By Hannah Roberts
Brave: Joe McElderry has decided to reveal the truth about his sexuality
X Factor winner Joe McElderry has revealed that he is gay, after hackers who broke into his account outed him on the internet.
The 19-year-old hit singer'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.
'I was really angry at first, thinking how dare they hack me?,' Joe told the Sun.
'But after a while I looked at the message and thought , Well they're not that far from the truth.
'I think the Twitter thing was the point when I realised I was gay,' he said.
Joe who won The X Factor in 2009, with Cheryl Cole as his mentor, only disclosed his sexuality to his mother last week on a train journey from Newcastle to London.
'I'm feeling good about it, it's liberating. Now I can just get on with my life,' he said.
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.
X factor boss Simon Cowell was one of the first to phone and offer his support after Joe broke the news to record chiefs at his label Syco earlier this week, Joe said
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