Singer Ricky Martin, who came out gay in his 2010 memoir Me at the age of 38, had come out to his mother 17 years earlier.

In an interview with glossy Vanity Fair, Martin said he attempted to escape the persistent rumors about his sexuality.

“I needed to go through [the process of coming out publicly],” Martin said. “Like sitting on the psychoanalyst's couch. I wanted to write about the stories I lived onstage and in my philanthropic work, but there was always that missing link. I was asked why I left everything and ran off to India. Why did I want to disconnect from the music world? Because all the magazines were asking about my sexuality.”

He said discovering his sexuality was a process.

“Little by little, with one thought following another, I found a sort of liberation.”

And by the age of 21, his mother also knew.

“My mother asked me: 'Are you in love?' I told her yes. And she asked: 'Are you in love with a man?' I said yes, and we never talked about it again. It was a way of saying: 'O.K., but Mom, don't ask me again.' I was 21 years old.”