Phillip Schofield Coming Out As Gay Shouldn’t Be News
‘You never know what’s going on in someone’s seemingly perfect life, what issues they are struggling with, or the state of their well-being.’
These were the moving words written by Phillip Schofield before he made, quite possibly, the biggest public admission of his life.
The national treasure shocked millions of fans when he bravely revealed he’s spent the last several years coming to terms with the fact he’s gay.
His courageous decision to ‘come out’ comes after many years of sitting on the This Morning sofa, opposite some incredibly brave people who have been ‘open in confronting their truth’ – something which Phillip decided was finally his time to do.
I have no doubt Phil’s gallantry will inspire thousands – if not millions – of people coming to terms with their own identity, whether it’s an internal struggle over sexuality or any other personal battle.
We must, of course, come together and celebrate Phil for coming forward and paving the way for other LGBTQ+ people to stand out and proud, while also showing boundless admiration for his wife of 27 years, Stephanie Lowe, who has shown her husband unconditional love and support through what must also be an incredibly difficult time for her.
I dare anyone to watch Phil and Holly speaking on This Morning moments after Phil’s ‘coming out’ post and not feel teary, as the ‘silver fox’ recalls getting to the stage where he didn’t like himself because he wasn’t being honest with himself.
He described feeling ‘overriding guilt’ for the impact his statement would have on his wife and daughters, adding that it had always been a ‘slow process’ and ‘this was the day I knew that everything was pointing towards’.
Needless to say, Phil’s courageous announcement prompted an influx of heartfelt comments from fans and fellow celebrities alike, who wished to celebrate the presenter and show admiration for his bravery.
‘So much love to you,’ presenter and stylist Gok Wan said, ‘such bravery’.
Comedian Matt Lucas said:
I’m not surprised about Phillip Schofield.
Growing up I remember him presenting with Gordon the Gopher from inside that closet!
Joking aside, that cannot have been an easy statement to make. People come out at different stages in their lives. Good luck Phillip.
Actor and comedian David Walliams took to Twitter to send ‘all [his] love to Phillip Schofield today,’ adding ‘I have always held him in the highest regard, and now have nothing but respect and admiration for him.’
Let’s hope we are moving towards a world where no one has to come out anymore, they can just be who they are and celebrate that.
David raised an exceptionally important point.
While Phillip so clearly felt as though ‘coming out’ to the public was the right course of action for him to ‘live his truth’, as he put it, his sexuality shouldn’t be news.
Of course, it is news. Having been married to his wife for just shy of 27 years, and spending most of that time in the public eye as one of the UK’s most loved presenters, his revelation is news.
We, as a society, have come a long way in terms of trying to achieve equality for the LGBTQ+ community, yet with Phillip’s statement, it’s increasingly clear how far we still have to come in achieving true equality.
Phil shouldn’t have to announce his sexuality like a hot news topic in order to live as his authentic self. Only once we have reached a place of true equality will a celebrity’s sexual preference be neither here nor there.
While I would say the general consensus of the public was ‘shocked but happy for him’, others were quick to jump in and insist they somehow knew he was gay – as if it earns them some sort of social points for correctly calling on a celebrity’s sexuality.
But, instead of brushing it off, like, ‘we knew it anyway,’ or even worse, criticising him for ‘taking so long’ to come out, perhaps we should all be thinking about what factors kept him from being his true self all those years.
Phil is undoubtedly blessed with an incredibly accepting and loving family. Yet, when his career began some 30 years ago, the presenter was living in a very different time in which HIV and AIDS were a real crisis and, sadly, many of those diagnosed faced vile homophobic abuse from those who believed they somehow deserved it for being gay.
Now, in 2020, it’s amazing Phillip has felt able to come forth and be his authentic self, which – until we reach a time where such a revelation wouldn’t be considered ‘news’ – he sets a perfect example to anyone who is struggling to come to terms with their own identity.
We can only hope that his own courage and bravery will take us that step further in achieving a world where everyone can just live and let live, without the need to ‘come out’ or announce who they truly are.
Just when we thought we couldn’t love the silver fox any more than we already did, he excels himself. What a legend.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm Saturday, Or email [email protected]