Recently married singer Ricky Martin has explained why coming out as a gay man at the height of his fame was such a challenge.
In an interview with Trevor Noah on Wednesday, the 46-year-old acknowledged that he and those close to him were afraid that being openly gay would affect his career.
“It took me a while,” he admitted. “I was surrounded by friends that were telling me, ‘Don’t! Don’t come out – that will be the end of your career.'”
At the time he was seen as a global sex symbol with a large female (and gay male, of course) fanbase.
Martin insisted, however, that he has no bad feelings towards those who gave him the advice. He said they were simply “people that love [him,] people that mean well and people that were just victims of homophobia.”
The performer, who hails from Puerto Rico and is known for hits like Livin’ la Vida Loca, only came out at the age of 38 in 2010.
He told Noah that the environment that he grew up in was not welcoming to him being gay or coming out. “I grew up in this culture that told me that my feelings were horrible, that my feelings were evil,” he said.
Martin with his husband, Jwan Yosef
Martin who is raising twin boys, Matteo and Valentino, added that he decided that it was also important for him to be open about his sexuality for their sake. “I had my kids and then I said, ‘I have to come out, I’m not going to lie to these beautiful kids.'”
Martin last week revealed to E! News that he’d secretly married his partner, Syrian-born Swedish artist Jwan Yosef. “I’m a husband, but we’re doing a heavy party in a couple of months, I’ll let you know,” he said.
The couple recently showed off their stunning Los Angeles home in a video for Architectural Digest (watch below).
Martin is currently starring as the late designer Gianni Versace’s partner, Antonio D’Amico, in the controversial new series of American Crime Story. The Versace family has distanced itself from the show, which covers the murder of the Italian fashion icon in 1997.