Union J singer George Shelley recently made the brave decision to publicly address his sexuality.
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday morning, Shelley revealed that he had an important announcement, as he tweeted, "Hey! I've got something important to tell you..." along with the hashtag #BeYourself and a link to a YouTube video.
In the video, the singer can be seen in cheerful spirit, wearing a black sweater, as he begins to explain that he has "been on a personal journey" and would like fans to be a part of said journey.
"I want to start 2016 with a clean slate. I went into the jungle [as part of I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!], and it gave me a lot of time to reflect on what's important to me, and what is important to me is I can be myself", he explained.
"I don't feel that I should hide anything, so... I've been reading a lot of speculation online about whether I'm straight or gay or bi, and it's all these labels", he continued. "It's a little bit old-fashioned, and that's why I'm not going to label it myself. It's not something I feel I can label".
Instead, Shelley revealed his sexual preferences in a more honest way, explaining, "I've had girlfriends that I've loved. But I've also had boyfriends. I want you to know that whether I decide to be with a girl next or be with a guy next, it's because I love them".
Most importantly, Shelley wanted fans to know that sexuality, and who you fall in love with, should never be a big deal.
He continued, "It shouldn't be a big deal, and I don't want to make a big thing out of it. I don't want to be scared anymore. I don't want to feel like I can't be myself because I'm worried about what somebody might be saying about me, or the labels.
"I've not changed. I'm still me. I'm still the same person I've always been. I'm becoming a little bit less scared of being myself, and that makes me quite happy".
His words are powerful and have inspired others to be their true selves too. Comments on the post include one from Tidus, who wrote, "Cant wait until the day sexuality is just another part of a person like eye colour. We are living in an amazing time right now, the centuries of religious dictation are leaving and people are being 'human'. Respect for you George, I hope you find someone who really cares for you".
And perhaps the fact that sexuality has become so fluid is a sign that we, as a society, are finally learning to become more tolerant.
MarcaiFilms wrote, "If anyone has got a problem with being bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, ANYTHING, the 1980's will gladly take you back. Welcome to 2016 where humans show some respect to one another!"
"George I'm proud of you. I'm Bisexual myself and I feel really proud of you. You're a brave and strong man", AJ The Snake YT shared.
Friends of Shelley have also taken to social media to show their support, including television personality Ferne McCann, who took to Instagram to share an encouraging message.
While Geordie Shore's Vicky Pattison revealed how "proud" she was.
I have never been prouder of my amazing friend @higeorgeshelley, no matter who you love my darlin, we will always love you-You brave human— Vicky Pattison (@VickyGShore) February 3, 2016
And band member JJ Hamblett also weighed in.
Proud of you @higeorgeshelley— JJ Hamblett (@JJHamblett) February 3, 2016
As did fellow band members Josh Cuthbert and Jaymi Hensley (who revealed he was gay in 2012).
Proud of my brother @Higeorgeshelley Big love ❤️ .x— JOSH CUTHBERT (@JoshUJWorld) February 3, 2016
Obviously you support for George is very close to my heart! I couldn't be prouder of how he has shown such strength over this recently....— Jaymi Hensley (@JaymiUJWorld) February 3, 2016
Hensley also asked fans to be as supportive of Shelley as they have been of him.
And you have never judged me because of who I choose to love so please show him the same love you showed me !...... Very proud— Jaymi Hensley (@JaymiUJWorld) February 3, 2016
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