Big Brother star gave Duncan James the courage to come out during height of fame

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Blue's Duncan James has opened up about times have changed since he started out in the band in the noughties.

The singer, 44, recently made the revelation that he found it difficult to come out in his early career as most of his fanbase were female.

Appearing on Rylan Clark’s Ry-Union podcast, he said: "I think being in such a public boy band, with the majority of fans being female, it was really hard for me to actually have the courage to come out because I was scared on so many different levels on so many different things.

"And, to be honest, I didn’t quite understand too much about my own sexuality at that time, I was just really confused.

"So I was kind of just like all over the place and, what with the height of the fame and everything, it was just one of those things where I kind of buried it inside me and I didn’t want to accept it and want to think about it."

Talking about these claims exclusively to the Daily Star at a Snug Presents even, he said: "I mean I don't think it would be an issue nowadays but back then it was a lot of 'cloak and dagger', wasn't it?"

"There were a lot of different ways of living and everyone is a lot more accepting now which is an amazing thing and I think so now more than ever that we wave the LGBTQ+ flag and everyone is more accepting and you don't have to hide it anymore.

"There are people like Rylan who wave that flag and signal the message that it is all ok."

Talking about his relationship with his Brazilian boyfriend Rodrigo Reis, 28, he added: "It's very serious, we've been together three and a half years now – but wedding bells? I'm not going to give that away just yet."

Continuing on during his podcast with Rylan he also explained how there wasn't much gay representation on TV back then.

Duncan said: "We didn’t have any kind of television programmes that embraced the LGBT+ community back then, you know – there was no RuPaul’s Drag Race, there was no TV shows like It’s A Sin.

"You know, I think the closest thing we got to anybody being a gay icon was Nadia (Almada) from Big Brother. She was the original in many ways.

"And it wasn’t until, I guess, people were being visible on our screens that it gave me the kind of strength and the courage to actually think “Right, I need to be visible too.'"

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