Carlos Gonzalez Abella (left) and Ricky Martin
at the GLAAD Media Awards

Ricky Martin acknowledged his boyfriend for the first time at the GLAAD Media Awards, where the singer was honoured for his work.

At Sunday’s ceremony in New York, Martin received the Vito Russo Award for the impact that his coming out has had, especially for Latino youth and their parents.

The Vito Russo Award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.

“I just want to be free. I can say today I’m free. And for that I definitely need to thank my parents for being so supportive, my mother and my dad for their unconditional love, and my friends, my family, my fans,” said Martin, before thanking his “partner in crime and my boyfriend Carlos”.

It is the first time that Martin has publicly confirmed that businessman Carlos Gonzalez Abella (33), who also attended the award ceremony, is his boyfriend. The two have known each other for many years and were school mates in Puero Rico.

Also at the event, the Rev. Al Sharpton presented the Excellence in Media Award to pioneering hip-hop producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Russell Simmons, who has repeatedly spoken out on issues of concern to the LGBT community.

“It’s a great honour and I’m truly appreciative of the GLAAD Media Awards including me in this special night,” Simmons said in his acceptance speech. “I’m humbled by having one of my mentors and heroes Rev. Sharpton giving me this award. It’s no secret that faith-based communities, in some cases, have been difficult, and I think that for all of us who step outside of our comfort zone and fight for the rights of others, we are blessed.”

Actress, writer and producer Tina Fey accepted the award for Outstanding Individual Episode for the Klaus & Greta episode of 30 Rock. Openly gay actor Denis O’Hare, who played the Vampire King Russell Edgington, accepted the award on behalf of True Blood which received the nod for Outstanding Drama Series. The award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode went to The Oprah Winfrey Show for Ricky Martin Coming Out as a Gay Man and a New Dad.

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