Ricky Martin announced on his blog today that "I am a fortunate homosexual man." Now pass the peas. Let's move on to something important. We'll I wish things were that simple. While really this should be a non-issue, the fact that he had to make this announcement states the relevance of its importance. It shouldn't really matter if Mr. Martin was gay or not. But the truth is that people care tremendously about the sexual orientation of the next person. People care so much about the next person's sexual identity that they stalk, badger, condemn, judge, lie about and ridicule anyone that sits in silence and does not acknowledge their orientation one way or another.
Queen Latifah's seemingly ambiguous lifestyle has many writing, screaming and demanding that she come out and publicly announce which team she plays on. When Sean Hayes (Jack from Will and Grace) refused to say publicly that he was homosexual he angered heterosexuals and homosexuals. He finally came out publicly as gay only one month ago himself. What I want to know is how is the sexuality of any of these individuals relevent to their talent. If Latifah were gay would that make her less beautiful? Would her voice lose its charm and would she lose her commanding stage presence if she announced she were bisexual?
For some reason we are fixated with labels. We NEED for individuals to define themselves one way or another. Everyone needs to be compartmentalized and placed in a box that says who they are and where they belong. When someone refuses to self identify they tend to piss people off. But this need to name and define and label is the issue of the larger community, it is not the issue of the one that refuses to be identified.
And let's look a little closer at the person that does not identity. What lies at the root of this need not be labeled? Could it be simply that some people are not easily categorized? Could it be that there are consequences to the labels that befall a person? What were the reasons that we demanded Mariah Carey and Tiger Woods come out as black? We still have not lived up to the creed of Martin Luther King, Jr. We are still not a place where we judge someone on the content of their character. Talent and determination were the reasons for the success of Ricky Martin, Queen Latifah and Sean Hayes. I love and support each of them . . . gay, straight or unconfirmed.