After Coming Out, British Talk Show Host Talks Marriage, Struggles During A Lifetime in the Closet

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday February 10, 2020

British "This Morning" presenter Phillip Schofield has followed up his dramatic coming out on Instagram - followed by a moving interview on the very same ITV talk where he has been a host for nearly two decades - with an interview in which he discussed being gay and closeted... and married to a woman for 27 years.

As reported previously at EDGE, the 57-year-old Schofield came out on Instagram with the following post:

"You never know what's going on in someone's seemingly perfect life, what issues they are struggling with, or the state of their well-being -- and so you won't know what has been consuming me for the last few years."

Added Schofield in the post:

"With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay."

In the post, Schofield meditated on the paradox of how, for many gay people, things have gotten better in recent years - but at the same time he struggled with "pain and confusion" that he said "comes only from the hurt that I'm causing to my family."

Schofield's family has been supportive, he said, "trying to ... smother me with kindness and love" as he has navigated his coming to terms with his authentic self.

Schofield's television chat show family also showed support. Fellow "This Morning" host Holly Willoughby read the Instagram post aloud for viewers as she sat by Schofield on a couch and then interviewed her co-host about his coming out process.

Two days later, in the Sunday edition of the UK newspaper of The Sun, Schofield delved deeper into the cost of marrying a woman even though he was gay.

Schofield told the Sun that he went ahead with the marriage because he thought he would be happy.

Said Schofield:

"I am not saying I didn't know.

"Whatever was 'there' I thought, 'OK, whatever this is, you stay back because I am happy.' "

But, added Schofield, "If you ask anyone who is gay, they know — there is no confusion."

Schofield's trajectory is one that many gay men who have been forced into the closet will recognize: "I thought maybe I was bisexual," he told the paper. "But over time I realized" that he was gay, he added, "and started coming to terms with it.

"And I realized I had to be honest with myself."

And that happiness he'd had earlier in his marriage didn't last. Eventually, despite his professional success and his love for his wife and daughters, Schofield admitted, he found himself contemplating suicide. He began seeing a therapist.

Though he does not have another romantic interest at the moment, Schofield said he's not sure what his coming out will eventually mean for his marriage. But his wife has been supportive and understanding, he said.

"We have been very truthful and honest," Schofield told the Sun, going on to add: "She has known for a while. When you live with someone you know these things don't you?"

Added Schofield: "There is no question she is a truly remarkable person — the kindest, sweetest soul I could have possibly met."

Watch the "This Morning" clip, where Schofield came out on air, below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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