Gay soap actor opens up about vile homophobic abuse he faced – and how his co-star stood up for him

Trailblazing Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson, who plays Ste Hay, has opened up about being publicly harassed by bullies who hurled homophobic abuse at him in the street.

Richardson and his long term best friend Jorgie Porter, who played Theresa McQueen in the hit Channel 4 soap opera from 2008 until 2016 and again from 2020, were guests on The Mirror‘s  Invite Only podcast when Richardson shared details of the incident.

“I did have (homophobic abuse) once in the street,” Richardson explained. “Jorgie was with me actually and she was amazing. We were getting in the taxi and they shouted some homophobic abuse or whatever. And then we were at the traffic lights with them together.

“And then I just got really brave and went out the window and I went: ‘What did you just say?’ And then he was like: ‘Nothing, I didn’t say anything.’ Then as the light turned on to green again, he got brave and cocky and then started shouting the abuse again.”

Porter then interjected, saying: “I was so shocked because I thought that doesn’t happen. I thought: ‘Oh my God.” And I wanted to give it back as well, I literally wanted to chase him. And we filmed them, and then I put it out there, because I was just like: ‘Absolutely not, you cannot get away with that.’

“That’s my best friend, like, anyone who starts with my best friend, I’m like: ‘No, I’m having you.’ People knew who it was, so I think they got fired from work. But, you know, it was just a massive shock that that kind of thing still would happen. You don’t want it to happen to anyone, but especially not Kieron, who is the best man in the world.”

At the time, Porter posted a video on Instagram, saying: “We’ve actually just witnessed some homophobic, horrible, horrible guys in a taxi that wanted to shout out horrible things to Kieron. I am so angry that this is actually happening and that this is real. I am so shocked how…and they’re still shouting things now!”

She captioned the video: “Having walked past a group of lads in the street screaming homophobic abuse at @mrkieronrichardson! We did not want them to think they can get away with this so we pulled up along side them!! You disgusting group of pathetic mush you cannot get away with this It’s a good job the rest of society has moved on!!”

When did Kieron Richardson come out?

Kieron came out on daytime TV show This Morning in 2010. Speaking about the decision to reveal his sexuality, he said: “I think it’s the best thing that I ever did. It must have been a massive thing at the time, like, now, obviously, I remember being absolutely I was petrified, yeah.

“But that feeling of elation from coming out… from that moment, you can be your true, authentic self, and not hide anymore, you’re not lying to people. It was like a pinnacle moment.”

Speaking at the Inside Soap awards shortly after coming out, he revealed that he received 17,000 emails of support on the day the show was aired.

He said: “Luckily, lots of people have come forward to say what I did gave them the courage to come out to their parents.

“It’s not really a big deal but some people see it as a taboo subject still. It’s nice to be quite young and be a role model to people going through it and hopefully make their lives a bit happier.”

Richardson married his long-term partner Carl Hyland in 2015, in a ceremony in the Peak District. The couple are parents to twins Chase and Phoebe Ray, who were born in 2017 via surrogate.

In the documentary Raised by Queers, Kieron Richardson opened up about the struggles he and his husband, faced as same-sex parents, saying that they faced prejudice in the hospital.

Richardson said he overheard one nurse say: “Those men shouldn’t be left with those babies on their own because they have no parental rights”.

In an interview about the twins on This Morning shortly after they were born, Richardson refused to answer what he said was an “unfair” question by presenter Ruth Langsford.

Langsford asked: “Obviously you both donated sperm, but do you know whose…?”

Richardson replied: “It’s one of the most obvious questions people ask. And we don’t tell people because our best friends are lesbians and they have a tough time in the street when people go: ‘Who’s the mum?’ And our friends go: ‘Oh we both are!’ and people will go: ’No but who is really the mother?’

“I think it’s an unfair question, because they’re both the mum.”

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