G4 star Mike Christie has publicly come out as gay.

In an exclusive interview with GAY TIMES, the singer and baritone reveals that he’s been married to a man for the past ten years and has two “wonderful” children.

“I’ve got so much love to give to my children, and I wanted this my whole life,” he says. “When I realised that I had fallen in love with a man, I thought I wouldn’t be able to have kids, so it means everything to me. They have such a zest of life and they feel so loved.”

Christie memorably rose to fame as a member of G4 on the first-ever season of The X Factor (2004), where they placed runner-up behind Steve Brookstein.

The four-piece British vocal troupe, known for their operatic spin on modern pop classics, have since released five studio albums including their chart-topping debut, which is certified 3 x Platinum.

To mark the 20th anniversary of their debut on The X Factor, the group is releasing their first album of new material in seven years, titled 20, digitally on 12 April and physically on 17 May.

Christie tells GAY TIMES that he has considered publicly speaking about his sexuality for a “number of years”, but finds the coming out process redundant: “I just don’t feel that it’s right for someone to have to come out. It’s such a bizarre thing.

“You wouldn’t announce to people, ‘I am straight!’ That sounds ridiculous. But, if someone reads this article and feels braver because of it, and feels more powerful and open, then I think that’s a wonderful thing.”

During his stint on The X Factor, Christie reveals that he attempted to come out as bisexual – a label he identified with at the time – in an interview, which was immediately shut down by the show’s PR team.

“We were in a conference room and every table had a different publication on it, and we worked our way around the room,” he remembers.

“Of course, everyone was asking, ‘Are you guys in relationships?’ and the truth is we were all single. There were no lies there.

“There was one publication in particular, and for whatever reason, I felt brave enough to say I’m bisexual. Twenty years ago, that was incredibly brave and I had gone through absolute hell with it, emotionally, and wasn’t sure what I wanted or who I wanted.”

The PR team came “straight over” to the publication and shut down the interview, offering an exclusive with The X Factor judge Sharon Osborne instead “as a softener to to basically say, ‘Do not print this.’ It made me feel I should be ashamed of who I was.”

Christie, who was new to the industry, realised in that moment that being an out gay singer wasn’t possible, especially an out gay singer on one of the UK’s most-watched shows at the time.

“I thought, ‘My goodness, I could actually ruin it here for the rest of the guys and end our career as a band. I’ve said something that could jeopardise the whole thing. So I simply wasn’t able to be completely me.”

Christie follows in the footsteps of The X Factor season 13 winner Matt Terry, who came out as part of the LGBTQIA+ community in an interview with GAY TIMES last month.

Christie credits his mother and late father with helping him come to terms with his sexuality and fame, describing them as a “real constant for me in that process”, despite his father undergoing chemotherapy for cancer during The X Factor.

However, Christie shares that it was “not hugely long ago” that he really felt comfortable with his authentic self, despite having been “always very open with my friends and family, so it’s never been an issue or hidden.”

Understandably, Christie would not like to disclose the names of his partner or children out of respect for their privacy.

“My family don’t like the public eye, and I don’t think it’s fair when you have kids that are under 18 to put them under that pressure. I’ve got their interests at heart way beyond mine.”

He remembers his daughter in primary school feeling “terribly sad” for her friends who only had “one daddy”, and she said she felt so lucky to have “two” which was, of course, normal to her.

In contrast, Christie recalls a conversation with his son when he was seven-years-old, when he “totally out of the blue” asked him if his father identified as gay. He says it was the first time he felt comfortable with his answer.

“I said, ‘Yes, I am.’ It had such a profound and deep meaning to it, with so many attached bits of baggage and flashbacks of my entire life; people who had bullied and been homophobic to me.

“Yet to him it was the equivalent of him asking, ‘Why is the sun yellow?’ He said to me, ‘It’s a bit weird, isn’t it?’ and I said, ‘Well, what do you mean?’ He said, ‘Being gay is a bit weird.’”

His comments “threw” him, but after they unpacked it, his son noted that it was “weird” because there was no LGBTQIA+ representation on the television programmes or movies he watched.

“I thought, ‘You know what? You’re so switched on.’ So I said to him, ‘Well what about Black people? Are there any Black people in those shows?’ And he said, ‘Oh… not really.’ We started talking about representation and he cottoned on,” Christie shares.

“That was a few years ago, and you just think, no wonder people are shocked by it when they’ve never come across it. They don’t realise that’s normal life. I thought that was an incredible observation he made, especially at such a young age.”

Christie describes his children as ‘fantastic, happy and thriving’. He condemns ignorant people who question whether LGBTQIA+ people “make good parents”: “It amazes me that people still feel that way. I’d love to say to those people, ‘Come meet my kids and ask them.’

“And people have even said to me, ‘What would you do if your kids were gay?’ And I think, ‘What kind of question is that? What do you mean, what would I do?’ I just want them to be happy.”

As well as celebrating the release of G4’s new album, the quartet are scheduled to embark on a tour across the UK this year. The G4: 20th Anniversary Tour kicks off in Worthing on 16 April and will come to a close in Stockport on 15 October.

Christie says it’s “wonderful” to reunite with the group, which also includes Jonathan Ansell, Duncan Sandilands and Jai McDowall, “to still be able to do what we do and love”. He recalls feeling like their “career was over” when they placed second on The X Factor, yet they signed a record deal with Sony immediately after.

“If someone said 19, 20 years ago that we’d still be going on all this time, I genuinely wouldn’t have believed it,” he explains, before teasing the material that will be performed on tour: “We’ve still got the old classics that people love and want to hear.

“But, also now the new tracks from the album which will take people on a rollercoaster of emotions including covers of Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Muse and James Blunt, as well as Dusty Springfield and even a touch of barbershop.”

Christie adds: “We can’t wait to get out on the road and to share the new music. It’s an absolute buzz.”

G4’s new album 20 will be released digitally on 12 April. For more information on tickets and dates for their upcoming 20th anniversary tour, visit their website.