The Straits Times
Published on Dec 12, 2012

Ricky Martin wishes he could come out again


UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Latin superstar Ricky Martin is telling a UN conference on homophobia that he wishes he could come out again so he could tell people struggling with their identities that "it's just beautiful - you find love."

Martin said on Tuesday that "for many years, I loved on fear ... because I was hating myself because I grew up listening to a very crooked concept: 'You're gay. You belong in hell."' Martin, who is currently starring on Broadway in Evita, said it was amazing to be at the United Nations surrounded by people "fighting for one cause - equality and love and social justice."

He praised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon who got a standing ovation after telling the conference that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people - the LGBTs - "are entitled to the same rights as everyone else."

"They, too, are born free and equal," Mr Ban said. "I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in their struggle for human rights." The secretary-general said he is "pained" that more than 76 countries still criminalise homosexuality.