A number of Twitter users took to the microblogging site during The Voice UK this evening to send abusive messages mocking the perceived gender identity of a contestant.

During his intro on the show, James Byron says: “I have always been quite feminine, so I get a lot of people who confuse me for a woman.”

Byron wears makeup, and has in past interviews spoken of being bullied at school for his androgynous image.

Despite being open about past confusions over his gender identity, a minority of Twitter users took to the site to mock Byron for his appearance.

One user said: “Can’t cope with this he/she called James. It’s madness,” and referring to James’ name, another said: “Strange name for a woman that.”

James is a hot tranny”, one user exclaimed, and another claimed: “That james would make a good transsexual u kno”.

Another Twitter user, also called James, said: “I’m embarrassed to share my name with that James person”.

Despite a minority who sent abusive messages, most comments referred to James’ performance on stage, and a majority sent messages of support.

Speakng in an interview with The Mirror earlier this year, Byron said: “Androgyny is part of my style. I really respect women a lot and I don’t see any shame in looking like a woman.

“I don’t dress up too crazily, but I do wear feminine make-up so I do get people judging me when I walk down the street.

“On The Voice I could showcase myself as a person, not an androgynous person.”

Byron was taken through following tonight’s Battles round.

Yesterday, the co-host of a BBC game show took to Twitter to condemn users who also sent transphobic messages about a contestant.