / TODAY

Ricky Martin said his father, a psychologist, was one of the people who encouraged him to come out publicly as gay.

“He said, ‘What are you going to teach your kids, to lie? You got to be open,’” Martin, a father of four, told Andy Cohen on SiriusXM’s “Andy Cohen Live” while promoting his new Apple TV+ series, “Palm Royale.”

“I want to help you. How can we do this?” Martin recalled his father saying. “And I’m like, ‘All right, dad, I’m working on it. Give me a second. I don’t know how. I don’t know if it’s through an interview. I don’t know if I want to write a letter and tweet it. I don’t know. Give me a break. It’ll come.’”

Martin, 52, came out publicly as gay in 2010 in a post on his website. He wrote that the birth of his first two sons, whom he welcomed in 2008 with the help of a surrogate, and writing his memoirs led him to come out following what he described as “years in silence and reflection,” The Guardian reported at the time.

He told Cohen, who is also an out gay man, that the team who represented him as a musician at the time discouraged him from coming out. 

“‘This is going to be the end of your career. Don’t. You don’t need to. Why? Shut up. You don’t need to share it. Everybody knows around you. You don’t have to tell the world. Your friends know, your family know. Why do you need to stand in front of the camera and talk about it?’” Martin recalled his representatives, whom he did not name, advising him. “They didn’t understand the importance of it. Now I see it.”

Martin — who rose to fame at just 12 years old when he joined Puerto Rican boy band Menudo — said he first came out to his mom when he was 18, and she was concerned because “people out there are really cruel,” he told Cohen, adding that it “took her a minute to accept it.” When he came out publicly more than two decades later, he said, he made sure his mom was on an airplane on her way to see him. 

Coming out on his website, Martin said, “felt amazing.” 

“I wish I could come out 20 times,” Martin said. “Of course, I started crying like a baby. You know, I pressed send and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s it?’ My assistant, who’s still my assistant, Paco, he was next to me, and I’m like, ‘I think I need a hug.’”

Martin confirmed in 2018 that he had married painter Jwan Yosef the year prior. The couple welcomed two children, Lucia Martin-Yosef and Renn Martin-Yosef, in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In July 2023, the couple announced they were ending their marriage.

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