I know it's old news at this point, but by now I'm sure you've all heard that singer, dancer, and super sexy Latin DILF Ricky Martin has come out of the closet as a gay man. I was actually going to let this one pass without commenting on it; for years I've just assumed Ricky was gay. I mean come on, what straight guy can dance like that? Well maybe Zac Effron. Oh wait...
Anyway, Ricky said his children, twin boys born via surrogacy, inspired him to go public with his sexuality and I say good for you amigo. There's nothing more important in your life than your kids, and there's no more important thing that you can give them than the truth (well maybe except for the Santa thing). Ricky Martin may be an international superstar, but when it comes to raising his children he's really no different then the rest of us. The minute you teach them that they can't talk about their family life or worse, have to lie to people about it, you've planted the seed that there is something wrong with it. And with themselves.
I think staying in the closet is a personal choice. (Except if you're a politician. I take issue with closeted politicians for a number of reasons, but that's another post.) Having said that, children change the game. I can't imagine what kind of supreme effort would have to go into keeping that secret while toteing around a toddler who's starting to learn how to talk. Kids will innocently say the most embarassing things at exactly the wrong times every day. There's nothing you can do about that. So, do you keep them isolated from the world until they are old enough to teach them to lie effectively? Do you instill the sense of shame at an early age? What effect does that have on their self esteem, mental developement, and social interactions with children their own ages? I can imagine Sabrina babbling endlessly "Daddy Papa Daddy Papa Daddy Papa" in line at the grocery store. I can't imagine trying to shut her up when she does it so people won't figure out she has two male parents. (If she starts telling them in a pinch we've been known to shop at Wal-mart, I'll lower the shame boom immediately. There is a line you know.) As gay parents, we do our part every day to help change society just by going about our lives. Going to restaurants and shops. Daycare enrollment. Heck walking through the zoo or the park. Now I'm not a celebrity worshipper, but I do give credit to people like Ricky Martin or Wanda Sykes who may have tried to stay under the gaydar but came out once they had children. They knew it was the right thing to do. The more visibility we have, the more accepted we'll be. And the happier and healthier our children will be too.
Now if only Tom Cruise would read this.