Ricky Martin feels "protected" by the love he receives from the gay community.

The singer - who became a father to twins Matteo and VALENTINO through a surrogate mother in August 2008 - confirmed he was gay last year and no longer feels "alone" because he has so much support from people of similar sexualities.

He said: I feel liberated. I feel in touch with myself. I feel protected. I don't feel alone.

"Because sometimes when you're quiet about yourself, you feel all alone. And all of a sudden you come out and have this amazing community, the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender] community, who are giving you nothing but love.

"And if I focus on this, I get tears in my eyes because, oh my God, I wish everyone that was struggling right now could feel what I'm feeling as I'm talking to you. It's just love coming from every f***ing direction."

Ricky - who has been in a relationship for four years - announced he was gay via a statement on his website and he admits he was "really scared" after posting the news.

He recalled to The Guardian newspaper: "When I pressed send, I was really scared.

"I went to my room and I was holding my pillow, and three minutes later I called a very good friend and said, 'Tell me what they're saying.' And she's on the other line, crying, 'You don't understand the amount of love you're receiving.' "