Justin Hawkins believes The Darkness ''connect'' with gay men.

The 37-year-old singer - who previously dated the band's manager, Sue Whitehouse - will not reveal his true sexuality, but thinks his flamboyant rock outfits are a good tool for reaching out to an alternative audience.

He said: ''My sexual persuasion is no one's business but my own - but I'm easily persuaded. Just kidding.

''It's funny because it came up recently in a German interview. They reckoned that when you Google Justin Hawkins, one of the first things that comes up is 'Is Justin Hawkins gay?'

''And I'd like to think that's because there's something I do that connects with a gay audience.''

Justin adds the group - made up of himself, his brother Dan, Ed Graham and Frankie Poullain - are a ''bit effeminate'' in their style.

He told The Guardian newspaper: ''Yeah. I think we're all a bit effeminate. We're not men's men, much as we may appear to be so.''

The Darkness are set to tour with Lady GaGa as the support act on her Born This Way Ball tour in September.