GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) president Jarrett Barrios is saluting Menudo boy bander-turned-solo singing sensation Ricky Martin’s decision to reveal that he is gay…even if the “news” is about two decades overdue.

In a bombshell to legions of his fans all over the world, the hip-swirveling 38-year-old confirmed a longtime rumor that he is gay by revealing himself as “a fortunate homosexual” in a statement on his official site on Monday.

American gay rights activists are ecstatic.

“When someone like Ricky Martin comes out, hundreds of millions of people now have a cultural connection with an artist, a celebrity and, perhaps most importantly, a father who happens to be gay. His decision to model this kind of openness and honesty can lead to greater acceptance for countless gay people in the U.S., in Latin America and worldwide,” a statement from GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios reads.

The five-time Grammy Award winner records and performs mostly in Spanish, but has a huge following in English thanks in large part to his 1999 smash hit “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (“Livin’ the Crazy Life”) and his charttopping hit “She Bangs,” which came the following year.

The singer and father of two said he hadn’t come out earlier because his advisers over the years had warned he might ruin his career if he told fans he was gay. In his big gay bombshell, Martin told fans, “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”

Fans have been mostly supportive of the singer since the With statements on his website reflecting lots of messages of praise and encouragement for Ricky — in English and Spanish.