March 30, 2007 03:00 PM

Ricky Martin is standing up for pop stars who come out of the closet.

“Life is too short to live closed up, guarding what you say,” he told the Associated Press on Friday, saying he felt solidarity with Christian Chavez of the Mexican band RBD, who recently announced that he is gay.

Chavez, he added, “has to be free in many aspects. I wish him much strength.”

Martin, 35, also talked about his Ricky Martin Foundation, which he credits with inspiring him in his songwriting. Among other projects, the foundation works to stop human trafficking, and especially child trafficking, through its People for Children program.

“It’s a spiritual search,” Martin said. “The philanthropic work helps me write music and the music helps me in the philanthropic work.”

He’s also happy that more celebrities are working with charities. “If this is a fashion, then I hope a lot more fashions like this come along,” he said.

The Puerto Rico native is due to tour the U.S. in April and May.

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