EMMERDALE star Michelle Hardwick has told how she is scared to hold her partner Kate Brooks’ hand while out on the streets over fear of homophobic attacks.
The actress – who plays Vanessa Woodfield in the ITV soap – is engaged to producer Kate and will proudly march at Leeds Pride today.
But she has said the recent resurgence of hate crimes against LGBT+ people have left her worried while out with Kate.
She told the Mirror: “I feel like we’re going backwards in society with our attitudes.
“Sometimes if Kate and I see a group of young lads we instinctively let go of each other’s hands because we’re scared they’ll turn on us.
“We live with that fear every day. So people who say, ‘Gay Pride? Why isn’t there a Straight Pride?’ I’ll tell you why, because you don’t need it.
“Because luckily for you, you’re able to be affectionate with your partner in public and you won’t be abused for it. It’s absolutely vile what goes on.”
But at home things are completely the opposite with Michelle and Kate planning their wedding after Michelle surprised Kate with a Greatest Showman themed proposal that saw her rent out a local cinema and dress their dog up in a t-shirt asking her to say yes.
Michelle, who has been married before, said she had learned from her first wedding that the the “day just has to be about Kate and I.”
And they plan to get married in a low key ceremony abroad before throwing a huge party for all their friends and family.
She added: “We’ll get married abroad, hit a few bars and probably have chicken and chips for our wedding breakfast.
“Then a big party for our family when we get back to England. That’s all I can tell you! It will be ace.”
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