GLAAD Talks About Ricky MartinIn a special guest post, Jarrett Barrios, the President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, writes about why Ricky Martin outing himself is important. Below, Barrios discusses Martin's decision and how it's a "game changer."

A high school friend messaged me on Facebook last night. She'd been so angry back in 1984 when Menudo replaced Ricky Melendez -- who had grown too old -- with that too-young looking Ricky Martin. But she stayed loyal and became a fan of the new Ricky. She even tracked me down in the 1990s to catch up after years -- just to tell me Ricky had been cast in 'General Hospital.' And why not? Ricky had become part of the family and we have to keep up with our family, after all.

Ricky Martin coming out is, for many people, like having a friend or family member come out. "Gay" isn't an abstract to them anymore, but the kid you knew when you were 14. The power of Ricky's celebrity status makes fans understand gay people differently, too.