Joe McElderry thanks fans for great support

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: X Factor winner, Joe Mcelderry performs as part of The X Factor Live Tour at Wembley Arena on February 20, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)

X Factor winner Joe McElderry has thanked fans for their support after revealing he is gay.

The 19-year-old singer, who made the admission yesterday, said he was humbled by the amount of positive comment he received about his brave decision to reveal his sexuality.

He wrote on his Twitter page: ‘Hey guys, thank you so much for your amazing and overwhelming support. You’re all fantastic! x’

Joe’s sexuality was revealed as a joke on the social networking website Twitter, where it persuaded him to come out about his true feelings.

One message posted by the hackers read, ‘It’s been difficult living a lie for so many years…’

But after the initial shock subsided Geordie Joe felt encouraged to open up about his sexual orientation.

Joe says he was angry at the Twitter hackers at first but then looked at their message and thought ‘Well, they’re not that far from the truth.’

Joe, who had a girlfriend for three years while at school, says he has only begun thinking about his sexuality in the last few weeks.

‘I thought “Actually, my feelings have changed – this is how I feel now.” The penny has dropped,’ he said.