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'They called us a gold digger and a perv': Ex-rugby star Sam Stanley and fiance on the gay men who hate them for being in love

The engaged couple talk age gap relationships and their travel brand Inclusive Retreats to mark Digital Pride

'They called us a gold digger and a perv': Ex-rugby star Sam Stanley and fiance on the gay men who hate them for being in love

Sam Stanley and fiance Laurence Hicks have spoken about the hate they’ve received from gay men for being a couple.

They say members of their community accused Sam of being ‘gold digger’ and Laurence a ‘perv’ for their age gap relationship.

The guys furthermore added that much of the vitriol was in response to this supportive op-ed published by Gay Star News at the time.

The ex-rugby player and the travel expert went public with their relationship in 2015. This followed Sam coming out as gay in a national newspaper interview.

Sam and Laurence topless in a bathroom

Sam and Laurence have opened up about their experience to support Digital Pride, the online festival raising the profile of LGBTI issues, inclusivity and equality.

Earlier this week, we published part one of our interview with the pair, in which they revealed all about their travel company Inclusive Retreats.

The guys set up the new LGBTI-focused tour operating service – which offers itineraries to countries such as Brazil, Thailand and the USA – earlier this year.

‘There was a negative reaction to the negative reaction’

Discussing the online reaction when they went public as a couple Laurence told us: ‘We decided we wouldn’t respond to [the hate].’

‘But the interesting thing was other people were saying what we really wanted to say for us!’

He furthermore added. ‘There was a negative reaction to the negative reaction to the gay community.’

For more information about Sam and Laurence, visit

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