Just over two months after Ricky Martin announced on his website and Twitter that he was gay, we learn today via a tweet by People en Español editor Armando Lucas Correa that the father-of-two Martin will grace the cover of People en Español’s Father’s Day issue.
While the English-language version of People has often been used as a coming-out vehicle, gay and lesbian issues are a much touchier issue in the Spanish-language press. Thus, picking Martin to grace the cover of its Father’s Day issue is a significant breakthrough even for a magazine with an openly-gay father as its editor.
While Martin’s not-news announcement was considered a punch-line for some people, the news was viewed differently by some Latinos who noted that Martin was the first major–and we mean MAJOR–Latino celebrity to acknowledge being gay.
At the gay blog Blabbeando, Andrés Duque said that the English-language U.S. press underestimates the significance of Martin’s announcement that he is gay, something Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. at Poz magazine confirmed.
To LGBT youth in Latin America, Martin’s coming out has the potential to break down a huge chunk of the remaining homophobia and transphobia.
To LGBT youth in Latin America, Martin’s coming out has the potential to improve their self-esteem and thereby diminish their risk for HIV.
To LGBT youth in Latin America, Martin’s coming out is, to borrow Joe Biden’s phrase, a big fucking deal. Millions of people have been moved.
So when one of the largest Spanish-language celebrity magazine decides to feature an openly gay dad on its cover, it could represent a serious shift in how gays and lesbians are portrayed in the Spanish-language media–and world–generally.
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