Ricky Martin

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Ricky Martin may have been "Livin' la Vida Loca" in public, but in private, he was "not sharing with the world [his] entire truth."

And today, the singer has come clean, ending years of speculation by announcing in a letter on his website that he is gay.

"At this moment I'm feeling the same freedom I usually feel only on stage, without a doubt, I need to share," he writes.

So what prompted today's coming-out party?

Martin, a 38-year-old single father of twins, says he had an epiphany and decided to go public while working on his memoirs

"From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside," he writes.

And now the Puerto Rico native is no longer scared of admitting his sexuality.

"If someone asked me today, 'Ricky, what are you afraid of?' I would answer, 'the blood that runs through the streets of countries at war...child slavery, terrorism...the cynicism of some people in positions of power, the misinterpretation of faith.' But fear of my truth? Not at all! On the contrary, it fills me with strength and courage.

"Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment," the Grammy winner and former Menudo member continues.

"The word 'happiness' takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.

"I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."

(Originally published March 29, 2010, at 2:04 p.m. PT)


Remeber when celebs used to come out in magazines? Peruse these great moments in periodical history in our Covering Up As Gay photo gallery.

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