X Factor: Joe McElderry comes out as gay

X Factor winner Joe McElderry has come out as gay to his fans.

The 19 year old South Shields singer made the revelation on his website today, warning followers that some revealing newspaper articles would be published in tomorrow’s newspapers.

He wrote:

Tomorrow there will be some articles about me in the newspapers because I have been doing some important interviews today. I wanted you to know that the articles are true. I also wanted you to know that I really respect your loyal support and all the kind messages I have had from you up to this date.

I have always been a very honest person and so it is important for me to continue to be honest. It has been the most amazing year so far and I feel so privileged. It’s also been a time of real self realisation and I feel as if I have grown up so much in these few months.

There has been speculation about my sexuality in the past and I have always been honest at the time I have been asked. Over the past few weeks I have really had time to reflect and to realise who I am. I spoke to my friends and family about this in the last few days and it was important to do the same for you all as you have been so supportive.

I have had nothing but support from you and many of you have been very open in saying that you will continue to support me whatever my sexuality. It is important to me to let you know first, so that you know the stories in the papers are true. I made the choice to speak openly about this.

Again, I can’t thank you enough for all your support.

Everything is going well and I’m really happy to be able to move forward from here

The Mirror later published an article containing more details on Joe’s announcement, they revealed that he had only came out to his mum one week ago. On why he had never admitted his sexuality when asked in previous interviews Joe responded:

“I’ve had time to think about things. I wasn’t attracted to anyone anyway, male or female. It never really entered my head I was gay. But I just know. It’s how I feel.”

He added:

“I’m so happy. It’s all been so recent to be honest. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had time to think and come to realise who I am. I have grown up a lot.

“I know it sounds crazy but before then, I was so busy. It hadn’t even crossed my mind. I only told my mum last week, on a train.

“She was fine, great even. She’d actually asked us in the past, not because she thought I was gay but because she’s a supportive mum.

“She’d say, ‘I don’t care if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend’. My family have been so supportive”

On previous relationships, Joe admitted that he is very inexperienced.

He said: “I’ve kissed lots of girls but only one boy. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s weird, maybe that’s what happens.’ I didn’t know what it meant. It was nothing serious, just a one-off thing.”

Joe is preparing to launch his debut album in just a few short months and was a little worried when he had to tell record label boss Simon Cowell his news. However his fears were misplaced, the singer said that Cowell was very supportive and understanding when he phoned from his private yacht this week.

Joe concluded:

“Simon was 100% supportive. I’ve spoken to Cheryl but with her being ill, it’s not really been a priority to tell her. But I guess she’ll read this and she’ll be really happy for me.

“I’m not worried about how fans will react. They have always said they’ll back me no matter what. Everyone’s been really kind so I would like to thank them and your readers for all the support.”

We’d love to hear what you think of Joe’s news. Are you shocked to the core or was your gaydar buzzing all along? Leave your comments below.

Lisa McGarry

Lisa has been watching reality TV for too long now. She won't do any housework unless 'Big Brother' announces it over the tannoy and everything she does has to be put to a public vote!