04:40 | 22nd April 2019

Lifestyle: Coming Out

Tue 30 Mar, 2010
By Danielle Carter

Celebrities opening up earlier would 'normalise' sexuality within the media and stop these dramatic 'I am gay announcements' that makes it sound like a big deal.

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Stating the Obvious?

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Ricky Martin today released a statement saying that he was a 'very fortunate homosexual'

So therefore is the key to come out after you have an established career? Did he become 'fortunate' because people thought that he was straight?

There will still be Daily Mail readers in the pubs saying 'Well I never liked that song about the train, viva loca or whatever it is called.' Chances are though they still bought it.

So does sexuality still hamper your career? In my experience it doesn't if you work in the world of gay media. However we can be just as pedantic, editor of Pinknews Jessica Geen recently got a lambasting for working in the world of pink as a straighty-180, so apparently it is still an area of much debate.

The rumours circulating Ricky were rife, ever since his first appearance on the BRITS singing that song about the train there has been speculation. It was, let's face it, unlikely that any straight man would have ever got away with the tight trousers he did.

So was he just stating the obvious? Well yes he probably was. I have to say when I walked into the office there was not one gay man lying on the floor crying 'I can't believe it, I always fancied him but I always thought he was straight.'

Their attitudes were that he was stating the obvious, the male version of Rosie O'Donnell if you will, one friend told me 'I would have been more surprised if he came out as straight, this is not news.'

So has the tide of making waves when coming out been and gone?

Ellen lost her show when she posed on the front of time magazine under the headline 'Yep, I'm Gay' but then did the most remarkable impression of a Phoenix from the flames and resurrected herself as the most popular woman on American Television.

Rosie O'Donnell did the same, Graham Norton, Paul O'Grady, Dale Winton, Claire Balding, Stephen Fry, John Barrowman, Sue Perkins and Sandi Toksvig all have had successful careers despite their sexuality. So are we just past the shock and awe of orientation revelations?

On the way to work this morning I was sitting behind two young girls who were talking about Ricky's announcement 'Well he just looks gay' one said, even though it made me want to interject and say 'Excuse me?' I guess they had a point.

The one woman who has caused more controversy over their sexuality in recent years is Lindsay Lohan, and the point is that she doesn't 'look' like a lesbian. If it isn't easily labeled then the population begin to get uneasy about things.

Stereotypes are there for a reason, they give us a quick overview of who we are dealing with - The Irish drink too much, All lesbians have never met the right man and all Essex girls wear white stillettos.

Now when you are on the inside you know that there really is no such thing as gaydar, I can never tell who and who isn't gay in the general population but there are a few exceptions, Ricky Martin being one of them.

So when Ricky decided to come out (Let's be honest after his career has peaked and he had made all his money) is he bi-proxy saying 'You can't be successful and gay'? I would argue that he is.

So many celebrities including the late Stephen Gately and Mark from Westlife come out after they have achieved what they need to do - extort pocket money from pre-pubescent girls.

There is still obviously an issue marketing men at young gay boys but apparently it is alright to do it to the fairer sex, go figure.

By coming out after your career has peaked you have essentially wasted valuable years being a positive role model for your audience. The key to making a difference is not only to be a role model to young gays but also to young straights.

Celebrities opening up earlier would 'normalise' sexuality within the media and stop these dramatic 'I am gay announcements' that makes it sound like a big deal.

So it has been widely agreed that his announcement has come as no surprise to the masses, we can just move him from the 'We think' to the 'We know' pile.

Stonewall the UKs leading LGBT charity said of Ricky's announcement:

'Stonewall works with hundreds of young people who all tell us that there's still a lack of openly gay role models in the public eye for them to look up to. Well-known people who have achieved in their career coming out helps younger lesbian, gay and bisexual people to see that sexual orientation needn't be a barrier to success.'

'Research for Stonewall shows that people perform better when they can be themselves at work so the future bodes well for Ricky!'

Even if it is perhaps a few years late, let's just hope that he uses his new found gay status to worthwhile effect and of course make a shed load of money out of his upcoming autobiography. (Ooops, sorry slip of the tongue)


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