Ricky Martin may not have come out on the cover of People or given Matt Lauer an exclusive on morning television. But by telling the world that he’s a “fortunate homosexual man” in a blog post on his website, overnight, Ricky Martin became one of the most visible and influential out entertainers working today, leading many to wonder, What next?
From a rumored Broadway show on the horizon to expanding his already respected work with underprivileged children around the world, The Advocate offers Ricky Martin five ideas for things he should do now that he’s out.
Return to Broadway
This isn’t to say every gay performer who comes out should head to Broadway, but when rumors began to circulate earlier this month that Martin was in negotiations to star in a revival of Evita, it seemed like a perfect fit. After all, Martin scored rave reviews long before he was “Livin’ la Vida Loca” when he costarred in Les Misérables in 1996. After almost 15 years away from Broadway, he’s long overdue for a return ... and what audience could be more welcoming to the newly out star than theatergoers?
Expand the Focus of the Ricky Martin Foundation
Martin has made children his life’s cause, and his Ricky Martin Foundation is extremely influential in helping at-risk kids around the world. In particular, the foundation has worked to combat human trafficking and child sex tourism, influencing laws and policies.
Last year Martin made his support for at-risk gay and lesbian teens known when his foundation helped to fund a youth center in his native Puerto Rico. When he came out earlier this week, he implied it was his children who inspired the announcement.
Because youth causes are such a part of Martin’s life, it would make sense for him to focus his energy on fighting for the rights of gay youths around the world — particularly in Puerto Rico where, last year, 19-year-old gay man Jorge Steven López Mercado was found decapitated on the side of a road.
Martin’s name commands significant respect in Puerto Rico — and, for that matter, most Spanish-speaking parts of the world — and he has the power to push for significant change and attract media attention to crimes against gay youths.
Sit Down With Oprah ... or Diane
By coming out on his website, Ricky Martin made it clear he wasn’t really interested in sitting down to talk about his personal life as the nation watched. But as he’s proved on talk shows in the past, when he’s passionate about the topic, few people are more articulate. Maybe, once the dust has settled, Martin can schedule a sit-down with Oprah, Diane — or The Advocate — and give the world a glimpse at what an intelligent, successful gay father looks like.
Give a Speech or Two About Gay Rights
Ricky Martin brings something to the table our gay and lesbian leaders are sorely lacking ... influence with Spanish-speaking voters. Though Latino voters in California did reject Proposition 8, it was by a narrow margin ... Martin’s influence could have helped to widen the gap.
And in Mexico, where same-sex marriage and adoption are both being widely debated (not to mention Argentina, where marriage is on the cusp of becoming a nationwide reality), Martin has the power to change minds and reach voters. The fact that he happens to be well spoken and educated on issues of human rights makes him all the more qualified.
Make a Sexy Music Video ... With a Man
This one might be somewhat selfish, but let’s be honest — Ricky Martin is hot. Really hot.
He stripped off most of his clothing and rolled around with a woman in the “She Bangs” video. For “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” he added water. He even gets hot and heavy with Christina Aguilera in the video for “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Lonely.”
Is it too much to ask of Ricky Martin to give his fans just one seriously hot music video ... with a man? He has a new album due out later this year. One can hope.