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Queerty: Actor Max Parker confirms he’s gay and living with fellow soap star


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British actor Max Parker has given an exclusive interview to Attitude magazine in which he talks about his sexuality and relationship with fellow actor, Kris Mochrie.

Both Parker and Mochrie have appeared in the well-known British soap opera, Emmerdale, set in a rural, farming community in the north of England. Rumors the pair were dating began in the summer when they shared Instagram photos of themselves together on holiday.

 

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British tabloid, The Sun, reprinted the photos and stated the men were dating. It highlighted the fact the actors had played the roles of brothers on the soap. In fact, Parker met Mochrie on the latter’s last day of filming, before Mochrie’s character was killed off. They never actually shared any screen time together. Parker continues to play the role of Luke Posner.

Related: Actors who play brothers on TV revealed to be boyfriends in real life

Parker did not rush to confirm the speculation (although Mochrie did confirm in an interview with The Mirror in September). Parker has now spoken out about his journey to realizing he is gay. He also says he and Mochrie recently moved in together.

“Certain things have come out in the press and that’s their side of my story, but I’ve never got to tell it from my side,” Parker, 28, told Attitude. “I think now, with the way life’s going and the way the world is now, it’s just a really good, happy thing to just be yourself. And I think that’s why now’s a good time.”

 

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Parker grew up in Greater Manchester, in the north of England. He says as a child in the 90s, “the cool thing to do [was] to have girlfriends and play football”. Parker did both, even though he says his parents told him they would be supportive if he were gay. Despite this, he moved away at the age of 16 and says he began to have experiences with both other men and women in his late teens.

“I just wanted to go out and have fun and meet people who I hadn’t really been in touch with before”, he says. “So me and my parents had a bit of a – I think they thought I ran away because I was gay, and I didn’t want them to think that, even though maybe it was – so it was this sort of battle with myself [about] what was going on.”

“One of the main reasons why it took me quite a while to come out is because my parents are so accepting and they’ve always said to me ‘You know, if you’re gay you can tell us’, and I’m really stubborn and I don’t want to be proven ‘wrong’, so I was trying to prove to myself ‘No no, they’re wrong, I’m not gay’.”

At 18, he told some close friends he was bisexual. A couple of years later, he began dating a woman and was with her for seven years. However, after being together so long, he says he felt people were questioning why he hadn’t yet proposed. It was something he knew he couldn’t do.

“I felt one of the main reasons why we did split in the end was because I knew that she’s a beautiful girl and she could basically be with anyone she wants, and I was stopping her from [doing] that.”

 

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After this relationship ended, he says he then began to explore relationships with men again.

“There did come a point maybe about a year later where I thought ‘From now on I don’t think I can imagine myself being with a woman’. Something in my mind just changed.”

Parker says that when stories about him and Mochrie first appeared in the tabloids in July, he hadn’t come out to his grandparents. The thought of them being informed via a newspaper upset him. Fortunately, his grandma sent him a message saying, “We’re absolutely fine with it, glad you’re happy.”

Related: US ski champion Hig Roberts comes out as gay

“I think a lot of people come out in different stages”, reflects Max. “They’ll come out to their friends, their parents, family. What I’ve found hardest is probably coming out to yourself.

“I guess that’s why I’m here, it’s like the final stage of my – not accepting [myself], because I’m really happy with who I am – it’s more being comfortable to talk about it.

“I feel comfortable now knowing that I am gay.”

Parker shared a photo from the interview shoot to his Instagram, with the caption: “This was scary! But it was time. #BeYourself”

 

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Read the full interview in Attitude.

Queerty