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Playwright Alan Bennett: Coming out as gay to my parents would have been pointless

Joseph McCormick October 31, 2015

Playwright Alan Bennett has said he never came out to his parents as gay because he “didn’t see the point”.

The ‘History Boys’ writer said he never came out as gay to his parents because he “just didn’t see the point of that”.

The 81-year-old who is in a 23-year relationship with World Of Interiors editor Rupert Thomas said he thought it would be difficult for his parents to accept.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Alan Bennett arrives at Odeon Leicester Square for "The Lady In The Van" - Centrepiece Gala, on October 13, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI)

Speaking to the Guardian Weekend magazine, he said: “It would have distressed both of them. People talk about coming out to their parents, and I just didn’t see the point of that.

“In my case, coming out about what? Nothing was happening – I might be gay, but I didn’t have a partner or anything, so there was no point.”

Speaking of his relationship with Anne Davies, he said it “started off just as a fling, really, but we became very fond of each other.”

“She overlapped with Rupert and so it ended, and then she came to Yorkshire and lived next door.

“To begin with, not surprisingly, she didn’t get on with Rupert, but then she became ill and she became closer to Rupert than she was to me, really.”

She died in 2009.

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Of their relationship, he said she was “very beautiful”, and that he enjoyed some of the speculation about his sexual orientation.

He said: “I think I probably got some satisfaction from thinking, ‘Well, everyone assumes I am gay.'”

Bennett previously said he didn’t want to be “labelled” as a gay man for fear of it detracting from his artistic work.

More: Alan Bennett, playwright, The History Boys

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