Duncan James ‘proud to be gay’ as he pays tribute to boyfriend Rodrigo Reis on Instagram

Duncan James and a topless Rodrigo Reiss smiling and cuddling

Duncan James has said he’s “proud to be gay” in a tribute to his boyfriend Rodrigo Reis on social media.

The singer took to Instagram on Saturday 20 July to share a photograph of himself and Reis nose-to-nose as they basked in the setting Belgian sun.

“Cute pic alert,” the 41-year-old wrote. “Such a beautiful person inside and out. Thankyou @rodrigolopesreis for making me smile.”

“So much love for this photo,” a fan replied. “So pleased that you’ve finally found yourself and can happily and proudly show who you are after so long of hidden by it and feeling to ashamed and embarrassed. You make an amazing couple and your smile says so much.

“Your a huge inspiration to those that are scared to open up and express themselves. I wish you guys so much happiness. And it’s about time that you was truly happy. [sic]”

“The power of love is that it sees all people,” another wrote. “You don’t fall in love with the gender. You fall in love with the person.”

“I can’t cope,” singer Alexandra Burke added. “Always wifey baby. Can’t wait to meet hubby xxxxx I love you and miss you.”

Today, James tweeted the same image, opening up about how he has struggled to come to terms with his sexuality over the years and thanking his followers for the “amazing response.”

“I posted this pic on my Insta yesterday & couldn’t get over the amazing response, comments and love from people,” he gushed. “I didn’t identify as a gay man for many years because of my own issues with coming out, but finally I’m happy in my skin & this guy next 2 me makes me proud 2 be gay.”

“I didn’t decide to come out, I got outed”

James – who is perhaps best known for being a member of pop group Blue alongside Antony Costa, Lee Ryan and Simon Webbe – defined himself as bisexual as part of a ‘coming out’ feature which was published by the News of the World in 2009. But in 2013, he claimed that the tabloid pressured him into saying he was attracted to both men and women.

“I didn’t decide to come out, I got outed by them,’ he told Gay Times magazine at the time. “They had a team of investigators and had an inkling I was up to some stuff and they had a file on me.

James previously came out as bisexual in 2009 (Graham Stone / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

“They found some guy who knew all about me and told me they’d either run his story or I could tell them mine, and it was better to come from me. They say every boy band has a gay member in it and I guess I’m that one in Blue.

“Before the story came out, I’d felt like I was the only person in the world going through this as I hadn’t told that many people,” added James. “But I was happy with the way the story was written, and in the end it was a big relief. I realised being bisexual wasn’t a big deal and that most people didn’t really give a f***.

“I had been paranoid, thinking I’d walk down the road and people would shout ‘Oi f****t’ or gay bash me. But when I got support from fans, family and friends, I had nothing to worry about.”