Hollyoaks begins dark self harm storyline for teen Lucas Hay as gay conversion therapy plot deepens

Hollyoaks character Lucas Hay.

Hollyoaks’ so-called gay conversion therapy storyline has taken another harrowing turn in scenes featuring Lucas that aired on Channel 4 streaming yesterday (28 February).

In the episode, which will air on TV on E4 tonight (28 February) at 7pm, teen Lucas Hay (Oscar Curtis) was seen self-harming after becoming further embroiled in the soap’s ongoing conversion therapy plot.

The twisted conversion therapy storyline began towards the end of 2023, when Hollyoaks High’s nasty headteacher Carter Shepherd (Holby City star David Ames) attempted to ensnare gay village favourite John Paul McQueen (James Sutton) into a self-help “support group”.

However, the group was simply a guise for trying to “convert” John Paul.

The harmful practice, which still remains legal in the UK, attempts to “change” a person’s sexuality or gender identity, effectively by encouraging them to suppress it.

Theresa May promised to eradicate it when she was prime minister back in 2018, however six years and three prime ministers later, it still remains lawful.

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Recent Hollyoaks scenes have shown Lucas struggling to come to terms with his sexuality, after he developed feelings for best pal Dillon Ray (Nathaniel Dass).

Carter, along with equally evil newcomer Declan Hawthorne (Alan Turkington), decided to use the troubled schoolkid’s confusion to their advantage, as they attempted to rope him into their wicked conversion therapy scheme.

John Paul and Carter in Hollyoaks. (Lime Pictures)
John Paul and Carter in Hollyoaks. (Lime Pictures)

The pair decided to interrogate the young lad on his sexuality, and brought his father Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson), who is gay, into the conversation.

They attempted to convince Lucas that Ste’s sexuality was the reason behind his own confused feelings, and urged him to turn to the Bible for support.

As the wicked pair pressed further, Lucas opened up about falling for Dillon, but with devastating consequences, as Declan described how disgusted God would be about Lucas loving another man.

When Lucas arrived home, he was greeted by a gift – Dillon’s watch, which he’d admired earlier on in the week. Though it was a sweet gesture, it reminded Lucas of what Declan and Carter had told him about his sexual urges, and he broke down.

After smashing the watch, he picked up a shard of the glass, and self-harmed.

Lucas Hay in Hollyoaks.
Lucas will be left devastated. (Lime Pictures)

While the seriously dark scenes have taken the conversion therapy storyline to another level, it’s not surprising that Hollyoaks is the soap to address the real-world impact of the disgraceful practice.

Hollyoaks has form for tackling LGBTQ+ issues, and has also introduced several trans and non-binary characters in recent years.

In 2015, Sally St. Claire became the first ever trans actor to be played by a trans actress (Annie Wallace) in British soap history.

Characters Ripley Lennox (Ki Griffin) and Phoenix Hathaway (Tylan Grant) have also provided vital non-binary and trans representation in the show. 

Just this week, it was announced that 12-year-old character Rose Lomax (Ava Webster) will begin a trailblazing gender identity story in the upcoming weeks, as they question whether they are non-binary.

Hollyoaks streams on Channel 4’s streaming platform and on E4 on TV. 

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in America can contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by texting 988 (988lifeline.org).

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