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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Fionnula Hainey

LGBT charity Stonewall says Phillip Schofield coming out is a 'powerful and courageous move'

Phillip Schofield has been praised by a leading LGBT charity for coming out as gay.

The ITV presenter made the announcement on his Instagram account this morning, saying he was "coming to terms with the fact that I am gay".

He later appeared on This Morning alongside his co-presenter and friend Holly Willoughby in an emotional interview in which he admitted the struggles he had faced.

Revealing the news this morning, Phillip said he had had some "heartbreaking conversations" with his family, including he wife of 27 years and his two daughters.

His coming out in public was hailed as 'powerful and courageous' by the charity Stonewall.

Phillip Schofield and wife Stephanie Lowe (PA)

Speaking to the PA news agency, Stonewall's Jeff Ingold said: "Having high-profile, visible, out LGBT people can make a massive difference not just to the lives of LGBT people, to be able to watch something and see themselves reflected and someone who they identify with; but also for the general public to see and hear the stories of LGBT people can go a long way in changing the way that people see and think and feel about LGBT people as a community.

"It's a hugely powerful and courageous move Phillip has made to be open about himself, particularly in the public eye at a time when everyone will have an opinion on social media. It's a massive moment, I think for him and for society in general."

He said coming out is something that "unites all LGBT people and there's no right or wrong way to do it, adding: "Everyone has to do it in the way they feel is right for them.

"It's always a personal decision and it's a really powerful moment where an LGBT person gets to declare this is who they are.

"But I think we also sometimes forget that coming out isn't just a one-time event, it's something LGBT people have to do many times in their lives and I think the reaction to Phillip shows how important it can be for LGBT people in the public eye to be themselves.

"I think all the positive reaction I've seen has shown that we want to create a world where more people feel comfortable being themselves... but for right now it's such a huge moment and I think it really speaks to the journey he's been on as well and how authentic he's been in talking about the difficulties he's been through, which I think a lot of LGBT people will relate to."

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