Big Brother winner Cameron Cole faces torrent of homophobic abuse
Big Brother winner Cameron Cole has spoken about receiving a constant barrage of homophobic abuse after coming out as gay on the show.
Cole, 19, was named the winner of the 19th and final UK season of Big Brother last year.
Cameron Cole gets “really nasty” abuse after coming out on Big Brother
The reality star explained he has received “vile” messages on social media, as well as repeated phone calls encouraging him to kill himself and calling him a “f**king faggot.”
Cole said he had also experienced in-person homophobic abuse in central London, with one man recently yelling: “Isn’t that the faggot off the TV?”
He said: “‘It just makes me feel worthless when all this happens, and I am undeniably uncomfortable when out and about.
“It’s horrible logging onto social media and going through messages and having to sit and read nasty homophobic comments and abuse.”
The Big Brother winner says he has had “numerous people shout stuff at me when I’ve been out” and “wouldn’t feel safe walking down the streets holding hands with a guy.”
Big Brother winner Cameron Cole: Homophobia isn’t as dead as people think
Cole added: “It’s not just me who receives homophobia. Almost everyone in the community has received it at some point.
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“This is the reality unfortunately. We’ve come a long way, but the truth is homophobia really isn’t anywhere near as dead as society thinks it is. You can change the laws with regards to marriage and parenting but that doesn’t change people’s mindsets.”
Cole added that more work is needed to take hate crime incidents seriously.
He said: “We need to work to help young people, like me, who were afraid to come out in first place.
“They need to know there is a strong support system and they can safely report any abuse they receive without feeling like it is a waste of time.”
Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit on the Side host Rylan Clark-Neal also spoke out last week after a homophobic incident.