Thursday, April 1, 2010

Upside Inside OUT

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.

18 comments:

Leah said...

Great Post. And I forgot that Ricky Martin wasn't out of the closet. I have just always assumed he was gay.

Being honest and proud of who you are is so important, but even more important when you are being an example for your children.

I hope more being coming out will inspire others to be proud of exactly who they are. . . whatever that may be.

anotherfineproductfrom said...

Yes, I second that, great post. I too could never imagine raising kids as a closeted person. But I'm outside the map on that one, I lucked out and found Kathryn when I was young and too stupid question it and I've been out forever. Living any sort of closeted lifestyle seems especially hard to me. And I feel for those who think there's no other option.

It is a leap and one that's worth it, My step family is southern baptist and telling them meant possibly loosing them, they didn't owe me anything, they weren't even step family by marriage and I had no one else, but I did it and I've never looked back. Sure it took twelve years to get things to this level of perfection [and I couldn't ask for any better] but it's my life and if I don't think it's worth working for who will?

BTW, I hadn't seen a picture. Twin boys, I could handle that.

2momswithaplan said...

Well said!

....


.....

So... you shop at Wal-Mart?

I never guessed you were the type.

....

;)

C.I.W. said...

I swear he came out a few years ago. I feel like I am in a time warp.

I used to work at Walmart. And I loved it.

:)

Mickey said...

Ha ha ha! Great April Fools' Day post! Ricky Martin is gay. Yeah, right! You wish!

Ha ha ha.

You're so funny. ;)

Jon said...

I applaud him but what took so long. People just don't it that "don't ask, don't tell" just doesn't work anymore... Even the US military, the biggest collection of Neanderthals on this planet, has come to that conclusion.

Stacy said...

De-lurking because I liked your post!

That was one thing my partner and I never thought about...the amount of "coming out" we'd have to do on a daily basis. When Isa was still very little she would introduce us to everyone we passed at Target. Pointing and saying "Mommy, Mama, Mommy, Mama" We had to quickly be ok with that! lol

Gwensarah said...

The one thing I hope that Kaitlyn never feels is shame whether it's because of being adopted or because she has two daddies. Someday she'll know that her having two daddies was no accident or random agency placement. I was adamant that if I was going to choose adoption that the only parents I would consider was a Daddy and Papa (no offense to the mommies, daddies have less options available!) I actually found D & C, emailed them and IAC came into play only because they were D & C's agency. There was HUGE family fallout from my choice and an annoying onslaught of religious mailings from the intolerant branch of my daughter's family tree lol. Every blog post I read whether it's about Sabrina or NYC's Darling Bella (called that because K is always Bella to us) or Kensington Grace's awesome daddies, it's proof positive that some of the best Mommies are in fact Daddies and people need to get over their ignorance.
And of course my daughter's daddies still remain the whole reason I went through with it, I watched D's face when he held her for the first time and he fell in love with her with the same devotion as if he carried her for 9 months, it was seeing my own love for her on someone else's face. I've had to "come out of the closet" so to speak a number of times in the past year (trust me, it's a biggie the minute a woman says, "I placed a child for adoption", for all the warm fuzzies people try to wrap the topic in, there are so so many who deep down find a mother wanting for making that choice) I didn't realize a year ago that I would become a card carrying member of the Prepare for Verbal Decimation if You Bash Gay Adoption Club but I've delighted in it just the same because I'm doing it for Kaitlyn and for Sabrina until their old enough to have a voice.

Bobby said...

Gwen
Thank you so much for your post. It brought a tear to my eye when I read it. Your words carry a special significance because of who you are. I'm glad you could share them with us.

birthmothertalks said...

Great post. It brings me to ask you a question though. Since, the majority of the people that I know do not know that I placed a child for adoption. I kind of think like "I am in the closet" Or when my husband gets mad that I talk about my daughter too much or says something mean about adoption, I have a habit of putting her framed picture in the closet. Do you think a birthmom living in secret is at all like gay people living in the closet? Just asking.

Bobby said...

Yes I think the closet is huge and holds lots of different people. Your situation would be a great analogy. When I was little, (OK even now) I liked to watch "Bewitched". I came to realize later it was about someone living in the closet with a secret that no matter how hard she tried, would poke out in the open once in a while. So there are lots of ways to feel like being in the closet. (It didn't help that Uncle Arthur was flaming way OUT of the closet...LOL..."Oh Sammy...")

Malea said...

Bobby i hadn't thought about all those things in Bewitched,but you're right. Uncle Arthur was the biggest QUEEN.I just loved his sense of style.

And no matter matter how hard Samantha tried to keep her otherness under raps she just couldn't it was apart of her and who she was.

I always knew Ricky was gay and so did all the gay boys i hung out with.

catsandcradles said...

In general, I'm of the live and let live approach to people being out. (Please note: this does not apply to people who are virulently homophobic in public, and cruising the airport men's room in private, or whatever the variation is this time.) I think it's better to be out, but I also respect that some people feel like they can't. I have to admit, there are certain situations where I don't want to make a big deal out of it either.

But while it's one thing to lie (or at least remain silent) about yourself, it's entirely another to lie about someone else. Your partner, your kids. Especially your kids.

There is a certain point where you have to start conveying the idea that somethings are appropriate to discuss with members of the general public, and somethings are better left for discussions at home (i.e. while your parents maybe interested in the byproducts of your digestive processes, the nice cashier at the grocery store probably isn't), but who your family is should never have to be one of those. At least not in my book.

Michelle said...

Wow, very well said. Your a great writer Bobby!

Tim and Louie said...

All of us or most of us LGBT deal with ourselves on our own timeline.

It's doesn't matter how open and supportive others are, it only matters when you are ready to accept your own self. Your own reality.

At least Ricky Martin did it while his boys are still babies and so they didn't have to live a lie along with their dad.

So, congratulations Ricky Martin!

Welcome to "La Familia"!

Queue the Cyndi Lauper "True Colors" video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPn0KFlbqX8

- Louie

whacked daddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucy said...

Great post. However we may need to have a Walmart intervention. STAY AWAY from the Walmart! :)

john said...

Ricky Martin is Gay? Oh my. He seemed so straight.....NOT!

Ive been out for as long as I can remember, my partner and I have been togther for 24 yrs, but when you bring kids into the mix, you really do have to 'come out' all over the place.

So many forms still says "mothers name" on it. We keep crossing it out and writing 'Fathers Name'