Courage from Phillip Schofield 

Mr Schofield made an emotional announcement on ITV’s This Morning, with his close friend Holly Willoughby, that it has taken many years for him to open up and let others know that he is gay. Prior to his television announcement, Phillip posted on Instagram, that he has been conflicted internally for a very long time and the courage to be honest to people has not been an easy path. Being happily married for over two decades, with 2 grown up daughters, the news hit their family hard. However, there is no hatred; only love and support for him. 

He cannot stress enough the importance of talking

It is through the progress of not only the public behaviours changing about the LGBT+ community, but the many people who have been on the This Morning couch who have openly discussed their personal dilemmas that have helped Phillip take the huge step of trying to understand the inner turmoil that is going through his head. During his interview, he cannot stress enough the importance of talking and having someone who is there just to listen to you.

On the outside, it would appear that he has everything one could ask for: a happy family, good friends and a supportive team to work with. But internally, he is in turmoil and has lost sleep over his inner conflict. Phillip evoked an emotional truth on TV, where anyone who was watching could see that this was not only terrifying to do, but this announcement also gave him huge relief.  He truly cares for his wife, Stephanie Lowe, and she has been a rock for him. However, this unexpected news came down on her like a tonne of bricks and is something that has shattered her world.

Coming out is not easy, even today

Coming out is not easy, even today where we talk about gender fluidity and LGBTQ+ and have Pride month, some stereotypical barriers still exist. For some it is a fairly easy thing to accept, because loving or caring for someone is about how they make you feel instead of what their orientation is; it’s the foundation of being a good friend. For others it is much more harder, some people will accept it but will take longer to fully understand what it means for them, especially when considering family- in Phillip Schofield’s case the implication of him being gay on his wife and how she deals with it.

Accepting and understanding yourself is a long process

Although Phillip is not the only person to announce that he is gay whilst being married, he realises that understanding your own thoughts isn’t something that can be put on a time constraint. Accepting and understanding yourself is a long process and it takes time to fully develop an accurate representation of yourself. Just know that there is support around, all you have to do is ask for it.

Men are less likely to talk about their mental health compared to women, with only 17% being treated for mental health problems compared to 29% for women.For a household name to speak up, he is advocating for other men and women who may be going through a similar struggle. Phillip represent that there are people who remain in family units/ relationships because they fear being true to themselves. However, there is always an option to do what is right for you; it doesn’t matter how many years you have been together, how many memories you have made, it is about that internal happiness and knowing what is right for you.

He is an example of someone who has been through a lot of overwhelming experiences and has used the resources available to put himself in a better position, where he is not as mentally exhausted. He is a positive role model for anyone who feels trapped in a relationship and wherever life takes you, you have to one day decide that you deserve to be happy and sometimes, the first step is the hardest.

The University of Nottingham provides a lot of support if you have any concerns, ranging from Welfare support, to Chaplaincy, if you need some advice.

Saira Akhtar

Featured image courtesy of Stock Catalog via Flickr. No changes made to this image. Image license found here

In article image courtesy of @GhsReid  via twitter. No changes were made to this image. 

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