Ricky Martin spent years agonizing over his decision to 'come out' as a gay man because so many people in his life told him it was a bad idea.
The Livin' La Vida Loca singer, who recently wed his partner Jwan Yosef, admits his new TV drama American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace brought back bad memories of his own struggles with sexuality – because the tragic designer also had to hide the fact he was gay for years.
The 46-year-old tells comedian and talk show host Trevor Noah, "You have no idea how it took me a while. The thing is that I was surrounded by friends that were telling me, 'Don't come out! That will be the end of your career'."
"It was people that love me, people that mean well and people that were just victims of homophobia," he adds. "I grew up in this culture that told me that my feelings were horrible, that my feelings were evil. And if you add to that, you know, that I was, like, a heartthrob, like, a sex symbol… that's why everyone was telling me that it was going to be the end of my 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'."
Ricky publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in a post on his official website in March, 2010, stating: "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."