Melissa Etheridge Reveals She Helped Many Other Celebs Come Out, Including Ricky Martin

September 28, 2022 / Posted by:

We may have become accustomed to LGBTQ+ celebs parachuting out of their closets with rainbow flags NOW,  but they’re all a day late and about thirty years of dollars too short. Because back in the 90s when most celebrities lived inside closets locked behind vaults in underground bunkers, Melissa Etheridge kicked her closet door down and started slapping away at bitches with her guitar when she announced she was a lesbian a few months before the release of her album Yes I Am in 1993. Now as the 30th anniversary of this groundbreaking album looms near, Melissa is revealing a few other celebs she helped come out during their journey. And although she notes Ricky Martin as someone else who sought her assistance she also soothed his fears by saying “Aww sweetie, we already know.”

During an interview with The Daily Beast. Melissa discussed a time in her life when she and then wife Julie Cypher would host big parties for their celebrity friends like Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Rosie O’Donnell, and the dancing devil of destruction Ellen Degeneres.  And Melissa admits she was a listening ear for many people who struggled with their sexuality, even some who still remain hidden inside their closets behind a pile of dirty laundry called “marriage.”

After Etheridge came out, she was approached for advice by a lot of other then-closeted celebrities. “They would always come and confess. I had people come to me and say, ‘I see you being out,’ and they would apologize to me because they were not out. I would say, ‘Look, it’s very personal. It’s totally up to you, you don’t have to explain anything to me.’ There were a lot, and some have since come out.”

When asked if she knew any celebrities who remained closeted, Etheridge paused, and said sadly, “Yeah, ones who decided to shut that part of themselves off, who got married, who really decided not to do it. It’s their choice, it’s always their choice, our choice. I would never out anyone. But to me, it just solidifies and tells me how good it is to come out, because one can see the difference between their lives and those of us who have come out and our happiness. Ultimately, your fame, success, and career are not going to keep you happy when you’re old.”

Coming out is always best, says Etheridge, “because being in your truth, whether it’s being gay or whatever, is your truth. It’s what you know. We have an inner spirit guiding us, always looking to joy and love. If we resist that we make ourselves sick. You will live a joyful life as long as you are connected with your spirit, your truth.”

As for the celebrities who asked the Gay Fairy Godmother called Melissa for advice, she says that Barry Manilow, Ellen, Jodie Foster, and Ricky Martin all talked to her about coming out. Ricky feared coming out because so many women were getting the tingles for him. But instead of softly caressing his head while telling him everything is going to be alright, Melissa kept it blunt:

“Which closeted-now-out celebrities asked for her guidance back then?

“Barry Manilow. Ellen, then she finally came out. Ricky Martin. Jodie Foster. Everyone would have their own reason for not coming out. ‘Television is not going to accept a gay character,’ blah blah blah. Barry was like, ‘All my fans are women. I will lose my fan base.’ I was so glad when he came out. I didn’t know Ricky well back then, but he was concerned because he was a sex symbol. I was like, ‘Dude, it’s obvious you’re gay.’ It’s been wonderful to see all these people finally come into themselves. The ones who come out do much better than the ones who don’t, or didn’t.”

In the years that have passed Ricky has more pressing things to worry about than his sexuality. But I’m not sure if all of Ricky’s fans knew if he was gay. I’m sure that there’s still a veteran Ricky Martin fan in a Ricky Martin t-shirt who is clutching her custom-made Ricky Martin Real Doll while shouting, “Shut up, Melissa! You don’t know shit!


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