Music is an integral part of society and plays a significant role in shaping society and history. Here are three music icons shaping queer history.
1. Ricky Martin
Popularly known as the king of Latin pop, Enrique Martin Morales is a Puerto Rican songwriter, singer, and actor. His popularity is mostly credited to the versatile style of his music. Ricky is one of the most influential artists worldwide.
His musical career began at 12 when he joined the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo. His solo career didn’t begin until 1991.
Throughout his career, Ricky has sold well over 70 million records, making him one of the best-selling Latin artists of all time. Other than topping billboard music charts, Ricky has won over 200 awards, including Grammy Awards and Latin Grammy Awards.
His activism and philanthropy are LGBTQ-oriented, and they fight against human trafficking. The Ricky martin foundation strives to fight human trafficking and educate people about its existence.
Over the years, Ricky has been in numerous relationships with both women and men. His first same-love relation relationship was in 1992 when he was playing in General Hospital. His mother remained supportive of his lovemaking.
However, Ricky Martin struggled as a Latino in Hollywood, and he thought coming out would make it harder to grow his career.
Ricky was in an on-and-off relationship with Rebecca De Alba until 2005. In 1999, Ricky struggled with depression, so he stopped his Livin’ La Vida Loca tour and went back home. While those around him knew about his lovemaking, Ricky didn’t come out as gay until 2011.
In 2014, Ricky started dating Carlos Gonzalez Abella, who is a Puerto Rican economist. This was his first public relationship as a gay man.
In 2016, Ricky was dating Jwan Yosef, who is a Syrian-Swedish painter. They secretly got married at the beginning of 2018.
Ricky Martin is a father to four kids, Lucia, Valentino, Matteo, and Renn.
2. Troye Sivan
Troye Sivan Mellet is a 27-year-old YouTuber, songwriter, singer, and actor. The South African-born Australian gained popularity from Australian talent competitions and his YouTube.
In 2013, he signed with EMI Australia. He’s gone on to release four more extended play albums. His genre of music is pop-oriented.
As of his acting career, Troye played the young wolverine on X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Sivan came out on his YouTube in August 2013. He came out to his family when he was fifteen. His lovemaking journey was terrifying, mostly because he came from a society that didn’t want him to be gay. However, Troye always had a difficult time linking his artistic identity with his lovemaking. For instance, he would wonder why girls bothered to attend his shows despite knowing he was gay?
Unlike most celebrities, Troye chose to come out before his career took off. According to him, he wanted to be in charge of how he came out, and he didn’t want that to be taken away. Authenticity is important to him, and he didn’t want that to change just because he stepped into the limelight.
Other than music, Troye uses his acting career as a platform to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. His long-term goal is to create a better world for the queer community to come.
His movie, ‘three months,’ hopes to address stigmatized topics in the LGBTQ+ community, such as taking PrEP and getting regularly tested for STIs. According to him, there should be no shame in discussing these topics.
While he understands that queer acceptance won’t happen overnight, he hopes his music and acting projects will help pave the way for future LGBTQ+ generations.
For Troye, coming out is a journey of unlearning and undoing those little moments of pushing yourself to love yourself and be proud of your truth.
3. Young M.A
Katorah Kasanova Marrero is an American rapper, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Her rise to fame was after she released ‘Ooouuu,’ a quadruple-platinum hit single.
Young M.A is an out lesbian and has always been public about her love-making and love orientation. She knew she had liked girls since first grade and tried lesbian chat platforms. She believed that coming out was a significant part of her artistic development. According to her, being open about her orientation made creating and writing music more accessible.
She was afraid of coming out to her family and friends because she was still in denial. Young M.A came out at 18.
She is the founder of Kweenz, an East New York-based foundation that helps people deal with grief and trauma associated with losing a loved one. She believes that human struggles and pain are a natural part of life, regardless of one’s stature and success.
While she denied pregnancy rumors back in 2021, she did admit that she and her partner were planning to start a family.
However, young M.A does not appreciate labels, whether it’s about her love-making orientation or identity as a musician. She despises the title ‘lesbian’ and ‘female rapper.’ Her music continues to inspire people across all orientations.
We cannot ignore the influence of queer artists on the music industry. They are paving the way for the LGBTQ+ community in entertainment and other fields of art. Who are some of your favorite queer musicians?