Actress Heather Peace had a ‘homophobic’ nanny refuse to work with her and her wife
Actress and musician Heather Peace had a nanny refuse to look after her three children — because she didn’t want to work for two women.
The out Waterloo Road and Lip Service star, who married her wife Ellie in 2014 after converting her civil partnership, recently began to look for a nanny.
As Ellie would be recovering from major surgery and would be unable to lift up their two youngest children for several weeks, the pair enlisted the services of a local agency to find help at short notice.
The mums-of-three were able to secure a nanny to meet with, however, the nanny cancelled the visit the evening before after learning that the parents were both women.
Peace told PinkNews: “The nanny was due to come around the next day, then there was an awkward email sent that night before I got home that said: ‘I’m not comfortable working for two women.'”
On Twitter, Peace shared a Facebook status from her wife who criticised the nanny for judging their family.
“I told the agency boss that it was a disgrace and that as long as she was employing homophobic nannies I wouldn’t be using her agency,” Peace’s wife Ellie wrote on Facebook.
Peace told PinkNews that the agency initially listened to their concerns, saying: “There was a phone call and then an email exchange. The lady who runs the agency did say, ‘Oh, it’s terrible to hear that in this day and age.'”
However, after asking what would be done to make amends and to prevent this happening to other families, the agency blocked Ellie’s email address.
The pair then emailed from an alternative email address but did not receive a response.
Peace, who has recently been announced as a performer at Manchester Pride, continued to say that the agency had provided one rather “bizarre” response to their complaint.
She said that the agency head responded: “Well, we booked an au pair for two gay guys recently, she turned up at their house and they didn’t want her because she was ‘too fat to fit in their bathroom’ so prejudice happens on every level.”
The experience had left the Waterloo Road actress “heavy-hearted” and that she felt motivated to speak out because of her children.
She said: “I felt it was a real onslaught about what we’re going to face as a young family and I don’t want them to have that.
“This woman is nannying other people’s kids and I thought that our generation had kind of moved on.”
Peace continued: “I thought things were improving – they have completely improved – and that’s why it’s so shocking.
“It’s hit me with a sledgehammer because I feel completely accepted, everywhere I go, I feel completely accepted.
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“That’s why it’s harder to take, because it’s not that often.”
The 43-year-old actress and singer said that while she has been highly supported since going public with the experience, she has no plans to publicly shame the agency.
“We have had so much support on Twitter but a heck of a lot of people have said name and shame, but that’s not really the tactic I like to go for,” she said.
“I felt like I had a duty to stand up and say something, It’s not really my normal stance to show any negativity, but on this particular occasion, it’s affecting my children.”
Peace said that she hoped to suggest to the agency that they train their staff about these issues, as well as hoping to contact the nanny herself.
She said: “Unless you experience prejudice you don’t really know what it feels like, and that’s the important thing.”