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Ricky Martin on coming out as gay: It was extremely painful for me

The couple first stepped out together in early 2016 and got engaged later in the year. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 19, 2018, 08.37 AM (IST)

Newly married international pop star, actor and sex symbol, Ricky Martin, now confirms that it was "extremely painful" for him to publicly announce that he is gay. 

The 46-year-old singer-actor came out as gay in 2010 as he felt he would fail as a father to his kids if he lied about his sexual orientation. 

In his appearance on a popular TV show Tuesday night, Martin said, "I was surrounded by a lot of friends that were telling me ‘Don’t! Don’t come out, it will be the end of your career!'” before adding that these were "people that love me, people that mean well, people that were just victims of homophobia.”

He went on to explain on the show that he grew up in a culture that told him his feelings were evil. He said, “If you add to that the fact that I was like a heartthrob, like a sex symbol — Everybody was telling me, ‘It’s going to be the end of your career.’ It was extremely painful for me until I said, ‘I can’t take it anymore. It’s all about me now, it’s not about what’s happening outside. It’s about what I need in order to be happy.'”

Then what made gave him the strength to openly admit he was gay? 

Martin explains that becoming a father to twin boys, Matteo and Valentino changed things for him and added: “I had my kids, and I said ‘I have to come out. I’m not going to lie to these beautiful kids.'”

Ever since he came out of the closet, Martin says he uses his acting to "spread awareness on behalf of the LGBTQ community".

Martin will next be seen in the upcoming season of "American Crime Story" as Antonio D'Amico, the longtime partner of late fashion designer Gianni Versace of the label Versace. 

Speaking about his role, Martin said: “One of the reasons that I jumped into this character with the level of passion that I jumped into [it with] was because in 1997, something happened. Someone was killed…a criminal that went on a killing spree. He was on the list of the most wanted men of the FBI, he was living in Miami Beach, not hiding, and no one caught him."

“For me that is frustrating. For me that is injustice,” he continued. “For me, the most important thing was to be able to be a spokesperson for, maybe the LGBT community, and say open your eyes. We’re still being attacked and a lot has to be done.”

Apart from focusing on his acting career, the singer recently got married to partner Jwan Yosef. The pair first stepped out as a couple in May 2016 during amfAR's The Foundation for AIDS Research gala in São Paulo. In November, the same year, Ricky announced on The Ellen Degeneres Show that the pair was engaged. 

This is what the couple look like together: