Former Steps Singer Ian Watkins: I’m Gay

Ian Watkins, a Welsh singer from the former British pop group Steps, has decided 2007 is the year to come out of the closet. Steps split up in 2001 but tonight he’s set to join the cast of the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother.

IanwatkinsWatkins (seen here in a costume for Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat), came out to British tabloid The Sun:

“I come from a small valley in Wales and it just wasn’t the thing to do to be gay. It’s a bit of a cliche — but I was the only gay in the village. People get married at 21 where I come from and if you don’t do that, you’re questioned. You certainly don’t come to London and become a pop tart. I was very different and it was very hard…I could never have done this years ago, never. I was still coming to terms with it myself. But I’m comfortable with who I am now and I want everyone to know. I feel like a weight’s coming off my shoulders. It’s nice. I’m glad I’m doing this and feel it’s the right time.”

Watkins says that he recently ended a ten-year affair with the manager of Steps, Tim Byrne. He has been out to close friends and family for nine years.

Added the singer: “I’ve always felt a bit different, even as a very small child. At school people would tease me and call me names — ‘queer’ and that — and I started to question whether that was right. I can’t really pinpoint when exactly I knew I was gay…You don’t just wake up one morning and have a lightbulb moment and think, ‘I’m gay’. That’s why I never said anything earlier — I didn’t know what I was. These days my friends’ kids are openly gay at 16 or 17 and I think that’s great. I wish I could have done but I never had the courage.”

We wish Ian the best of luck on his new journey. Who’s next?

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  1. says

    I have straight friends who seem more gay than me, but it never crossed my mind for an nth of a second that H from Steps might not be anything other than a ‘mo.

    Well done for coming out, and all power to you. But, for all that is good in this world, don’t relaunch a pop career on the back of it.

  2. Lano says

    I LOVED Steps. They were like this awful secret pleasure. Used to fly to London just to see them when they would performa at G.A.Y. To be honest, I don’t think he really needed to come out. I think everyone pretty much assumed. Good for him though 😉

  3. Zedar says

    It is somewhat gigglesome that ‘H’ thought they world needed to be told that he is gay. I, for one, never considered it a matter in dispute. Of course, I wish him happiness – but I am concerned that he seems to have outed his ex. I’m sure it would have caught my attention that Tim Byrne was gay since the info that ‘H’ was gay would inevitably been mentioned in the same breath. It certainly wasn’t mentioned at the time of Steps breakup. The others mentioned a close relationship betwwen the two and their frustration over ‘H”s preferential treatment.

  4. dizzy spins says

    oh barf–coming out when your career is in the toilet and you have absolutely nothing to lose is not brave–its craven.

    When will the gay community finally stop congratulating every celebrity that reveals they’re gay, now matter how manipulative or cowardly they’ve been? Are we gonna put Fred Phelps on the cover of the Advocate when the ol’ coot finally comes out?

  5. says

    He’s a spineless buffoon who only came out because he’s going to be on Celebrity BB – and to The Sun newspaper too.

    Coming out in the UK does not harm anyone’s pop career. Steps were a huge band in the UK with a huge gay following and for him to remain in the closet [ie: lie] when it was blatantly obvious that he was a whoopsie for a full five years even after the band split is not brave – it’s cowardly.

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