X Factor star Honey G feared a homophobic backlash if she outed herself as a lesbian during her controversial stint on the ITV show.
The musician came out as gay for the first time publicly as she starred in a nude photo shoot in The Sun newspaper on Thursday.
Speaking to the tabloid she said: “I have dabbled with men before, but I’m gay and looking for a female partner that I want to settle down with.
“I have been with men in the past. But after I had my second experience with a woman I decided that I wanted to be with women. I was in the process of kind of deciding if I was going to stay with the boyfriend that I had at the time.”
The wannabe rapper, real name Anna Gilford, said she “wasn’t ready to come out to the public” when starring on The X Factor
“One of the questions that Simon asked me in that first audition was, ‘Have I got a boyfriend?’ And I was a bit defensive at the time because I was just like, ‘No, I’m single.’”
“Obviously I get worried about homophobia because there are a lot of homophobic people out there. They might not like it. So I was worried about that.”
She added her mentor - Sharon Osbourne - helped her to keep her sexuality private.
“She was always very protective of me when we had interviews together and they would ask me about it.
“She would step in and say something about her being bisexual. It was hilarious.”
The 36-year-old said she has “wanted kids since I was 19”, adding: “But I don’t just want to have kids on my own. I want to make sure that I’m with someone in a long-term serious relationship.”