by Rev. Steve Parelli, Executive Director of Other Sheep
In the early 90s, as a Baptist minister of Sparta, NJ, with three teenage daughters, I took careful notice of the name of one new celebrity: Ricky Martin. His poster was looking down at me from my daughter Heidi's bedroom wall.
"Who's that," I asked her older sister. "That's Ricky Martin," she said. "Everyone knows who Ricky Martin is! He's a popular Puerto Rican singer and Heidi has a crush on him."
Turns out not everyone knew who Ricky Martin is, least of all himself. Just this past week he came out of the closet with a statement on his official website saying "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."
Fifteen-plus years can bring a lot of changes. Since Heidi's Ricky Martin crush, I've come out to her and her sisters and brother. I've divorced and, in 2008, I remarried – to a Puerto Rican male Adonis, nonetheless. Heidi went on to Liberty University and graduated the same year that the controversial Jerry Falwell passed away. Now she's married and, taking up where Jerry Falwell left off, she refuses all contact with her father and his own "Ricky Martin" partner.
If she sill has any teenage feelings for Ricky Martin, maybe she can transfer them over to her dad now and accept us both – Ricky and me – as "proud and fortunate homosexual men who are very much blessed to be who we are."