Singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright credits his homosexuality with freeing him from the conventions which restrict heterosexual men.

The WANT TWO artist, who told his parents he was gay aged just 14, found growing up in a sexual minority liberating.

He says, "I'm constantly thankful for being gay, because it forced me to take myself out of the centre of the universe and just go with the flow.

"Straight men aren't really given that opportunity - they always have to be in control."

But the 32-year-old admits staying true to his sexuality wasn't always easy.

He recalls, "My parents found it difficult to come to terms with, because being gay was essentially a death sentence in the mid-to-late eighties.

"They were frightened for me because of AIDS."