X Factor winner Joe McElderry has revealed he is gay and insisted: "I am feeling good about it".
The singer's disclosure to two tabloid newspapers came after hackers broke into his account on the social networking site Twitter and "outed" him.
McElderry, 19, said once he got over his anger at the prank it made him realise the truth about his sexuality.
Speaking to The Sun, he said: "I was really angry at first - thinking, 'How dare they hack me'? 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. 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. It was a turning point, definitely."
The Geordie star said he told his mother Eileen in a phone call last week while on a train journey from London to Newcastle.
He told the Daily Mirror: "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'."
McElderry, whose single The Climb hit No1 in December 2009, revealed that X Factor mogul Simon Cowell phoned to offer his full support when he heard the news.
The singer added that although he kissed a boy last year he had not been in a gay relationship.