Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ricky Martin salutes the work of LGBT rights advocate Pedro Julio Serrano

It's been a week since Ricky Martin's autobiography "Me" came out and he's been hitting the media rounds appearing on Oprah, Larry King, Univision's Aqui y Ahora, Ellen and The View, among others. It's actually pretty amazing how much media attention he has gotten considering the years the singer has been out of the limelight. He also graces People en Español's end of the year cover and Out magazine's Out100 cover).

To put it mildly, it's been a busy week for Martin.  Sweetly, he has taken time out from his busy schedule for this...

WHAT!? Yes! A heartfelt message for my great friend Pedro Julio Serrano!

Pedro Julio, who works at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and was the founder of the LGBT-rights organization Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, was recognized for his amazing work last night at the New York City Hilton Hotel by Comité Noviembre. Ricky Martin was supposed to present the award live but when it became apparent he would not be able to make it, he sent the above message to be presented during the ceremony.

As far as I know, it was the first time that the politically influential New York City-based organization - which oversees the annual Puerto Rican heritage celebrations in New York - granted an award to an openly gay individual.  And, as biased as I might be, the honor could not have gone to a more deserving person.

Particularly touching to me was that Pedro Julio's entire family was there supporting him (see photo).  I look at his brothers proudly holding that gay pride Puerto Rican flag next to PJ in honor of his brother and I can't just feel but incredibly moved.

Moving to me is also that Ricky Martin would take his time - at this particular moment of his life - to honor Pedro Julio.  These are the lines from his video statement that stick with me:
RICKY MARTIN: I would love to be there with you, my brother, but, unfortunately, it can't be done. But you and I are connected in a thousand ways. I give you thanks for being a teacher, for being a mentor, for being a warrior of the light. For being a Puerto Rican of pura cepa who is doing a wonderful job for the Puerto Ricans of today and also for the new generations. I simply do not have the words. You are a... you are magical, brother. I love you a lot, God bless you. And this honor is for you.
"I give you thanks for being a teacher, for being a mentor, for being a warrior of the light". Dude. That makes me tear up big time.  Because I know the example that Pedro Julio has set for others and personally know the impact he has has in other people's life. And because Pedro Julio has also been an example in my life.

It reminds me of how few the visible positive examples of Latino gay life are and makes me appreciate this so much more for the beauty of a huge Latino superstar who has just come out deeming it important to honor the often thankless job of a Latino LGBT rights advocate.

And I just wanted to share.



:) said...

Thank you for sharing this good news!

Salvatorre said...

Great for the guy. Ricky Martin just sucks. Another closet case banking on the gay community. Hey, Ricky. We've already been represented by all those who don't have to be a weasel about their sexual orientation. This Martin guy is such a phoney. Makes me want to throw up.

Ronnie Billini said...

In fact other openly gay or lesbian Puerto Ricans have received this award such as Margarita Lopez, Tonio Burgos, and my partner, Nitza Tufiño; and others who were not openly LGBT. But it was because of their accomplishments in their respective fields of public service, politics, and visual arts.
What was extraordinary is that for the first time Comite Noviembre, selected someone for their accomplishments as an "Activist" and openly gay man fighting against discrimination and bigotry, and standing up for social justice. Pedro Julio was the David, sometimes alone, taking on very powerful forces, particularly in the media. Pedro Julio was not a bully like Goliath, but became larger and stronger, teaching us all that we must always stand on the right side of justice and truth. Ricky Martin said it best when he said that Pedro is a warrior of the light (guerrero de la luz).
Thank you for Blabbeando. Sorry for the delay in my response. Abrazos, Ronnie Billini