X Factor’s Bella Penfold has opened up about her sexuality, revealing how her mum reacted when she came out.
The talented singer is one of eight contestants currently left in the show, mentored by Simon Cowell.
Speaking ahead of the latest live show, Bella has spoken about her personal life and coming out to her parents.
The teenager said: “I didn’t come out until I was 16, or 17 so I wasn’t really ever bullied as a child. My friends were mature enough by then to understand. I’ve been blessed I haven’t had abuse. It doesn’t phase me walking down the street, holding hands with a girl.
“I told my mum a couple of years ago. My mum is great now but she struggled with my sexuality at first. She was worried for me and found it hard.”
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Bella continued: “The problem is society implies there is something wrong with it which affects how people think. It is a vicious cycle.
“In the end it was my mum’s choice to accept it and see me happy or not and lose me.”
Bella, who revealed she currently has a girlfriend, went on to say that some of her friends and told her to hide her sexuality.
But Bella was confident in being true to herself, saying: “I haven’t had to ask anyone’s permission to be open on the show. I’m just being me. I’m not forcing anyone to have my ideas and opinions I just wanted to be brave and fearless to help those who are scared.
“I also think it’s important for the older generation to see it as well as the younger ones. To realise it isn’t a big deal.”
The X Factor went live for the fourth time last weekend with a ‘Movie’ theme live show, where Bella wowed with a cover of A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman.
She sailed through the latest public vote as two acts were eliminated in the X Factor 2018 results when duo Misunderstood and Giovanni Spano were sent home.
Now just 8 acts are currently left in the competition. Alongside Bella, they are Anthony Russell, Brendan Murray, Dalton Andre Harris, Danny Tetley, Scarlett Lee, Shan Ako and Acacia and Aaliyah.
The X Factor 2018 is back this weekend, Saturday, November 17, at 8:10PM on ITV and continues with the fifth results show at 8PM on the Sunday, November 18. The theme is Big Band week and there will be performances from Cheryl and Tom Walker.