Grammy award winning pop artist Ricky Martin says that as a child he suffered from intense, internalized homophobia, which led him to bully other kids that he knew were gay.
Martin, who came out as gay in 2010, makes the stunning admission in a candid interview with GQ Australia.
Martin, 41, says he says he remembers the painful experience of acting against his own impulses, and reveals how growing up gay in the Roman Catholic Church filled him with shame.
“I was very angry, very rebellious. I used to look at gay men and think, ‘I’m not like that; I don’t want to be like that, that’s not me.’ I was ashamed.” he said. “When you’re told you’re wrong by everyone, from society, from your faith – my self-esteem was crushed. I took my anger out on those around me.”
“I look back now and realize I would bully people who I knew were gay,” said Martin.
Martin, who at age 13, got his start with the boy band Menudo in 1984, told GQ that becoming a father to twin boys Matteo and Valentino, changed his view on life.
“I didn’t want them growing up in a house of lies… or thinking that there was something wrong with being gay,” he said.
Martin’s interview appears in the September/October edition of GQ Australia.