George Shelley has opened up about his sexuality in a brave video he shared with fans on YouTube.
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George spoke candidly to fans in the short self-filmed video, telling them of how he has had loving relationships with men and women, and no longer wanted to hide who he is.
“There’s something I need to speak to you about,” he said. “I’ve been on a personal journey and I want you to be a part of that journey from now on and start 2016 with a clean slate.
“I went into the jungle and it gave me a long time to reflect on what’s important to me and that is to be myself. I don’t feel that I should hide anything.
“I’ve been reading a lot of speculation online as to whether I’m gay or straight or bi, and it’s all these labels and it’s a little bit old fashioned. That’s why I’m not going to label it myself because it’s not something I feel I can label.”
He continued: “I’ve had girlfriends that I’ve loved and have been amazing periods of my life, but I’ve also had boyfriends and I want you to know that whether I decide to be with a girl next or be with a guy next that it’s because I love them and that it shouldn’t be a big deal.
“I don’t want to make a big deal out of it when it happens and I don’t want to be scared any more. I don’t want to feel like I can’t be myself because I’m scared about what someone might be saying about me or the label thing and all that stuff.”
He added: “I’ve not changed, I’m still me, I’m still the same person I’ve always been, but like I said, I’m just becoming a little less scared of being myself and that makes me quite happy.”
The video mirrored the way Olympic diver Tom Daley opened up about his sexuality with a YouTube clip in December 2013.
George’s fellow ‘I’m A Celebrity’ campmate Ferne McCann was one of the first to congratulate him on being so brave, after they were both romantically linked after leaving the jungle.
“Feeling very proud of my lil jungle fwend today 💜 'happiness is letting go of what you think life is supposed to look like & celebrating it for everything that it is' I love you bubs,” she wrote on Instagram.
Queen of the Jungle Vicky Pattison also tweeted: "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."
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
His Union J bandmate Jaymi Hensley tweeted:
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
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
What can I say must be something they put it our waters !!! 🙌🏻❤️🌈— Jaymi Hensley (@JaymiUJWorld) February 3, 2016
Other friends and fans shared their support on Twitter:
❤️🌈 X @higeorgeshelley— Rylan Clark-Neal (@Rylan) February 3, 2016
@higeorgeshelley wow george that was so brave of you to do that, we all just wajt you to be happy and enjoy your life, be who u want to be 😘— Union J & TW FOREVER (@shazzamac1973) February 3, 2016
@higeorgeshelley I just cried I'm so proud of you for just being you and I'm so glad it makes you happier as a person xx— Kirsty (@KLW99) February 3, 2016
@higeorgeshelley I'm so proud of you for saying this, G! I love you no matter what, nothing changes that 💙 being yourself is most important!— lucy☽★ (@lattelucyy) February 3, 2016
@higeorgeshelley don't be scared to be anything but yourself people will still love you— SassySandra (@SandybUK) February 3, 2016
@higeorgeshelley Thanks for making me tear up in college... I'm proud of you, it takes a lot of guts to do that xxx— beth (@bethkelly__) February 3, 2016
Watch George's inspirational video above.