Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Frivolous Post, Or Celebrity

In a spate of disingenuousness and false modesty, singer Ricky Martin has announced on his website that he is gay.

The man born Enrique Martin Morales has good sense when it comes to presidential preferences, having supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary, and deserves credit for his philanthropic activites. But he appears confused when he says

I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.

He does not say why he is "very blessed to be who" he is. Perhaps it is to have children whom he obviously loves; he does not say. Nevertheless, one can reasonably ask:

- Why is he "a fortunate homosexual man?" If he means he is a homosexual man who is generally fortunate, it is almost self-evident: fame, family, fortune- not bad. If, however, he means that he he is fortunate to be a homosexual, he might want to explain how lucky he is to be a minority within a society which prefers heterosexuality.

- Why is he "proud" to be homosexual? Heck, I'm not "proud" to be heterosexual. It is, as most sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and others point out, most likely the luck of the draw. He ought to be proud of his professional success, his successful career, and his effort on behalf of others; but of his sexuality? If a male celebrity were to proclaim his pride in being heterosexual, he would be, understandably, roundly criticized for taking credit.

- Why is R.M. "blessed" to be gay? One definition of "blessed" is "highly favored or fortunate (as e.g. by divine grace)." That is why some Christians, routinely asked how they are, respond "blessed." It is a reference to the unmerited favor they believe God has conferred upon them through faith in Jesus Christ. Choose for yourself whether to accept the theology; that is, however, a legitimate definition of "blessed" (and "grace"). This contradicts Martin's claim to be "proud" to be gay. If he has been blessed/chosen to be gay (and perhaps he has been, given the force of "nature" rather than "nurture"), there is no reason to be "proud." (To continue the analogy: Christians, believing themselves "elected" to salvation, emphasize the importance of humility, as in Romans 3:27, Ephesians 2:9).

Martin remarked also

Many people told me: "Ricky it's not important", "it's not worth it", "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse", "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature."

The claim that "many people" have told him "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse" sounds a lot like the standard line from politicians: "I know this stand is politically unpopular and will cost me votes but...." His contention (channeling the "many people") that "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature," is similarly self-serving. The acknowledgement of homosexuality may have cost Martin years ago when he was asked about his sexuality by the likes of The Mirror and Barbara Walters; back when homosexuality was less accepted and the entertainer was more popular, with more to lose. Now? It's hardly a bold move.

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