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Aussie Idol Anthony Callea:

Tue 27 Mar 2007 In: International News

Australian Idol star singer Anthony Callea has ended years of speculation by confirming he is gay. The Australian Idol star told the Herald Sun newspaper he had reached a point in his life where he was comfortable enough to reveal his sexuality. "Yes, I am gay," Callea said yesterday. "I have no issue with my sexuality now, but it's taken time to become confident with who I am and happy with who I am. "I'm looking forward to living a life with no barriers and not having to worry about saying the right thing." Callea, 24, said he was planning to come out before a Sydney radio announcer accidentally did it for him this month. "I'm comfortable enough to come clean now. It's a weight off my shoulders," he said. He also suspected many of his fans wouldn't be too surprised. "I don't think it's a big issue. Who cares? If people have an issue with it, it's their issue. "It shouldn't really be relevant to me being a singer and a performer." Callea said he regretted denying he was gay during an interview in 2004 in the early days of his Idol experience. He feared being outed may have harmed his chances in the contest. "You learn from your mistakes. I was 21, 22 at the time," he said. "I didn't want to be known as just the gay contestant from Idol. "It was a very confusing time." Callea says no one in the Idol camp, his record company Sony BMG or his management insisted he hide his sexuality. But he said growing up as a gay Italian teenager was difficult. "I went through a stage of major depression," he said. "I hated myself. "I had to see a psychologist. I wasn't talking to anyone. My parents didn't know what was wrong with me. "But getting through that makes you a stronger person, it allows me to do what I'm doing now and not be affected by what's said." Callea said the support of his partner Paul had been invaluable. The singer met Paul while working on Idol. "I'm being honest but I still have a personal life I'm going to keep private," he said. Callea said while he has no problems with his revelation, he is concerned about the impact it may have on his family, who live in Melbourne's western suburbs. "I'm strong enough to cop any flak that might come my way, but I care about the comments that might come to my family and friends," he said. He hoped he will not become known as "gay singer Anthony Callea". His No. 1 hit The Prayer is the highest-selling single in Australian chart history. "I'm not ashamed of being gay, but it's not in my nature to go out and promote it," he said. "I want to be known as a singer and as a performer. This shouldn't change anything. "I'm happy to be judged on my music, but I don't think it's right to judge people on their sexuality or their religion or their race or anything."     Ref: Herald Sun (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 27th March 2007 - 12:00pm

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