Living La Vida Gay

By Megan McArdle

So Ricky Martin is gay.


I know--sit down.  You may want to have a glass of water, and possibly a valium.  Who could have guessed?

Well, not me, I suppose.  Pre-coming out, Ricky Martin occupied about a minute of total time in my consciousness.  I never gave much thought to whether he was gay or not, because I never gave much thought to Ricky Martin.

What Martin did is awfully brave and daring--given his profession, and what I understand to be the demographic for his music, this might be a career-ender.  

I find his coming-out letter sort of interesting, though.  He says that by not coming out, he was "not sharing with the world my entire truth".  Well, yes, but who does?  I assure you, dear readers, that there are many parts of my "truth" to which you will never be privy, and lucky you, really.

Why do we think that our love lives are such a central part of our existence that we cannot be perfectly whole unless we've shared the major details with the world?  I'm not arguing that Ricky Martin should stay in the closet--I'm glad he's out and proud, and hope that it makes life easier for other gay people.  

Rather, I wonder why the sex lives of public figures are so central to their appeal.  Frankly, I know nothing about the love lives of virtually any movie star or musician:  not gender, age, hair color, or names.  And it doesn't hamper my enjoyment of their work.  Why should it matter whether Ricky Martin--or Anderson Cooper--comes out?

I know, these are not exactly deep thoughts.  What can I say.  It's Monday.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/03/living-la-vida-gay/38175/