Ricky Martin At United Nations: ‘If I Could Come Out Again, I Would’

Ricky Martin joined the United Nations for a forum Tuesday about LGBT human rights. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon offered remarks on “Leadership in the Fight against Homophobia,” calling on world leaders to end the persecution, harassment, and discrimination against LGBT people. Martin spoke to his own challenges and how important it was to overcome them, nothing that he would come out again if it were possible:

MARTIN: If I could come out again, I would come out again, because it felt simply amazing… To all the activists that are here today that opened the doors of light to people like me and to families like mine, thank you so much for what you’ve done — I’ve done nothing.

For many years, I lived on fear… I was hating myself, because I grew up listening to a very crooked concept: “You’re gay, you belong in Hell.” It took me a minute to come out, but when I did, it felt incredible. And that’s what I mean: I wish I could do it again. I wish I could stand in front of the cameras and talk to people that are struggling with their identity, and just let them know that it’s just beautiful. You find love, you find conventions like this where you are simply loved. […]

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The United Nations has been actively supporting LGBT equality through repeated calls to end the criminalization and mistreatment of people because of their sexuality or gender identity. In September, the U.N.’s Human Rights Office released a new worldwide guide to LGBT fairness and safety.