Coronation Street’s gay vicar: ‘I hated myself for being gay’
A star of the popular ITV show says he struggled to come to terms with his sexuality.
Coronation Street actor Daniel Brocklebank has opened up about his sexuality, claiming that he “hated himself for being gay” when he was younger.
The actor – who plays Billy Mayhew on the popular ITV soap – spoke about coming out at just 15, after years spent hoping that his sexuality was just a phase.
“I always knew I was different from the other boys I hung around with, but couldn’t ever work out what it was,” Brocklebank told Gay Times.
The actor also discussed the effects of controversial anti-gay law Section 28, which stopped him from discussing his sexuality in school.
“I was 12-years-old the first time I actually realised that I was gay,” he said.
“Back then there was no internet, very few gay people on TV or in the media, and we weren’t taught about homosexuality in school due to Section 28 – so for a while I thought I might be the only person out there who felt like that.
“I hated myself for it and hoped it was a phase.”
The actor added: “I was 15-years-old and told my mum first, and then the rest of the family in one hit, like ripping off a plaster.
“It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once. To feel free to say the words ‘I’m gay’ out loud was one of the hardest yet most natural things in the world.
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“Now I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love who I am.”
Brocklebank previously revealed that he receives hate mail and death threats for playing a gay vicar.
Since first appearing, he has embarked on a romance storyline with barman Sean Tully – leading some to complain about the story’s portrayal.
“Somebody tweeted me the other day and said they wanted to kick ‘that faggy Sean’s head in and crucify the shirt-lifting vicar’. I thought: ‘Crucify?’ God, can we have a coffee first?
“I get a lot of stuff from right-wing Christian groups too.”