Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano is the editor of Queer Codex: Chile Love (allgo/Evelyn Street Press, 2004), an anthology of visual and literary works by queer men of color from across the U.S.; and Queer Codex: Rooted (allgo/Evelyn Street Press, 2008), a mix-genre anthology by queer women and trans-identified writers and visual artists. Along with his compañero of nine years, Lorenzo now makes home in San Francisco, CA.
There’s been a lot of commotion regarding Ricky Martin’s recent coming out statement on his official website. As with most things in life these days, I learned about the news on Facebook.
So, I immediately posted about the news as well and quickly joined in the jubilee of queerness and pranced about the office like a middle school-aged boy who accidentally touched hands with his classroom crush. I even committed the blasphemy of comparing the news to that of Health Care Reform and the release of Apple’s iPad (insert sound of angel choir here).
And then, of course, there was the storm of cattiness that followed the news. As a queer Chicano, I admit that sarcasm is built into my genetic code. The survivor of four Christian-themed religions and 500+ years of white supremacist occupation, I find humor, irony and
disbelief in most things. Still, yesterday I just wanted to celebrate.
I agree that the fact that Ricky is gay is not all that shocking. Queer men long speculated or asserted that he shook his “bon bon” far too well to be straight. Plus, for us jotos/maricones/patos, there was the added benefit of dreaming him up queer, which somehow put us that much closer to his arms.
Still, as the catty remarks continue, as people boast about how they knew and think he should have done this 10 years ago, or sassy queens dismiss the news as inconsequential, I say, look beyond our borders (geographic, cultural, and age-based) and take a minute to honor the fact that for many, Ricky’s coming out is groundbreaking, perhaps even life-saving. Hormones, dreams and cattiness aside, I challenge the ungleeful remarks about Ricky’s coming out.
As with most performers who began as Spanish-language artists, Ricky began over 10 years ago. The Barbara Walters interview did have me on the edge of my teenage self, hoping he’d come out and proclaim his gayness, but it wasn’t his beginning. Ricky’s career began decades ago.
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