Ricky Martin used to bully gay men when he was younger.
The 41-year-old singer—who announced he was homosexual in 2010 after struggling for years to accept his sexuality—admits he was homophobic in his teen years and early 20s because he didn’t want to accept that he was attracted to men as it went against his religious beliefs as a Roman Catholic.
Speaking to GQ Australia magazine, he said: "I was very angry, very rebellious. I used to look at gay men and think, ’I’m not like that, I don’t want to be like that, that’s not me.’ I was ashamed.
"When you’re told you’re wrong by everyone, from society, from your faith—my self-esteem was crushed. I took my anger out on those around me. I look back now and realise I would bully people who I knew were gay."
Ricky kept his homosexuality a secret for many years, even when he achieved worldwide fame as a solo singer in the ’90s after a stint in Puerto Rican boy band Menudo.
It wasn’t until March 2010—two years after his twin sons, Matteo and Valentino, were born via a surrogate—that Ricky admitted he was gay in an emotional post on his official website.
The "Livin’ La Vida Loca" singer—who is now in a committed relationship with economist Carlos González Abella—knew he had to come out for the sake of his sons.
He explained: "I didn’t want them growing up in a house of lies... or thinking that there was something wrong with being gay."