Mexican-American soap star Sebastian Ligarde has come out gay.

The 59-year-old Ligarde has appeared in more than 25 telenovelas and television series and over 90 films. He is best know for playing Memo in the highly successful telenovela Quinceanera.

In an interview with TVyNovelas, Ligarde said he's been in a stable relationship for the last 20 years and credited Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin for inspiring him to come out.

“I'm gay and I say this with pride,” Ligarde said. “No gay person should have to walk down the street with stigma stamped on his forehead. Sexual preference is genetic … And if God and my family knows it, then let the world know it.”

“I believe I'm at an age where I can help new values … And I have the courage to accept myself publicly, as Ricky Martin did. He has been an inspiration for me when it come to talking about this subject.”

Ligarde, who is now retired and owns an acting school in Miami, added that he was bisexual as a young man.