Former Steps star IAN 'H' WATKINS has publicly confirmed he is gay and has been secretly dating his former manager for 10 years. The pair, who split up a few months ago, kept their relationship secret because the British singer feared fans' reactions to the revelation, especially in his hometown in Wales. He says, "I come from a small valley in Wales and it just wasn't the thing to do to be gay. People get married at 21 where I come from and if you don't do that, you're questioned. "I could never have done this (come out) years ago, never. I was still coming to terms with it myself. But I'm comfortable with who I am now and I want everyone to know. "I feel like a weight's coming off my shoulders. It's nice. I'm glad I'm doing this and I feel it's the right time." Watkins shot to fame in 1997 with Steps and fellow bandmates LEE LATCHFORD EVANS, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Claire Richards.