The blogosphere is burning up with news that pop star Ricky Martin has declared himself a “fortunate homosexual man” after years of refusing to say he's gay in public.

Martin says various people close to him advised that he should stay in the closet or else his singing career would be ruined. In a statement on his Web site, Martin seems to regret taking that advice.

“Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided

to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth,” Martin wrote in his statement. “Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and

insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take

full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.”

Sounds like the kind of inner torment L.A. Weekly wrote about in a cover story last year, titled “The Secrets Lives of Queer Leading Men.”

In that story, we examine, among other things, the hostile work environment young gay actors face when trying to become a leading man in Hollywood, as well as how public relations guru Howard Bragman helps guide gay celebs through the coming out process.

Bragman tells the Weekly he was not involved in today's announcement by Martin, but notes that three major celebrities have come out in just the past few months: Family Ties star Meredith Baxter, Will & Grace star Sean Hayes, and now Ricky Martin.

“The more this happens,” says Bragman, “then one day it will cease to be big news that someone is gay. I think we're getting to that point.”

When that happens, says Bragman, the gay closet in Hollywood, the music industry, and elsewhere will most likely become extinct.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

LA Weekly