Ricky Martin is not playing around with homophobic commenters.
The king of Latin Pop has been living his best life with his husband, Syrian-born Swedish painter Jwan Ysof, and their children — twins Matteo and Valentino, 12,; daughter Lucía, 2; and son Renn, 1.
Since coming out publicly in 2010, saying on his website that he is “blessed to be who I am,” the singer has continued to be a lighthouse for LGBTQ people, especially those who are part of the Latino community.
The star has also been unafraid to call out anti-LGBTQ critics online who have attacked him for expressing himself on social media. And this week was no exception.
Earlier this month, Martin and Ysof graced the cover of Cap 74024, an art, fashion and eros magazine, posing sensuously in a sweet shirtless embrace.
After posting the image, the singer received a lot of anti-gay backlash — and decided to address it head-on in a new post.
“Pause. Today I want to talk to you from my most vulnerable side,” Martin wrote on Instagram alongside images of himself wearing long acrylic nails, according to a translation. The original post was in Spanish.
“A week ago, I uploaded some photos with my husband for a special edition of Cap 74024 Magazine. For both, it was a wonderful experience for both of us to celebrate our pride. What I didn’t expect, especially after all the work that has been done for so many years, is that a large number of people decided to stop following us or comment in a derogatory way.
“Of course, it is not the number of followers that worries me, it is the message behind [their] decision that has caused me the same feeling I had years ago before sharing publicly about my sexual orientation. That same fear that paralyzed me, tormented me and would not let me be.”
Following the success of his hit 2000 song “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” Martin’s life became a subject of interest due to his growing gay fan base — which led to an uncomfortable interview with Barbra Walters in 2000 in which she pushed him about his sexuality.
Earlier this month, Martin stated that he still has “PTSD” over the infamous interview. Walters ultimately said in 2010 that she expressed regret over the way she handled it.
Last year, Martin said in a sit-down with Apple Music’s Proud Radio that he needed to stop his Livin’ la Vida Loca Tour due to the immense pressure he was receiving from the public. At the time, he decided to go on a sabbatical so that he can learn about himself and find acceptance with who he is.
These days, however, the singer knows exactly who he is and he’s made every effort possible to help the LGBTQ community in America and around the world.
“Today I see the photos and what I feel is a full peace of being able to celebrate my family as they deserve, in style,” he continued in the Instagram post. “To celebrate me as I am, regardless of what they will say.
“That fear that I just talked about no longer paralyzes me. On the contrary, it gives me much more strength and pushes me to continue working for the well-being of millions of people who suffer every day due to lack of acceptance.”
The singer added that “the most I wish in this life is that we can all feel free, proud of ourselves, happy, loved, respected and accepted. That we can express ourselves how we are born without retaliation or being punished.
“It is not fair to continue losing valuable lives due to prejudice and lack of education,” he concluded. “To all those who feel lost or not valued for being who they are and want to be, they are not alone, there is a great community that awaits them with open arms. They are worth a lot, please do not forget.”
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