UPDATE: I got to interview Lisa in September of 2011. For the English version of the interview click here. For the Spanish version click here.
When Lisa M. Marrero updated her Facebook status on Monday at 3pm with the words "IM GAYYY!" I'm not sure what her followers thought. Maybe that it was a joke. Twelve minutes later, Marrero once again updated her Facebook status with the words "IM GAY." The news, as it were, were first aired by the hosts of a morning radio show and eventually reached print media when Primera Hora ran an article yesterday. By then dozens of supportive messages had been left after each status update
Fans of Marrero know her as Lisa M.
Internationally, her most recognizable hit is probably her 1992 version of El General's "Tu Pum Pum" [An aside: If you click on that link you will see an interview following her performance of the song. At the 2:53 mark, Lisa M. and the interviewer start joking about the singer Cheyenne being Lisa M.'s boyfriend. The interviewer insists she wants Cheyenne all for herself to which Lisa M. replies "I'll give you Ricky Martin, I'll loan him to you". LOL].
People en Español also picked up on the story today, but nobody seems to have been able to reach her for official comment yet. What's striking to me is that she chose Facebook to come out. Not some magazine or newspaper. Facebook. It speaks to the fact that long-closeted gay and lesbian stars like Ricky Martin and Rita Indiana are forgoing the usual paths to coming out and doing it on their own terms. Cut the intermediaries, press handlers or publicists.
On Wednesday, she acknowledged her fans' supportive messages by writing the following (and I have tried to translate the statement literally and save it's flavor):
I want to give thanks to everyone for your support and for accepting me just as I am, my family always have loved me as I am they have given me all the love in the world what happens is that us artists and specially in our Latino market where we are indebted to a certain image before the public they keep us from our freedom to love.Lisa M., who says in her Facebook page that she lives in Miami, Florida, also told her fans that she is currently in Spain working on new music.
- Lisa M.'s Facebook page here
- Puerto Rican singer Lisa M. comes out lesbian on Facebook: "IM GAAYYYY!" (Autostraddle)
- Rita Indiana comes out (March 23, 2010)
- Ricky Martin comes out (March 29, 2010)
- Guest post: Why Ricky Martin Matters (March 30, 2010)