Kieron Richardson: ‘Other gay actors warned me not to come out’

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Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson has revealed that before he came out last year, other actors warned him that it could stop him from getting roles.

Echoing comments made by British actor Rupert Everett, Richardson said: “Obviously I had a lot of advice before I did come out. Other actors in the business, they were like, ‘Oh, maybe it’s not really a good thing to do’ because they felt it could hinder my career.”

But unlike Everett, he said he did not regret doing it.

Speaking to and Gaydar Radio at Brighton Pride, he said: “To be honest with you, since last September, everything’s been happening for me in a good way so it’s all been worth it and I’m really, really glad that I did it.

“Like I say to everybody, when you say the words you don’t melt, you don’t die, you don’t combust on the spot. It’s not a big deal and there’s so many people doing it now, young people like myself and obviously Joe McElderry.”

Richardson came out on This Morning in September last year. He later said that he received 17,000 emails of support on the day the show was aired.

The actor also spoke about his Hollyoaks character Ste Hay’s storyline, the first the soap has had involving gay domestic abuse.

He said: “The thing is, some people think just because two guys love each other, [if there’s domestic abuse] they should be able to handle it. That’s not the message we’re trying to give, we’re trying to give a positive one out that, if you are going through it, no matter what, you should go to the police and get something done about it.

“And it’s interesting that when we started it, we got a message from this guy that said he was the first guy in Britain that got his partner sent to prison for domestic abuse.”

He added: “Whether you’re gay, straight, whatever, and you are going through it, it’s just about finding the courage to go and tell someone about it. I know it’s hard and I can’t really give advice or say go and do this, so I just hope the storyline is making an impact.”

Richardson also said that he’s involved in a number of gay rights causes, saying: “Anything I can do for the gay community is a positive thing really. And I promote gay marriages, Pride, everything like that. I’m just literally trying to get involved in as much stuff as possible. I’m a patron of Manchester Pride, AKT [Albert Kennedy Trust], which we’ve just done an advert with with Sir Ian McKellen so that’s really good.

“I’ve literally got my fingers in every single pie going.”