As a gay man, it’s wrong for Phillip Schofield to claim this backlash is homophobic
There are many reasons why Schofield is under fire, but his sexuality isn’t one of them
“Attraction is attraction. It’s no different in the gay world as it is in the heterosexual world or in the lesbian world. There shouldn’t be a difference, this is where homophobia comes in,” Phillip Schofield has today said in his 43 minute long interview with the BBC about what is arguably the biggest scandal in the entertainment industry for years. “We did first meet when he was 15. I visited the drama school [he attended], so yeah, there’s a difference, it’s accepted by Leonardo DiCaprio, but it’s not accepted if it’s in the gay world,” Phillip Schofield continued – and as a fellow member of the same LGBTQ community as Schofe, hearing him shunt some of this backlash as homophobic is hurtful and diminishing to what we go through on a daily basis.
This Pride Month is more important than ever
As a gay man, and I assume Phillip Schofield will know this as well as I do, I can feel it everywhere I go now that homophobic behaviour in this current climate is on the rise. LGBTQ people are on the back foot, as the right continue to pounce on the rights of trans people that’s slowly spilling down to attacking drag queens and major pop stars like Sam Smith for their femininity. I remember how great it felt to be queer through the 2010s as Drag Race got mainstream, high profile celebrities were accepted for being transgender – now it feels like the media are acting like queerness was invented last year and transgender people using the toilets of the gender they identify as is a new request.
This is why it hurts when Phillip Schofield states the backlash to his affair with the young male runner as homophobic. Nobody is resenting what he did because it was with another man – people are angry at the lies, the abuse of power and the age difference.
Attitudes to age gap relationships are changing
As the world moves on and society evoles, and as younger generations hit their 20s with a different attitude to those before them – it’s easy to observe the general consensus to age gap relationships from people around my age is different to those of ones older than me. Whilst relationships between people between the ages of 18-22 with an older lover in their late 40s, 50s or older are legal, the general attitude is that the older person should know better that sometimes when you’re of the young age you don’t actually know what you want. There was debate and discourse amongst gay circles online recently when a young premiership gay footballer shared details of his relationship with a much older man. The truth is, we’re wise up to how those dalliances made us feel when we were that age.
Because of this, “unwise but not illegal” is not really a good enough reason for people to shrug off their feelings towards Schofield’s confession. From what I’ve seen, this has nothing to do with homophobic attitudes and more to do with people not standing for a relationship that was as inappropriate as it was unprofessional.
Comparisons with Cheryl and Caroline Flack are not right
Alongside the homophobic claims, I’ve noticed comparisons with what Phillip Schofield did to Cheryl’s relationship with Liam Payne and Caroline Flack’s with Harry Styles. It boggles my mind that people are incapable of telling the differences in the power dynamics of these relationships to Schofield. None of these relationships were in secret. There was no sneaking around. It’s not like this is all crumbling around Phillip Schofield because the person in question is another guy – there’s so much more at play.
It hurts me to see someone claim homophobia when a slight look deeper into the situation reveals it’s nothing of the sort.
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