Joe McElderry, who won the sixth season of the UK's singing talent contest The X Factor, says nobody has a responsibility to come out.

Since the show's finale, he's climbed to the top of the UK and Irish charts. His debut studio album, Wide Awake, was produced with the help of former American Idol judge and The X Factor creator Simon Cowell.

Last year, the fresh-faced McElderry came out gay after first denying rumors about his sexual orientation. He was 19.

In a cover story for UK gay glossy Gay Times – one of four covers to celebrate the magazine's 400th issue – McElderry says coming out is a deeply personal decision.

“I don't think anybody has a responsibility to come out, whether you're famous or not,” he said. “It should be down to whether you feel comfortable. At the end of the day, it is people's private lives. People don't walk down the street and go, 'I'm straight.'”

McElderry added that reaction to his coming out has been overwhelmingly positive.