Joe McElderry: I am gay
'X Factor' winner Joe McElderry, 19, has revealed he realised he is gay three weeks ago
Joe McElderry has revealed he is gay.
The 'Climb' singer - who shot to fame after winning the last series of 'The X Factor' - claims he only realised he is attracted to men three weeks ago, despite months of speculation about his sexuality.
He said: "I'm so happy. It's all 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'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."
The 19-year-old star's page on social networking website twitter was hacked recently, with a prankster posting a series of messages supposedly from Joe claiming to be gay.
The Newcastle-born singer admits he was upset at first but thinks the posts helped him to come to terms with his true feelings.
He explained: "I was really angry at first but after a while I looked at the messages and though, 'Well, they're not that far from the truth.'
"I think the twitter thing was the point where I realised I was gay. I just looked at it and thought, 'Should I be more bothered about this?' Because I wasn't, that's when it clicked and I thought maybe I was."
Joe - who claims to have only ever kissed one man, a fellow student, last year - only told his family about his sexuality last week, but says he has their full support and has pledged his confession won't make him act any differently.
He said: "My mum told all our close friends and family. They were all fine with it.
"I haven't changed as a person. This is just how I am feeling and I have chosen to talk about it.
"You're not going to see me strolling out of clubs with different people or anything like that. I won't be out there going mad. I am a really private person and I want to continue like that.
"I am not bothered about not having a partner. I don't feel I need to get in a relationship just for the sake of it."