Singer Ricky Martin says he struggled for years with his sexual orientation before he could tell the world he's gay.

The 39-year-old father of twin boys Valentino and Matteo came out as a “fortunate homosexual man” last year.

“I was the sex symbol and I needed to dance and I needed to make girls crazy and I couldn't say that I was gay,” Martin said during an appearance on Tuesday's edition of the late night talk show Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Living a lie “was a lot of struggle,” he told Leno. “If you add to that … culture, religion, society, what people say. What I was feeling, according to what I had in my mind, was evil.”

“And I'm very lucky today to say I'm gay, and I love it, and I'm very happy,” he added to thunderous applause.

Martin, however, has been attacked for dropping the charade of being straight in his home territory of Puerto Rico. A Catholic cardinal asked Martin to stop promoting being gay, while a pastor said he was leading Puerto Rico to “hell.”