Music superstar Ricky Martin, whose “Livin’ La Vida Loca” made him a Latin pop symbol like no other, has meant a lot for the LGBTQ+ community. His confidence on stage and outside showed many that you can have the life you want, regardless of your sexuality. But his path towards becoming the man he is wasn’t as easy as he previously portrayed. 

During an interview with Proud Radio on Apple Music, Martin revealed how life was for him before coming out and describes his emotions reached such a peak that he had to take a break during his 1999 tour “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”

“I could high five God, but I wasn’t living to the fullest. I was sad. I was depressed. I would walk on stage to perform because that was the only way I could balance my emotion is to snap out of this heavy sadness that I was moving in. And then actually there came a moment that I said, ‘We need to stop. We need to stop the tour.’ I remember I was in Australia and from Australia, we were going to go to South America. And I said, ‘I can’t. I can’t do this. I need to go home. I need silence. I need to cry. I need to be angry. I need to forgive myself for allowing myself to reach this level, to get to where I’m at.’ And I took some time and I took a sabbatical.”

Like many others, Ricky struggled for years with the decision to come out to the public, but he is living proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“ I got to the place I was fighting as I was writing my book between saying, ‘Am I gay? Am I bisexual? Am I gay? Am I bisexual?’” he said. “And either is okay, just go within and do not lie to yourself. And then I said, ‘Rick, you are a very fortunate homosexual man. You are gay.’ And I wrote it and I pressed send, and then I cried like crazy. And I’ve been super happy ever since.”

In addition, Ricky went into his appreciation for another gay music icon: Elton John.

“I just remember growing up and looking at Elton and saying like, ‘I love his music. I like his colors. I  love his wigs. I love it. Do I want to be him or do I like him? I’m so confused,’” he said. “At the end of the day, I remember just warm, loving, comforting...just emotions every time I saw him. Let’s give him a lot of credit for that.”

Lastly, the singer gave his remarks on what the role of the LGBTQ+ community should be in supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement.

“I think we have to join forces. At this point it’s all about listening, it’s about learning, it’s about being respectful and it’s about understanding that at this point it’s not about us. At this point it’s about giving the platform to those incredible voices that has helped and has taught us about the injustices that, in this case, the LGBTQ+ community goes through.”

Martin, above all, is a living testament that the LGBTQ+ should always be who they are and not apologize for it. Coming takes time, effort, and suffering, but as Ricky proves, it is ultimately worth it. Stay Proud!