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Phillip Schofield says coming out as gay makes him feel like he’s ‘joined a club’

Phillip Schofield says coming out as gay makes him feel like he’s ‘joined a club’

  • But he’s not sure of the rules yet and had to ask Ru Paul’s Drag Race’s Michelle Visage.
Phillip Schofield on This Morning.

Phillip Schofield says he feels like he’s ‘joined a club’ by coming out as gay but doesn’t know the rules and had to ask Michelle Visage.

The RuPaul’s Drag Race judge, 52, reached out to the British TV presenter after he came out in February.

Visage invited Schofield to lunch before lockdown, he said on the Happy Place podcast with Fearne Cotton:

‘Before we all got locked down I had lunch with Michelle Visage and she said: “How do you feel?”

‘She is one of those compassionate, kind people and I’ve known her on and off the telly, and she was one of those people that messaged me… the most amazing people messaged me.

‘And she said: “Right, I am going to take you out for coffee. We have got to talk to make sure you are ok.”

‘And that is what a lot of people have said. “Are you ok? Are you sure you are ok?” 

‘I went out and I said: “I feel like I have joined a club. But I don’t know whether I have the right credentials? I don’t know, can I put a rainbow after stuff that I have said?”

‘She said: “Of course you can!” I said: “I don’t know what I can and can’t do?” 

‘She said: “You are beating yourself up for no reason. Welcome to the club and what’s more you have made a massive difference to people who didn’t realise they perhaps could have membership to that club.’

‘People surprise you’

Schofield came to fame as a children’s TV presenter in the Children’s BBC ‘broom cupboard’ from 1985 to 1987. He then moved on to Saturday morning kids’ show Going Live!

But he is now best known for This Morning, ITV’s daytime show, which he has co-hosted since 2002. He is also the host of Dancing on Ice.

His decision to come out as gay in February surprised the show business world.

He is currently promoting his new biography, Life’s What You Make It, and has done multiple interviews talking about coming out.

While he says he is now ‘proud’, he admits struggling with his mental health. He also regrets the impact coming out has had on his wife of 27 years, Stephanie Lowe and their two adult children Ruby and Molly.

Now he has described how he weighed up his decision to come out:

‘You can’t be married for 27 years and make this work. You can’t do this without hurting everybody. But what about me? If I don’t do this, then all I hurt is myself, maybe really seriously. And so that’s what goes around and round and round and around and around.’

However, he’s also revealed that people have surprised him with their reactions. That includes his mother Pat. When he told her, she was relieved it wasn’t something more serious.

He said: ‘She’s proved to be the most thoroughly modern 84-year-old. “How are you doing? What are you thinking? Let’s talk about it. Everything’s going to be okay.” So, people surprise you.

‘I’m fully aware that there are some families that the reaction is not like this. And that is a great sadness to me, is that not everyone’s going to get the reaction that I got. But I was lucky.’

Help is out there

LGBT+ people are more likely to struggle with poor mental health. But there is help if you just reach out.

You can find a list of LGBT+ resources and helplines all around the world here. Please note, some of the helplines may have different operating hours during the coronavirus pandemic.