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Adam Lambert says when he was young  he was “ashamed of ” being gay in a new VH1 ‘Behind The Music’ special.

In the special, the 29-year old pop star speaks candidly about his youthful insecurity over his sexuality. He says he realized he was “different” when he was in the sixth grade, but didn’t say anything to anyone, recalling, “To me it was a deep secret … at that age, it was something I was ashamed of because it was so different.”

Lambert adds, “It’s one of the things that’s so hard about being a young person and realizing that you’re gay or bi or whatever — we’re not told that that’s okay.”

Lambert’s father says the entire family “breathed a collective sigh of relief” when Lambert told his mother about his sexuality. “It felt amazing; it really did,” Lambert recalls. “It felt like a weight was lifted, having that freedom of communication about a part of me that I had kept secret for so long.”