Ricky Martin On Being Gay, Inspiring Others In Parade Magazine

02/02/2011 08:22 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

He's no longer Livin' La Vida Loca -- in fact, Ricky Martin is very happy with who he is, and how it's helping others.

The Puerto Rican singer, who announced that he was gay in May, opened up about his sexuality and how it's inspiring people across the world in a new interview with Parade Magazine.

"The other day, I was in a store and there was this 13-year-old child who he told me, 'Ricky, you and me, we are the same! You like boys. Well, you know what? Me too! And this is my mom and she's happy with me today.' Are you kidding me? I had to give him a hug and I had to give his mother a hug because unfortunately -- because of society or faith -- parents struggle. It's all about love."

And it wasn't just an isolated incident -- Martin gets thanks from people all over.

"After I wrote the book and went on Oprah Winfrey, so many people have come to me, telling me, 'Ricky, thank you because I understand what acceptance is today,'" Martin remembered. The praise often continues, he said, with, "'Ricky, thank you. I feel better about myself because you have a very beautiful family and the words 'dysfunctional family' don't exist in your life.'"

Two other youth he's inspiring -- his twin sons, born via surrogate in 2008. For more on those children, as well as his career, click over to Parade Magazine.