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Film and TV

Five times Phillip Schofield stood up for gay rights throughout his legendary career

Reiss Smith February 7, 2020
Phillip Schofield gay

Phillip Schofield has long been a supporter of gay and trans rights. (Getty)

Phillip Schofield has been a fierce supporter of LGBT+ rights long before he came out as gay.

The This Morning host told the world that “being gay is a reason to celebrate and be proud” as he came out, aged 57.

He thanked his wife and two daughters for “their strength and support”, explaining that he has spent the past few years “coming to terms with the fact that I am gay”.

Throughout Phillip Schofield’s career he has proven to be a passionate defender of LGBT+ rights.

As recently as December 2019, he spoke out in support of Ian ‘H’ Watkins and Matt Evers, the first-ever same-sex couple to compete on his show Dancing On Ice.

“What’s lovely about same-sex couples is that it’s a big deal this year and then, whether Strictly or whoever does it next year, it won’t be such a big deal,” he said on This Morning.

Phillip Schofield slammed anti-gay protestor.

The presenter also has a history of intervening when guests on his ITV daytime show have express homophobic views.

In May 2019, Schofield interrupted the Birmingham school protestor Shakeel Afsar, who led demonstrations against the teaching of LGBT-inclusive relationship education.

“Aren’t you discriminating against the LGBT community, you’re doing exactly what you’re saying is happening to you?” he asked.

“You are discriminating because what you’re doing is, you’re encouraging your children, as parents you will encourage your children to be less tolerant.”

This Morning host called anti-trans campaigner ‘abhorrent.’

In November 2017, the usually mannered presenter snapped at a woman who denied the existence of trans people.

Andrea Williams, the head of campaigning group Christian Concern, told Schofield: “We are born male and female and we cannot change that, surgery cannot change that.”

Schofield told Williams that he found her views “utterly abhorrent”, and ended the interview with: “Back to the show and back to 2017, and not medieval Britain.”

The exchange followed a similar one in September 2017, when This Morning welcomed a Christian couple who claimed that tolerance of trans people would lead to children identifying as animals.

As the couple argued, “We’ve got to think about the big picture, all the other kids.” Schofield hit back: “It’s not an issue with the children, it’s an issue with you.”

You’re the ones who have the problem, not the children.

In the same month, Schofield and Willoughby welcomed the activist Dan Barrett to their show and agreed to front his documentary raising awareness of LGBT+ people living with autism.

In the video Schofield introduces Barrett, saying: “Coming out as gay and bisexual is more challenging with learning difficulties like autism.”

More: coming out, ITV, Phillip Schofield, This Morning

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