Pedro Julio Serrano

Ricky Martin comes out for acceptance

Filed By Pedro Julio Serrano | December 21, 2009 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: LGBT, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, ngltf, op-ed, pedro julio serrano, puerto rico, ricky martin, sexual orientation, superstar, tolerance

In a recent op-ed in Puerto Rico's major newspaper, my fellow Puerto Rican and international superstar Ricky Martin came out against hate crimes and asked people to move on from tolerance and embrace acceptance. His op-ed was published also in English on his website.

ricky-martin1.jpgIn it, he states clearly, "When we believe in peace, there is simply no room for complacency. The murders of James Byrd, Matthew Shepard, Jorge Steven Lopez, Marcelo Lucero, Luis Ramirez and countless others who were victims of violent 'hate crimes' should be completely unacceptable to every human being; because we're all human beings. It's up to us to change the paradigm. I hear the world 'tolerance' thrown around in the media when it comes to cases like the ones I mentioned above. One of the meanings of tolerance is 'the capacity to endure pain or hardship.' Another is "the act of allowing something.' To me, those don't seem to encompass acceptance, by any definition. So how about this? Instead of saying 'we need to tolerate diversity' why not say, 'we need to accept diversity.'"

Interesting, huh? Read the full op-ed after the jump.

Acceptance
by Ricky Martin

As a human rights activist for many years, I've been able to witness countless miracles. I've seen the amazing capacity that human beings have to heal; I've seen governments and private citizens try to change public policies and fight battles of love that have resulted in a positive impact on our society. I've seen boys and girls from different parts of the world free themselves from the bondage of human trafficking (the slavery of the new era) and amazing people renounce their "lives of luxury" to help those who need it most. Witnessing miracles of all kinds has strengthened the faith in humanity that my parents instilled in me, which is the same faith that I try to pass on to my children every day. When I watch them discovering the world, I think kindness is one of the greatest virtues that I can teach them.

On the other hand, I've also seen insufferable things that have made it impossible for me to hold on to the naiveté that I had as a child and have always tried to maintain it. Traveling the world from an early age and witnessing unimaginable crimes against humanity has stolen part of the innocence that I had as a young boy. There were many moments when I forgot about the child that lives inside of me. You know, that child that we all have within and who constantly reminds us to focus on the beauty of "simplicity". But that moment of disconnection was many years ago, and thanks to the work that I do with my foundation as a part of my daily life, I'm fortunate enough to say that I have reconnected with that inner child and continue to learn from him. One of the most important things I have learned is to SHOUT to the world when I encounter injustice, and that is why I am writing today.

I try to walk through life with a positive outlook. I do all I can to keep a grateful and optimistic attitude. Call me a romantic, an idealist, or maybe someone who's just not realistic. Maybe it's a defense mechanism or maybe it's just that I'm someone who wants to change the chain of negative thoughts that have been fed to us in many ways and which can easily poison the soul. We are all human and sometimes it's easier to ignore the pain and go on with our day. "That has nothing to do with us," we may say; "Why should we care?" But today, I feel that's impossible. It does have to do with us. I do care.

In the past few weeks, I've read many articles that have made me shudder and unfortunately the articles relate to things that are happening every day around the world. I find it almost impossible to believe that in the year 2009, we're struggling with such hateful situations.

As a defender of human rights, my goal is to find solutions for the injustices that exist in the world today. I am speaking about discrimination of any kind, whether it is because of race, gender, nationality, religion, ethnicity, handicap, sexual orientation or political affiliation.

SO I SHOUT: WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE WORLD TODAY?

I'm sure you all have different answers. But at the end of the day, it seems that the collective response usually comes back to one thing: "WE WANT PEACE"

Well, when we believe in peace, there is simply no room for complacency. The murders of James Byrd, Matthew Shepard, Jorge Steven Lopez, Marcelo Lucero, Luis Ramirez and countless others who were victims of violent "hate crimes" should be completely unacceptable to every human being; because we're all human beings. It's up to us to change the paradigm. I hear the world "tolerance" thrown around in the media when it comes to cases like the ones I mentioned above. One of the meanings of tolerance is "the capacity to endure pain or hardship." Another is "the act of allowing something." To me, those don't seem to encompass acceptance, by any definition. So how about this? Instead of saying "we need to tolerate diversity" why not say, "we need to accept diversity."

Accepting diversity is the first and most important step we can take towards eliminating hate crimes and uniting humanity.

If we ACCEPT, humanity unites. If humanity unites, equal human rights will become a reality. And if equal human rights become a reality, peace will be within our reach.


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wow. handsome, talented, now wealthy and, finally and most importantly of all, by far, intelligent, outspoken and engaged. Thanks, Ricky.

Mo Rage, the blog

Ricky Martin is to commended on addressing this timely issue since crimes, including murder, against members of the LGBT community
are on the rise.

When I read this article, I thought back to May of 2005 when a 23 year old Gay man Amancio Corrales was murdered in Yuma, Arizona.
Amancio was a very good friend of the daughter of a woman I knew in Arizona. Amancio had attended this daughter's wedding
and was very close with my friend's family. Amancio's death was extremely hard to for my friend's daughter to accept.

Amancio was born in Mexico and performed in Phoenix and Yuma under the name of Dalila. His death was extremely violent. He was beaten and stabbed numerous times before being thrown in the Colorado River.

Kudos to rockstar and humanist-
Ricky Maritin for the timely reminder to all bigots,chauvinists jingoists that in todays globalised society, the crimes of hate are unacceptable, whether directed against latino immigrants in the US or indian immigrant students in australia.
Its also important for we as individuals and groups in civil society to learn to appreciate the existence of ethnic, cultural and racial differences in an increasingly heterogenous society. It also requires courage of conviction to stand up for the rights of the underprivileged and have-nots in todays world.