Religion

Phillip Schofield helps This Morning viewer scared of coming out to her church

Lily Wakefield April 30, 2022
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Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were joined by Dear Deirdre. (ITV)

Phillip Schofield helped a This Morning viewer who was terrified of coming out to her church: ‘Life is so short, be happy.’

On Wednesday, 27 April, Schofield and Holly Willoughby were joined by Deidre Sanders for her Dear Deidre phone-in agony aunt segment.

One caller, using the pseudonym “Rachel”, told them: “I’ve had relationships with women when I was younger. I’m in my late 30s now and then I sort of settled for heterosexual relationships.

“But over the last few months, I’ve met a lady who I’d really like to develop a relationship with.”

Rachel said that “pretty much 90 per cent of my friends” were involved in her church, which strongly disapproves of homosexuality.

She continued: “I know if I did pursue this relationship and it became public knowledge – which I don’t see why I should have to hide it – not only would I risk getting thrown out of the church but also leaving all those friendships.”

The presenter, who came out as gay in 2020, was shocked, and asked the caller: “So in 2022, your church and faith group would throw you out?”

When Rachel said, “Absolutely”, he asked: “Well, what’s the point in being involved in a world like that?”

Phillip Schofield said religious hostility to LGBT+ folk was ‘medieval’

Phillip Schofield continued: “This is where religion drives me insane! For all the wonderful goodness it does, that aspect – that medieval aspect – which could step in the way.

“And surely, if there was a god, that god would want you to find some sort of happiness? And be loving? And I truly, truly believe those people aren’t worth knowing!”

Rachel agreed with him, saying she believes that “God is loving and forgiving, I don’t see it as something he would personally punish me for, I think there are a lot worse things that happen on a daily basis”.

Schofield said he understood that for some, LGBT+ identities can be “extremely hard to get your head around, to understand, to adapt to, to evolve to”, but that being around those who would disown her for her sexuality was unacceptable.

He added: “It would be wonderful to be able to weave your faith in your sexuality. Life is so short, be happy, as happy as you can. It’s time.”

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